“Until now, it has been very difficult for smaller businesses to use a simple and cost-effective interface to transmit data to the central SAP Business One ERP system and receive control center data at individual points of sale”, explains Steffen Würth, SAP Business One project manager at ADD ON AG. A customer from the wine and delicatessen trade drew the attention of the Pforzheim-based SAP Business Partner to this problem. The customer had already decided to implement the SAP Business One ERP solution but only on the condition that a point of sale solution was also integrated. The requirement for the cash desk system was that SAP Business One was combined with dataposC, the cash desk solution identified for this purpose. To enable this, a data exchange interface also had to be created.
Smooth data exchange
“The obvious thing to do to establish the data exchange was to develop an add-on module for SAP Business One that functions as an interface manager for dataposC”, continues Würth. The datapos cash desk solution stores information on articles sold. The Pforzheim-based software house used the ADD-ON cash desk solution to develop a suitable add-on module. This enables the information about articles sold which is stored in dataposC to be imported into the SAP system. For instance, the interface manager can generate files for sales made and inventory levels in the individual branches. Once a day, a remote data transmission link is opened up and the cash desk data is exported to SAP Business One via the interface developed by ADD ON. According to ADD ON, the data can also be transmitted using an FTP server. New article numbers and new prices are also transmitted from SAP Business One to the cash desks in the branches. They are therefore updated daily or several times a day if necessary.
In the ERP system, up-to-date sales figures and information about inventory levels are available virtually in real time. The control center always has the latest data available and can respond accordingly by replenishing critical inventory levels, for example. SAP Business One can provide information on debtors to the cash desks and thus allow outstanding payments to be made. The advantages for Würth are clear because “it is possible to carry out customer-specific analysis of sales and articles and goods purchased”. This means that even small and midsize companies can analyze and evaluate the purchasing behavior of customers.
Fast, cost-effective and flexible
According to Würth, the delicatessen business generates a large proportion of its sales from vouchers, which is why a voucher management module in SAP Business One is already in the planning stage. The SAP solution is flexible in this regard and can be quickly adapted to company-specific requirements. According to figures from the Pforzheim-based SAP Business Partner, the ADD-ON cash desk solution costs Euro 1,600. The price includes the cash desk software, a fully integrated electronic cash book and the interface. The configuration of the point of sale depends on the individual wishes and requirements of the customer. The minimum requirements for installation are a Pentium II processor, 64 MB RAM (128 MB preferred), 10 GB free hard disk space and Windows 98 SE/ME/2000/NT or XP. Installing software and training staff takes between one and two days depending on how many cash desks are used in a branch. According to the consulting house, the ADD ON cash desk solution for SAP Business One will not only enable SMBs to more accurately record their processes, but also make it possible for them to go one step further and automate and optimize these processes. “As a result of the cost-effective and rapid introduction, small and midsize businesses will achieve what they need the most – competitiveness”, concludes Würth.