SAP Business One for Subsidiaries

Univerus ERP – Blue Ocean Systems

ECC Subsidiaries –  Why do they use SAP Business One?


Hear from our customer HASBRO

2 Tier Approach – Hear how our customer Ace Hardware manages their subsidiaries and HQ with SAP Business One


What were their challenges?

  • To quickly and cost effectively support the smaller international subsidiary with a business management solution that was in alignment with corporate headquarters.
  • To implement a new business management system when the company is in formation – the key management resources are being hired; selection of 3rd party warehouse providers has not yet been finalized; discussions with outsourced accounting is still in progress.
  • To communicate with the international subsidiary in a common business language so that business transaction flows are smoother and data rollup to corporate headquarters is improved.
  • To establish standards and best practices across all business units.
  • To get buy-in from locals to use the new system; many liked their old legacy systems!
  • To create a solid strategy for implementing a new system that includes both business planning and planning for cultural differences.
  • To identify internal IT resources in the headquarters or subsidiary that can take on a new role with SAP Business One.
  • To cleanup data for the load into the new business management system.
  • To pass auditor requirements with SAP Business One when many external auditors are familiar with R/3 ECC but have not heard of SAP Business One and its add-ons.
  • To not build the ultimate business management system that will be too big for the small subsidiary to use and live with.
  • To provide a method to expand their business model – so that newly acquired locations can be “joined” quickly to their methods of doing business.
  • To get all subsidiary locations on a single platform and lower overall IT management costs for the corporation.
  • To account for each country’s different tax structure (local and government requirement ).
  • To manage the expectations of the schedules per site.

Why did they select SAP Business One to help them?


  • It is part of the SAP family of software products for business management systems.
  • It was quicker to implement and costs less.
    • Users like the look of SAP Business One so the adoption process is easier.
    • It did not require as many IT internal resources to implement.
    • The customization of UDF (user defined fields) enabled unique needs easily yet upgradeable with future SAP releases (sophisticated SDK platform in SAP Business One was valued to provide common solution that international sites can customize without fear of not able to upgrade without high consulting service fees).
    • Most times, ECC for smaller subsidiaries is unnecessary and too complex to implement internationally.
    • Overall cost of ownership is much lower than trying to do it in a single instance option – especially

    when looking at country localization requirements.

    • Lended itself well to standardizing their operations.
    • SAP Business One was already being used for their affiliates (Corporate runs ECC).
    • Reporting from SAP Business One is strong; to use a consolidation report viewer to view each country’s/ regions progress.

    What were the benefits?

    • International subsidiaries were able to quickly get onto a fully integrated business management system with the sophistication of headquarter linked systems.
    • Corporate was able to quickly and cost effectively get international subsidiaries onto a common platform that can be managed centrally..
    • The common business system provided a common business language for the international groups to then discuss how business is going and to align on new collaboration and procedures to further business, worldwide.
    • R/3 for the smaller subsidiaries is unnecessary and too complex to implement internationally.
    • Flexible system architecture to allow for a global blueprint with adjustments for localization requirements.
    • Expansion options to allow the system to be tailored to the specific business model needs of each location.


    Did they develop skills for their smaller countries or did they outsource those support resources?

    • Large enterprises with existing R/3 ECC resources were busy on existing projects and did not develop internal skills as the initial projects of B1 were being undertaken at the international subsidiary.
    • The support for SAP Business One was initially outsourced. Most large enterprises next moved at the regional level to gain skills in SAP Business One and few are at the global level developing resources to support SAP Business One because the implementation of the software is at international locations.
    • Most organizations develop an internal resource capability at a very high level only – and then ask the implementation partner to support each location in each country with localization experts and local language resources.

     Did they use the integration toolkit back to ECC?

    • Most sites initially used unsophisticated file exchange methods to keep the time and costs to a minimum.
    • Large enterprises that have committed to SAP Business One rather than as an interim strategy do look to B1iSN as the integration platform between SAP Business One and ECC especially as the toolset is becoming more advanced by SAP.
    • Initial customers used EDI or flat file XML messaging – all interfaces required a middleware (either using a legacy system from the large customer, an add-on option, or when available B1i).
    • Few large customers were able to utilize the B1i scenarios as is due to unique message and process requirements of their ECC system configuration – all appear to need modifications to the scenarios – but they do work once adjusted to the ECC unique needs.

    Was it easy to work with?  Costly?

    • SAP Business One is easy to learn to use.
    • SAP Business One is not costly to implement.
    • SAP Business One is easy to learn to implement after learning closely from external consultants on the technical setup tips and tricks of the software. Advanced challenges with SAP Business One remains with external consulting to get the know-how by consultants who have seen many different uses of the software and can advise to the large enterprise rather than learning by doing by internal resources.
    • Customer training time is greatly reduced due to standard process flows and well documented blueprint configurations. Implementation costs are highly cost effective in comparison to traditional ERP implementations – consultant teams are small – internal resource time commitments are limited as much as possible.


Key Learnings from Large ECC R3 Customer