Improving Inventory Management: Sage BusinessVision vs. Sage ERP X3, An Advanced Inventory Software Solution
Current users of Sage BusinessVision have access to basic inventory management functionalities that answer the question ‘what do we have in stock?’, but it may be coming short of delivering substantial benefits to users. A more advanced inventory software solution, like the inventory module of Sage ERP X3, will take a company to the next level and answer important questions like:
What items should you stock in each location?
How many of each item?
When should an order be put in to ensure appropriate levels of items
What is the right balance of cash/inventory?
Do inventory items meet quality standards and pass quality control?
Where is each specific item?
What items have specific ingredients gone in to?
These questions go beyond Sage BusinessVision’s capability to offer visibility and control into inventory levels and items. Their answers come from Sage ERP X3’s ability to collect and process all data relevant to making important inventory decisions, offering actionable intelligence to users.
We are finding with our customers at The Answer Company that solutions like Sage ERP X3’s Inventory functionality and access to Sage Inventory Advisor are having a big impact on ROI. Sometimes the impact on ROI can be big enough to help cover the costs of upgrading a company’s solution and its service plan.
Managing Inventory With BusinessVision
Current capabilities of BV include Inventory Control, Order Entry, and Purchase Order. Even when these are augmented by a third-party add-ons* like BVEssentials, they still come short of what current inventory solutions can do for a business.
BV and its add-ons shed visibility into current levels. They also automate basic processes, like automatically reducing or increasing items in the accounts when sold or returned. From the application, you can access purchase and sale history, define product pricing and other additional information regarding products. In essence, it is an automatically updated database with information regarding products. You can even define thresholds for re-ordering inventory, so that if you believe that a certain limit is safe to work with, the system will let you know that you have reached it and it’s time to place a new order.
But what are these thresholds? How can you use your years of inventory data and sales information to design a better inventory strategy? One that frees up cash and capital for your business while ensuring that customers find the items they need when they do business with you?
Unfortunately BusinessVision and its add-ons are not powerful enough to help small and midsized businesses make better decisions with regards to inventory levels.
Managing Inventory with Sage ERP X3
The in-depth level of Sage ERP X3’s Inventory Management puts companies on a much higher level of sophistication when compared to BV. The processes within Sage ERP X3’s inventory application are in-depth and track transactions in real time, in multiple locations.
To begin with, X3’s inventory module allows for greater information regarding each inventory item, for in-depth drill-down by staff and vendors. It allows for more inventory costing methods, as BV only allows for FIFO, LIFO, and average cost, while X3 delivers those three plus another four – standard, revised standard, order, cost, and average lot cost.
X3 also provides a greater variety of inventory balances, including on-hand, allocated, reserved, items that are going through quality control, available, on-order, backordered, in-transit, and so on. The system also keeps tracks of bill of material, calculates different ingredients in inventory necessary for manufacturing ensuring that they are present, while tracking Intersite and Intrasite inventory moves to ensure all items are where they need to be. Inventory control and management is greatly improved with X3.
Each time an inventory item moves, within the company or to another company or client, the system keeps track of it. Users can determine the path inventory follows and start collecting data on inventory movements immediately. This intelligence then allows the business to create reports showing efficiencies & improvements for inventory stock levels, location management, replenishment schedules, stock movement logistics, delivery and receiving scheduling, and quality control.
The improvements delivered by a comprehensive enterprise wide solution like X3 are significant. This is because the new age of business software that has brought us X3 takes the accounting focus of BV to a new level of sophistication, mapping and tracking all business processes in depth through powerful software systems. So it is not uncommon for a company to outgrow their current software systems. If the solution you implement doesn’t allow you to realize the benefits of managing inventory levels to cut costs and improve customer satisfaction, then it will never pay for itself.
Another important aspect of upgrading to a solution like Sage ERP X3 is access to new modules and solutions that become available through the Sage Cloud platform. Modules like Sage Inventory Advisor, an inexpensive yet powerful tool that offers diagnostic, analytic, and forecasting information that is instrumental in the day-to-day management of inventory levels are a phone call away for Sage X3 users, yet not available to BV customers. This is consistent with the future trend of additional services and functionality being available on demand instead of requiring major system and technology infrastructure uphaul.
Inventory can be a pain point for many small and midsized businesses. Customer expectations dictate that items must be in stock, or they will go looking for them elsewhere, but keeping large volumes of various items in the warehouse can quickly eat away at capital and cash that bring higher returns to the company.
A good inventory management solution should not only show what you have and account for it coming in or leaving your organization. It should help you make decisions that are aligned with your core goals and growth objectives. If you’re not sure if you have the best system for your company, check with your Sage partner to see what options you have to improve control over your inventory and inventory data.
*Inventory Management third-party add-ons may include additional basic functionality like inventory look-up, printing receiving reports, transfer reports, and write-offs)