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Business One vs. NetSuite: Which ERP Solution is Best for Your Company?

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In business, efficiency is paramount to success. That efficiency is often linked to your ERP software, which helps you manage and stay on top of critical systems and business operations.

There are many options to choose from when selecting an ERP for your business. Let's focus on Business One vs. NetSuite to see which one works best for your company.

What is an ERP System?

ERP refers to enterprise resource planning and is a system or suite of software programs that work seamlessly to manage all aspects of a business.

The magic of ERP is that it tightly integrates operations like inventory, sales, purchasing, marketing, human resources, production, and finances making the entire company more efficient.

An example would be when a company processes a sale and inventory dips below the allowable threshold. The ERP system would automatically create a purchase order to refill the raw materials inventory and send an email to the chosen vendor. Before a problem even surfaces, a good ERP solution can head it off and take the necessary steps to resolve it.

Another challenge that businesses face frequently is access to consistent, reliable data. By centralizing all your systems, you provide transparent, seamless access to the same information across all divisions and departments within the organization. Plus, since the data is validated through software best practices, you know you can trust the reports and base your operational decisions on that data.

The Benefits of ERP Software

ERP systems have evolved, and many modern programs are usually web-based with diverse functionality and features to fit any small-medium-sized business needs. Some benefits of using an ERP system are:

  • Improved communication between departments.
  • Single touchpoint for information, so everything stays consolidated in one place.
  • Live, real-time reporting.
  • Increased productivity through efficient and accurate data points.
  • Prevents costly mistakes.
  • Expands the business.
  • Eliminates redundancies.
  • Improved order accuracy, on-time delivery, and boosted productivity.
  • Better customer service.
  • Tighter inventory control (less loss/waste).
  • Better cash flow management.
  • Real-time access to business reports.
  • Balancing supply and demand.
  • Reduce your workforce and save money in the process.
  • Process improvements.
  • Make more informed decisions.
  • Automate routine tasks and activities.

A typical ERP system performs dozens of automated functions. The cycle begins when an employee inputs information into the system using a templated form. Then the system connects that information with other departments sharing critical data that other workers can use for other purposes.

Some of the information stored within an ERP system include:

  • Client Information
  • Vendors
  • Inventory
  • Accounts Payable and Receivables
  • Projects, Tasks, and Assignments

Commonly, an ERP system follows typical business workflows and dictates how different departments interact. Using a single database ensures accurate, up-to-date information across all divisions.

A sound ERP system makes it easy to collect information, analyze it, and use it for reporting, planning, budgeting, and marketing.

Many companies still rely on spreadsheets to track inventory and financial data. Human error and inconsistency can lead to extreme inefficiency when one person needs to locate information that is listed differently in multiple locations. For example, if an inventory part is listed as "Cog2" in one spreadsheet and "Cog Two" in another, some critical information may be missed, creating a disconnect. With ERP software, the item is entered once and remains consistently named for its useful life eliminating redundancies and inefficiency.

SAP Business One Pricing

Business One Features

SAP Business One is an enterprise-level ERP solution offering a professional, comprehensive package that fits most business needs. Some of the features included with Business One are:

  • Accounting
  • Banking and Reconciliations
  • Billing
  • Cash Flow Control
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Distribution Management
  • Employee Management
  • Fixed Asset Management
  • Financial Management
  • Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Human Resources Management
  • Integrated Business Operations
  • Inventory Management
  • Invoicing
  • Manufacturing Planning
  • Marketing Automation
  • Order Management
  • Performance Analytics and Metrics
  • Project Management
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Purchasing & Receiving
  • Proposals/Quotes
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Scheduling
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Training
  • Time & Expense Tracking
  • Vendor Management

Infrastructure Model

Business One is typically an in-house ERP solution, which is installed on your servers and remains on-premises. The advantage of this is you get to choose the hardware and maintain it your way. Additionally, you can secure your network in a way that makes the most sense for your business.

However, you can also choose a cloud-based Business One solution with the software hosted by the vendor of your choice.

Licensing

Business One offers a perpetual licensing model with its on-premises product, where you purchase your own licenses forever. You must also pay a per-user maintenance fee annually to cover the cost of upgrades and bug fixes. Although the initial investment is higher, this model works well in the long term. If you go with a cloud-based Business One solution, you will use the subscription model for licensing, paying a monthly fee.

Software Upgrades/Maintenance/System Control

Whether you choose the in-house installation or cloud-based system, you have complete control of when and how you implement software upgrades and maintenance. This is an important feature to maintain business operations and avoid disruptions. You also have complete control over the system and software. There are many advantages of owning an installed system and having access to its servers.

Customization

Many companies thrive on customization, and a cookie-cutter approach may not work for them. Business One has a well-developed ecosystem full of third-party (certified) add-ons to expand and customize your system for just about any industry. In addition, you have complete control over customizing your Business One solution to fit your needs by using Boyum B1 Usability Package or the Software Developer Kit (SDK) to alter the core functionality and features.

Installation

Using a trusted Business One partner, you can deploy a new installation of B1 quickly and easily and even migrate your old data into the system, saving you time and money.

SAP Business One Industries

SAP Business One ERP software works great for manufacturing companies and industries that require a lot of integration between departments. Some of the ideal use cases for SAP B1 are:

  • Consumer Goods
  • Education
  • Food & Beverage
  • Health
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Public Sector
  • Retail

SAP Business One is an ideal ERP for many organizations who want complete control over their systems, unlimited customization, and robust, well-integrated software that adds to their bottom line.

NetSuite ERP Features

Oracle owns NetSuite ERP. The all-in-one cloud solution includes a suite of programs for integrated business processes. Oracle is a well-known, trusted brand, and NetSuite is a popular ERP product often pitted against SAP Business One. Some of the features of NetSuite include:

  • Accounting
  • Accounts Receivable/Payable
  • Ad hoc Reporting
  • Alerts/Notifications
  • Asset Management
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Barcoding/RFID
  • Benchmarking
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Cost Tracking
  • CRM
  • Dashboard
  • Distribution Management
  • Expense Tracking
  • Financial Management
  • Fixed Asset Management
  • Forecasting
  • Human Resource Management
  • Integrated Business Operations
  • Inventory Management/Optimization/Tracking
  • Item Management
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI Tracking and Reporting)
  • Kitting
  • Maintenance Management
  • Manufacturing Inventory Management
  • Manufacturing Planning
  • Marketing Automation
  • Material Requirements Planning
  • Order Management
  • Payroll Management
  • Performance Metrics
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Product Identification
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Project Accounting/Management
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Purchasing & Receiving
  • Quality Management
  • Quotes/Estimates
  • Reorder Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Retail Inventory Management
  • Safety Management
  • Scheduling
  • Scorecards
  • Serial Number Tracking
  • Shipping Management
  • SKU/UPC Codes
  • Strategic Planning
  • Supplier Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Tax Management
  • Time & Expense Tracking
  • Training Management
  • Trend / Problem Indicators
  • Vendor Management
  • Visual Analytics
  • Warehouse Management

 

SAP Business One PricingAlthough the list of features is long, some are industry-specific, and not every company will need or use the features listed. NetSuite is available in 200 countries and supports 27 languages and 190 currencies.

Infrastructure Model

NetSuite is a completely cloud-based ERP solution. You can access it through a web browser or mobile device without special software. However, you must pay for the rental of the software and the right to store your data within it. In addition, you must pay a monthly software fee plus an additional fee per user. With large companies, the monthly fee could be substantial. However, NetSuite handles all backups and software updates automatically.

Licensing

NetSuite uses a monthly subscription model for its software as a service (SaaS). They charge a monthly base fee, a per-user fee and additional costs for add-on modules. Using NetSuite could be very costly over time, depending on your company's size.

Software Upgrades/Maintenance/System Control

As a cloud-based ERP solution, NetSuite is owned and supported by Oracle. Therefore, you cannot control when upgrades are installed or scheduled maintenance and downtimes. However, you will always have access to the latest version with all upgrades.

Customization

Because NetSuite is a SaaS product, it was developed as a modular platform that uses plugins to enhance the software with new features and expanded functionality. Additionally, users can customize specific reports and interfaces using the built-in SuiteApp ecosystem, but you may be limited if you require extensive customization.

Installation

NetSuite offers a couple of different migration/installation options for you. The first is a fixed-price SuiteSuccess model that will get you up and running quickly, but it's best for standard industries and simple companies that don't have a lot of complex data. If your company requires a more customized approach, you must pay the time and materials rate to migrate everything over and get set up.

NetSuite Industries

NetSuite offers an ERP product that works best for certain companies. Some of the industries that work well with this type of software include:

  • Advertising/Digital Marketing
  • Media and Publishing Companies
  • Nonprofits
  • Consulting
  • Energy
  • Government Agencies
  • Professional Services
  • Restaurants and Hospitality Businesses
  • Software/Internet Companies
  • Transportation/Logistics
  • Wholesale Distribution

Businesses that don't require ownership of their software, do not require extensive customization, and have streamlined business processes do well using NetSuite as their ERP.

Comparing Business One vs. NetSuite

When choosing the best ERP system for your organization, you will want to compare all the features and consider your primary objectives. Every company is different, and what you want out of the system matters when deciding. Your existing systems and processes will also need to factor in.

Popular review sites give both programs high marks for ease of use. However, the most widely recommended solution is Business One. They have a higher customer review rating for customer service, features, and value for the money.

Each of the offerings uses sophisticated technology to integrate all facets of a business to provide a clearer picture and on-time, accurate information. Business One offers a fully customizable ERP system in the cloud or installed on local servers that you control. If you want choice and total control over your system, Business One is the way to go. NetSuite offers dozens of fully cloud-based features, so you have nothing to install, but you have less control over your systems and data.

Deployment Considerations

To achieve optimal success with an ERP system, you need to implement it at the right time while also making significant changes to your operating processes. ERP systems can disappoint if companies fail to abandon old habits and work systems. For example, suppose you implement a new ERP system and don't train everyone on it properly. In that case, an accounting worker could continue to track sales or receipts using a spreadsheet, creating a disconnect between departments. Therefore, getting everyone on board 100% is essential before switching to an ERP system.

When implementing a new ERP system, be sure to look for the solution that can offer you:

  • Security
  • A Proven, Reliable Vendor
  • Affordability
  • Access to Relevant Data
  • Streamlined Processes
  • Automation
  • Business Integration
  • Informed Decision-Making

The Bottom Line

The best ERP software for your company will depend on many factors. In the end, you must talk to experts, research each option, and decide which one fits your budget, meets your needs, and can accomplish your goals. It can be beneficial to partner with an ERP Partner like Michell Consulting Group that specializes in helping clients find the right solution for them.

SAP Business One Pricing

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