While other companies have entered this niche of software, SAP materials
management software remains the gold standard for the industry. SAP has
leveraged a network of partners to expand their offerings from
financial focused enterprise software to comprehensive enterprise
The truth of SAP is simple: SAP materials management is just a small, but powerful piece of the overall enterprise resource management solutions that the company offers through its partners. SAP generally offers its products to small and medium sized companies through IT partners, dealing directly only with the largest of companies.
There are three major offerings that include the SAP materials management software. They are: SAP Business One, SAP Business By Design, and SAP Business All In One.
SAP materials management falls under the purchasing and supply chain module offering of all three software platforms. They have many features in common, with SAP Business All In One offering a slightly broader range of support than the other two.
SAP Business One:
Designed for businesses with up to 100 users, Business One is the core offering from SAP which includes SAP Materials Management and SAP Financial Management tools. SAP Business One is software that is licensed for installation and use on in-house company IT assets.
The SAP Materials Management tools in SAP Business One (BO) include: Basic Procurement, Inventory Management, Warehouse Management, Radio Frequency and Bar-coding Support, Basic Inbound and Outbound Logistics and Advanced Inbound/Outbound Logistics. These represent all the tools you need for advanced materials and inventory management.
SAP Business By Design:
SAP Business By Design is a hosted Software as a Service model for delivering SAP Business One style software to Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This allows companies to enjoy the functionality and reporting offered by SAP Business One, with some small improvements of functionality, without the capital investment in hardware.
The SAP materials management offering under SAP BBD includes all of the SAP BO offerings plus Advanced Procurement tools that handle import/export compliance for companies using non-domestic sourcing or with non-domestic customers as well as purchase optimization analysis, which can help determine more cost effective procurement methods.
SAP Business All In One
This SAP offering offers only a few additions to the SAP materials management offering, but does so in every possible sector of business. Unlike the other two major SAP offerings, SAP Business All in One (BAIO) offers transportation cost management under the SAP Purchasing and Supply Chain module, along with a full e procurement support suite under the Finance and Accounting Module.
SAP Business All In One does require in-house or outsourced IT staff to maintain on the SMEs own IT infrastructure. To do so may require capital investment in hardware as well as the software installation and configuration.
In conclusion, SAP materials management is part of a fully integrate suite that allows for a seamless integrate of the major business functions related to finance, supply chain, project management, product development, production controls, customer relations management and service after the sale.
Its cross-function integration continues to make SAP a major player in a field where many other providers such as Oracle and Microsoft are looking to make inroads. From e procurement to strategic cost management, SAP offers the tools necessary to bring procurement and supply chain management in line with organizational goals.