Take Another Look

According to Gadi Shamia, Vice President of SAP Business One, NextiraOne Federal didn’t implement alerts when they first installed SAP Business One, but they recently remedied that oversight. And immediately began to see significant savings – $5000 after the first week. With 15 users and an investment of $100,000 in software and other implementation costs, NextiraOne Federal believes that its total investment has been paid off in less than six months of operation.
Following a recent update, Duane Taylor, CFO, sent an email to his implementation partner, American Express.
“Just wanted to let you know that due to the alerts now showing up on my screen, we were able to correct two problems yesterday. One was an invoice billed in error that we caught. That saved us $4896. The other was a mistake in the pricing of an item given on one of our pricing schedules to a reseller. That saved us $750 on the one item invoiced yesterday and that much on each of those items ordered going forward. Nice feature.”

Still have doubts?

What would you pay to get:

  • Unmatched expertise
  • Rapid implementation
  • Unparalleled ease of use
  • Enhanced productivity and control
  • New opportunities for success

Ask the ones who know

First, the easy answer. No, the Viper Diablo Power Cruiser that was on display in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare was not a door prize. Once that was made clear, attendees asked the tough questions of John Lai, Vice President of Corporate Development for Viper Motorcycle, and Tony Goff, General Manager of Goff’s Enterprises.
Viper Motorcycle (www.vipermotorcycle.com) designs and manufactures high-end factory custom motorcycles, parts, and accessories in New Hope, MN, such as the new Viper Diablo Power Cruiser. Goff’s Enterprises (www.goffscurtainwalls.com) is a leading manufacturer of vinyl safety and containment partitioning systems.
The two small businesses have a lot in common: 16 employees, one facility, upper Midwest location, and sales through a distribution channel. Both are niche players in growth industries.
But the similarities end there. Contrary to what you might think, Goff’s Enterprises has the more complex manufacturing process. Almost every curtain is custom-made, which requires sophisticated drawings for production and customers, complicated quote-to-order process, and extensive inventory management. On the other hand, John Lai at Viper Motorcycle has limited the number of motorcycles to be produced and curtailed the options.

What business management software did both companies choose?

SAP Business One.

At what point does a small business decide to go with SAP Business One?

For Viper Motorcycle, the decision was triggered by the inability of its software packages to support its growth plan. Viper was using Excel for bills of material and QuickBooks for accounting. The management team, all experienced on large, expensive ERP packages, wanted a solution that was easy to use for all employees.
For Goff’s Enterprises, it was the pain and expense of working with a suite of solutions that cost more to maintain than a kid at Harvard. Integration and real-time access to information were the paramount issues, and Drag&Relate sealed the deal. “When we saw Drag&Relate, I fell out of my chair. Drag, bam, there it is.”

What’s involved in buying SAP Business One?

Purchase and installation of SAP Business One is done through locally based, certified SAP partners. For Goff’s Enterprises and Viper Motorcycle, those partners were Business-First LLC (www.business-first.us) and Praxis Software Solutions (www.praxissoft.net). Partners work closely with SAP, and have a direct line to developers should a problem arise. Both Lai and Goff agree that SAP partners understand their issues and their industry.

How much does it cost?

Most companies report a total package cost of $3750 per user, which includes software, installation, and training. Maintenance is a percentage of the license.

I’ve heard that implementation takes a long time – all that customization – and can really disrupt your business.

Burned by experience, Goff felt the same way. His implementation goals were clear: no business disruption, no proprietary software, and no expensive code modifications. “The SAP partner was really, really good. Not only are they knowledgeable, but also they’re considerate of our time. They didn’t need hours and hours of my production manager’s time. They understood our business needs, and got to work.”
Lai was impressed by the ease and speed of implementation. In fact, the software was ready to work before his team was geared up.

What happens when there’s a problem?

The system maintenance requirements are almost zero. According to Goff, “It’s maintainable by my own people. But when there’s a problem they can’t solve, our partner can log onto our system remotely and fix it.”

Can I add a portal for my customers or distributors?

Definitely. The portal is an add-on feature, and that’s just what Viper Motorcycle intends to do. They want to give their channel partners access to SAP Business One and support a new line of after-market products.

What happens when my business outgrows the capabilities of SAP Business One?

“You’ll never outgrow SAP,” states Lai. In fact, the scalability and flexibility of SAP Business One were major factors in Viper Motorcycle’s decision. The migration path is clearly defined, and leads to mySAP™ Business Suite. But there are no “official” limits or prescribed boundaries. It depends on many factors, such as the customer’s business strategy and business needs.
SAP delivers a software development kit with SAP Business One, which partners can use to develop custom enhancements and their own applications.
According to Gadi Shamia, “SAP doesn’t eliminate the risk of growth, but we definitely minimize it.”

What are your plans?

Our customers believe that the investment they’ve made in SAP Business One will pay off – and not just in money. Goff’s Enterprises and Viper Motorcycle are preparing for the future: adding partner networks, expanding product lines, and enhancing collaboration opportunities. Their business partners, some of whom run mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite, are impressed by their selection of SAP Business One.
What are your plans? Are you paralyzed by what Jim Carroll, guest keynote speaker at the SAP Business Forum ’03, refers to as innovation stagnation, insurmountable opportunities, and aggressive indecision?
According to Carroll, it’s time to “run, grow, and transform your business.”
Take that first step. Visit our Web site at www.sap.com/smb and then contact one of our certified business partners.

Brenda Mackay
Brenda Mackay