What new in 9.3

This summer sees the release of SAP Business One 9.3, with exciting new features and functionality it promises to be an important and practical product release.

Return Material Authorisation (RMA).  Although Business One boasted a wide number of marketing documents to accommodate most business flows, one obvious ‘missing component’ was the RMA.  An RMA is a document issued to a customer when they have indicated that they are unhappy with a product and wish to return it.  In the sales cycle this transaction type precedes the return but it does not have an impact on stock. It can be generated from the menu, copied from a Delivery, from an Invoice or from within a Service Call (if Service Calls are being used to log complaints).    

Blanket Agreements have some improvements that make them a more practical proposition.  The Agreement is now updated as the aged products are consumed and the distribution of the goods can be restricted to conform to the terms of the agreement.  This suggests that blanket agreements might be used to provide rebate and claim monitoring albeit with some level of customisation.

CRM has been promoted!  It now has its own Main Menu Entry.  This is a response to the requests from the Partner Sales Channel.  No additional functionality has been added but it provides for a more intuitive user experience.

Gross Pricing Model.  SAP Business One is a Business to Business ERP Solutions.  It works on a NET PRICE basis and VAT is added as transactions are created.  With 9.3 it is now possible to configure a company as a Gross Price company.  When configured in this way all prices in the system are considered to be inclusive of VAT and the calculations performed at transaction level will calculate the net price and the VAT content.  Unfortunately, this has been implemented as a Company-Wide irreversibly setting and it is not possible to apply to individual transactions as might be required by a standard B2B customer offering a Counter Sales function. However, companies that are primarily providing products to consumers will welcome this announcement.

Price Unit. An earlier release of SAP Business One (Version 9.0 I think) introduced multiple units of measure for products.  So, a product could be sold in units, boxes, pallets or in whatever collection that was relevant.  However, the Price for the product always applied to the unit.  For example.  A box of 1000 nails could be sold as a quantity of Nails, a quantity of Boxes, even as a number of kilos provided the conversion factors are known.  However, all prices in the system related back to the Stock Unit, so if the least common denominator in the above example was one nail, then all prices related to that unit.  Now, with 9.3 a Price Unit has been introduced.  So in the example, all pricing could be configured per box or per kilo.

Price Hierarchy Overrule.  In Business One there is a set sequence used to determine the price of a product to a customer.  There are layers that need to be examined.  E.g. if there is a Customer Special Price, this takes precedent of a Period and Volume Discount.  While this structure is retained in 9.3 it is now possible (at a customer level) to overrule Business One by specifying that the customer should get the lowest price found, or the highest price found.  So, if a customer was configured with the ‘select lowest’ option and if there are a period base discount configured for a short period of time which was lower than the customer’s special price, the period discount would be selected instead of the special price.

Project Management Significant improvements have been made in Project Management.  In all areas where transactions could be assigned to a project, these can now also be assigned to a project stage.  This will provide better project cost analysis.  The biggest cheer from the audience at the summit was for the announcement of the Project Gantt Chart which has also been added.  We will need to wait and see what functionality this will bring but it is a very positive move in the right direction.

The Production Module now includes ‘Routing’s’.  This is a major step up which may allow the standard product to compete in Light Production environments without the need for complex Add-On.  Resources have also been extended in line with this and employees can now be assigned to a Cost Centre.

Activity Group.  Many people will be please to hear that in 9.3, an Activity can be assigned to a Group.  The group of users can be defined when creating the activity.

A nice practical function has been added to the Business Partner Contacts tab.  You now have the option to create documents from within this tab and the resulting document will have the correct contact persons.

Accessing Business One through the browser continues to improve and is now available on the iPad.  The Relationship Map is now included and Printing has been simplified.  The Copy and Paste functionality is also now available.

In Business Partner Master Data there is now an option to associate a customer record with a vendor record.  This will be used where a company has a Business Partner who is a Customer as well as a Supplier.  Dunning Letters, Aged Balance Reporting and Payment Processing will all take the balance from the linked account into their calculations.  So, it will save you from demanding payment from a Supplier that is chasing you!!

Transactions that have been approved (Alerts and Approvals) can now be edited and will automatically be resubmitted for approval again.

Too learn more about how SAP Business One 9.3 can benefit your business or if your already using SAP Business One and what to upgrade you can contact us on 01-4242420 or info@teamsoft.ie