“At my previous company we used Sage, so I knew all about that product. The turnover in that company was around £13m, so it really pushed the solution to the limit. They were researching alternatives and that’s when I first heard of SAP Business One.
“What we really wanted more than anything was a great CRM package and an accounts package that talked really well to that. When we were doing our research we found a number of good CRM packages and separate accounting tools but not many that were truly integrated. But we found that SAP Business One had this great finance module, which I like because it doesn’t try and dumb down the accountancy side of the business – which so many of the entry-level packages do, and the CRM tool which really looked amazing and perfect for the type of business we have here.”
The company deployed SAP Business One in the autumn of 2012, only a number of months after it had opened its first factory.
One of the biggest benefits of adopting the solution has been the real-time visibility into company-wide activities. “We love it here,” Neil continued. “Everybody in the team sees the benefits of the solution.”
With popularity levels increasing of Portlebay’s ready to eat popcorn, SAP Business One plays an important role in ensuring supplier demand is met by organising its supply and distribution networks – both home and abroad. “SAP helps us at a basic level with the pick sheets and delivery notes and the way the system manages current customer delivery addresses is great. The hierarchy of paperwork fits in really well with how we operate here and the standard SAP reports are perfect for what we do and need. Going forward, we can see that eventually we are going to have to outsource warehouse space but that won’t cause us any issues because of the way the system manages different warehouses with its bin location tools.”
Not only has SAP Business One streamlined supply and distribution chains for Portlebay Popcorn, it also provides Neil with essential updates throughout his day on real-time activities across the business, empowering him with key intelligence to make more informed decisions.
“I use SAP Business One throughout the day, especially the reporting functions to keep track of activities and performance,” he added. “The way that we use SAP Business One for reporting is that we export our data into Excel and pull out customer activities and pipeline information – which works well for us.”
When Portlebay began researching SAP Business One they contacted B1 Systems along with a number of other resellers. But with the close proximity of the reseller and the instant impression that B1 Systems had on Portlebay it was an easy decision to make when it came to selecting a partner.
“We were searching for a company who worked with small businesses and one which was local to us,” said Neil. “When I contacted B1 Systems I really liked the feel that I got from the company. A lot of SAP Business One partners shy way from cost indications online and that means that you have to go through the process of getting in touch with a company and then waiting for them to get back to you, which can prolong the process. The one thing that I liked about B1 Systems is that they were open about the costs that a company like ours would be looking at. I really liked their honesty. We then went to see them in their offices and we felt they had a really good team there.”
As with any SAP Business One solution deployed by B1 Systems, experienced staff deliver training and support beyond implementation. For Portlebay, this service has been exemplary. Neil added: “Without doubt B1 Systems have been a ten-out-of-ten standard. Their telephone support is prompt, their advice is superb and they implement upgrades and amendments quickly without any hassle. I couldn’t be happier with the service levels.”