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Three features which differentiate SAP Business ByDesign in the ERP marketplace

ERP Market Place

Enterprise Resource Planning Software: Much of a Muchness?

SAP Business ByDesign was developed by the world leading software brand as their true cloud product. Now in its tenth year, the software spans 27 industries and is deployed across 120 countries. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is no big deal since most cloud based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is multi sector and multi country. And, you’d be right.

Similarly, like any other ERP software, the features enable end to end working for all the various facets and functions of your business.

And, like other ERP solutions, it is especially useful for fast growing companies. It has been designed to adapt to your growth by scaling as you do. You can add employees, subsidiaries, new markets and new revenue streams with ease.

It also offers insight into your business through powerful and transparent analytics. As a cloud based software all your business intelligence is generated in real time, at the touch of a button… much like other cloud based ERP.

What’s Different?

To start with, the breadth of the software available inside the SAP ByD suite is incredibly affordable and very quick to implement. SAP have distilled decades of software implementations to replicate 38 out-of-the-box end-to-end business processes into the ByD software. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and you will benefit from that shared best practice.

The truth is that ERP software isn’t much of a muchness.

Not really.

There may be little to differentiate the big players in terms of depth or span of functionality, that’s true. However, as with everything of this nature, the devil is in the detail. It’s often the ancillary functionality which delivers the biggest impact and influences decision making.

Here are three features which differentiate SAP Business ByDesign from the main competitors.

1. Excel Plugin

Businesses which are considering a move to cloud based ERP typically have a legacy system (or several) and more often than not, run their business from a handful of complex spreadsheets. Data is extracted from the legacy system, consolidated onto a spreadsheet and interrogated, in order to extract meaningful business intelligence. The whole process becomes unwieldy and complex and the results are often questionable.

SAP Business ByDesign includes a native integration into excel. The add-in is free to download and creates a link between the ERP software and your excel spreadsheets. Once the integration is completed, staff can work exclusively in the spreadsheet (or the system) knowing that the data can be posted back and forth without the need to switch from one solution to the other and without having to manually copy data across.

This is a particularly useful tool for facilitating user adoption. Learning a new system can be daunting, but allowing people to partially or fully complete their tasks using the same office based software as they are used to can help. The success of an ERP implementation project often comes down to ease of use and user adoption. This is one tool which knocks the competitors out the park when it comes to adoption.

2. Third Party Logistics Warehouse Management Integration

If you are a wholesale distribution company, manufacturer or retailer who uses third-party logistics providers (3PL), SAP Business ByDesign has a unique integrator which allows you to connect to your 3PL providers’ systems while you continue to work out of ByD.

The set-up is straight forward. You simply need to connect the ByDesign system to your 3PL provider system and Business ByDesign keeps the full purchasing, sales and fulfilment processes (including invoicing) while the warehouse execution and transport is outsourced. The 3PL can also directly connect their system to SAP Business ByDesign via B2B interfaces and therefore take over the mapping of the messages to their system’s interfaces and technical set up.

The 3PL integration comes with its own work centre to make it easy to operate from inside SAP Business ByDesign

3. OCR for Supplier Invoices

SAP Business ByDesign comes with an OCR (optical character recognition) add-on which allows you to process supplier invoices using your scanning device.

You can use an automatic upload the scanned invoices and credits into the SAP Collaboration Window. The file pair will then be stored in a dedicated SAP ByD folder until you are ready to process them. You only need to be logged into the SAP Collaboration Window for the service to search for new files which can then be uploaded into the ByD system. The system will accept the new documents as “Ready for Posting” or “In Process”. They can then be posted in the same way as you would upload them manually.

Using this neat add on will help you reduce the cost of paper and storage; streamline your processes and optimise the management of the approval process.

OCR is a real timesaver and a piece of automation which typically costs a large amount of investment.


SAP take guidance from their customers about how the system should be extended for future upgrades; as a Business ByDesign customer you are able to influence the future road map of the system. So, if you have a die-in-a-ditch requirement for something which doesn’t exist yet, there’s a reasonable chance you can exert some influence over the development of your software.

Just remember that when you are creating your specification for your new software system you’d be well placed to ask about the extras which have been built into the software. Undoubtedly it will be these bells and whistles which differentiate the products more than the core functionality.

Written by Emma Stewart – Director of Business & Technology Solutions at Allied Worldwide Ltd

SAP Business ByDesign partner.

To talk to someone about how SAP Business ByDesign can improve your business please get in touch

Posted by: Emma Stewart, Director of Business & Technology Solutions News Icon

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