Post By Charlie Heywood on October 20, 2015

How SAP Business One can help engineering services drive growth

SAP B1 and engineering services: The perfect combination?

A growing number of SMEs that provide engineering services are using ERP systems, rather than off-the-shelf project management tools or stand-alone spreadsheets, to drive their business forward. Increasingly, the ERP software they choose is SAP Business One.

Through our work as a SAP partner, we have first-hand experience of the advantages that engineering services companies can enjoy by implementing Business One. The story of our customer JBC Industrial Services is a good example – read the case study here.

Crucially with a system like SAP Business One, however, the best results are achieved when the platform’s powerful core can be aligned with specific functionality that precisely reflects your business processes. As the JBC story proves, the use of an add-on extension like Job Costing for SAP B1 can transform SAP B1 from a functional system to a purpose-built solution that immediately drives growth.

Real-time information sharing

Engineering services, like any project-based industry, is a sector where time means everything. Any timescale lapses or unexpected delays can play havoc with the delivery of the finished work and will ultimately damage that project’s productivity.

Added to that is the need to share information from multiple data sources – all of which will have a direct bearing on these time sensitivities. The biggest failing of project management tools, accounting packages and custom-made spreadsheets is their inability to bring this data together.

An ERP system such as SAP Business One offers an SME-focused solution by automatically aggregating and sharing data from multiple sources across the organisation. This enhanced visibility is often what engineering services need to deliver projects on time and in budget.

Better and more accurate job costing

A knock-on benefit of the increased visibility provided by a real-time reporting platform like SAP B1 is more accurate job costing. Often overlooked by engineering services companies that rely on accounting data in spreadsheets or the intuition of the boss to price up work, job costing is a vital process that will determine a company’s long-term viability in this sector.

To unlock the full potential of job costing with ERP, companies need more than even the standard functionality of a leading platform like SAP Business One. That is what our job costing solution, powered by SAP B1, was designed for.

Job costing with SAP B1 enables businesses to prepare quotes for customers and manage resources, time, staff, materials issuing and purchasing on a job-by-job basis using a system that is built specifically for that function, but tightly embedded with the core user interface.

Using an add-on like this can greatly expand the functionality and the potential of the SAP B1 platform. But it also means that companies have to be selective about their implementation partner – to succeed, they need a partner who genuinely understands their industry, their processes and their growth plans. If they don’t, they’re likely to find a partner who can implement the system competently without really aligning it with their business.

Find out more about SAP Business One job costing here. Our ERP implementation guide, available to download for free here, takes engineering services companies through the process of deploying an ERP system for job costing and other business functions for the first time.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.