SAP has been working hard behind the scenes to improve SAP Business One, and is preparing to launch version 9.1. Currently in BETA format, we have been testing and reviewing the latest version to find out about the new features and provide feedback to SAP. Once the BETA process is completed, SAP will enter ramp up and the new version should be available for general release by Q3 2014.
“This is going to be a major release for SAP Business One and includes a range of features that everyone has been demanding for a long time. The updates are all about extending the core functionality of SAP Business One – particularly in production and general usability,” said David Knight, Senior Applications Consultant, Codestone. “The four major developments are the Enhanced Production module, multiple branches functionality, inventory item cost valuation based on serial or batch numbers, and the ability to finally send emails – which is a simple but essential addition.”
The Enhanced Production module goes a lot further to helping businesses improve the production process including a new Resources module and enhancements to Bill of Materials (BoM) and Production Order processes.
The new Resources module serves as an extension to the Production module providing a base platform for managing light manufacturing processes, especially resource capacity. It provides visibility into the available capacity, helping avoid bottlenecks and optimising production plans. It will also be able to include the resource costs in the final product cost.
The enhancements to BoM will provide a more process orientated structure. In addition to item lines, you will be able to include all BoM lines of type resource, which will enable you to record capacity and lines of type text. There will also be the option to group line items based on production process flow and to mass update BoMs, making it easy to maintain.
“You couldn’t do routing instructions in previous versions of SAP Business One. However, text items can now be added allowing you to be able to add instructions to a production order.”
The new valuation method available for serial numbered and batch-managed items will help businesses calculate profitability for a specific serial number or batch, distinguishing the cost variances in products and the profitability.
“If you manufacture a product and you make two items (one costing more than the other), when you sell it, the new process is able to tell you the difference in profit of the two products. It will also be possible to put a resource against a BoM. A resource can be a third party, or an operator or machinist.”
One of the other major developments will be the ability to manage a business by branches in one database or localisation, including product lines, financial transactions and stock management, which helps to increase transparency.
One of the simplest additions to version 9.1, yet one that is extremely noteworthy, is the inclusion of more options for sending documents to partners via email. It will be possible to define and assign email groups to business partners, automatically create and send PDFs by mail when adding a document and the ability to email multiple documents to multiple recipients.
“Another simple upgrade, but one that users will find extremely useful, is the ability to copy and paste journal entries and document rows of sales and purchasing documents from Microsoft Excel. This will help significantly reduce data entry, thus freeing up valuable resource.”
The fixed assets function has also been enhanced, creating the ability to cancel depreciation runs, create journal entries for asset transfers at any time and also carry cost accounting information from marketing documents. Other noteworthy developments include enhancements to Pick & Pack, the ability to define authorisation per permission groups and the ability to hide certain business processes.
For a more detailed look at what is coming up in SAP Business One 9.1, click here.