Software synergy

In this article, Alastair Fraser, founder and joint managing director of Sapmanv12 discusses the strategy of a successful ERP implementation for Sage50 users.

We’ve been writing ERP systems for over 20 years and all the time been approved Sage developers, so we’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience along the way. I’m a firm fan Sage Accounts; this is an accounting system that is fairly ubiquitous among the small to medium manufactures in the UK – and for good reason as it provides a solid backbone to a business’s needs and is a firm favourite in the accounts offices.

There is a problem however. Having spent more time on the road and at trade shows during the last year – I have identified a common issue.

Let me explain: a lot of the people who came to talk to are using Sage50 (or similar) together with the included features, notably Sales Order Processing(SOP), Purchase Order Processing (POP) and Stock. They would then have a variety of spreadsheets that they had evolved to run their shopfloor and other aspects of the operations. The reason they had come to our stand was that wanted a software solution to replace their clunky and often error prone spreadsheets.

Let’s consider what would happen if the business handed over the SOP, POP and Stock to an ERP system like ours. Think in terms of: sell it; make it; send it.

The ERP system starts with a sales enquiry – whether that’s for an estimate, detailed quote or stock fulfilment. Your ERP system knows what you have in stock, what you’d have to order to make or supply items and can send out quotes with drawings and other documentation and price breaks. The system converts the quote into a sales order which progresses through despatch and invoicing including allocating batch and serial number traceable stock.

In the meantime, on the ‘make it’ front the software checks the material requirements and generates purchase orders and works orders as required. The software can clearly see where stock is located, book goods in (whilst capturing batch/serial numbers; expiry/best before dates) and purchase invoices are matched against POs and GRNs for a three-way matching.

Bills of Materials (BOMs) are created as required and barcoding can be used to progress orders through the shopfloor and warehouse. Work in Progress is automatically valued with automatic calculation of man and machine hours. Simply a comprehensive integrated software solution promoting very accurate management accounts.

In essence the journey starts with the enquiry or order, so the software runs in the sales and purchase departments as well as the shopfloor. If the Sales Department gets a call from a customer regarding the status of an order – the answer is immediately to hand.

Additionally, the problems of the Sage stock system have been addressed: multi location stock – so tracing work out to subcontractors and back in again, dealing with the batch and serial number traceability, pretty much a ‘must have’ in today’s production environment. The ability to attach all documentation seamlessly at each stage of the process; be it drawings, or photos, or certificates of compliance is a great benefit.

No more spreadsheets

So how does this all work with Sage? Well there are really only two touchpoints between the two systems – sales invoices are created within Sapmanv12 – but then automatically posted to Sage, updating sales ledger and nominal ledger. Credit control continues within Sage. Purchase invoices are entered into Sapmanv12 as part of the checking process and then automatically entered into Sage, so there’s no duplication of input. Stock values are journaled into Sage as normal.

So, the Sage50 users can continue with their existing accounting software and the relationship with their Sage dealer – we don’t sell Sage50 or any accounting software and we have excellent relationships with our clients’ Sage dealers.

I believe that this combination gives manufactures a complete and cost-effective accounts and ERP system to allow them to compete strategically going forward in today’s competitive marketplace.

Sapman 12






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