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WholesaleWholesale distribution companies face a unique set of challenges. On a day-to-day basis they have to determine how to effectively manage their inventory planning, a complex network of suppliers, and high customer expectations. Distributors need to keep operational costs low without affecting their customer service, and at the same time balance the appropriate amount of inventory, ensuring they don’t incur unnecessary carrying costs. With such intense competition in the market, distributors need to stand out among the rest and deliver exceptional customer service.

Distribution companies require accurate plans and processes to ensure orders are fulfilled, stockouts are eliminated, and activities such as purchasing, shipping and reporting are efficient. The Plan to Shipment process in SAP Business One allows wholesale distributors the ability to unify all steps of their business operations. SAP Business One provides users visibility into all aspects of the business, and helps businesses effectively manage customer service, vendor relationships, inventory and warehouse operations with one, integrated solution. A detailed, plan to shipment process within SAP Business can help distribution companies become more efficient, and ultimately help them differentiate themselves from the competition.

Plan to Shipment Process Description With SAP Business One

1. Inventory Plan – Demand Planning

The demand planner generates the procurement plan and reviews the resulting forecast by product, product group, and by supplier. The demand planner submits a 12-month plan by item, and the system then spreads the monthly plan into weekly buckets.

2. Process Purchasing Buyer 

The purchasing buyer reviews detailed requirements for finished goods purchase recommendations of planned purchase orders. Based on factors such as supplier price and cost for new materials, the buyer selects recommended buys and issues the PO, which is electronically sent to the supplier.

3. Inventory Put Away – Warehouse

The warehouse runs allocations to fill the distribution center with received PO’s. The system then recommends the individual location, and the warehouse employee moves the goods from the staging area to the picking location.

4. Inside Sales – Order Taking

The Inside Sales team takes a multi-line item order from the customer and  can enter it completely. The system checks availability, while Inside Sales negotiates price, freight cost and anticipated ship date. The order queues in batch for the next wave pick in the warehouse.

5. Pick, Ship, Invoice – Warehouse

Once the batch process drops the customer orders for picking, the system automatically issues an electronic pick ticket. Warehouse staff picks and packs the customer order and logs the shipment producing a label. Once this occurs, it ships the product in the ERP system, and the shipment confirmation generates a customer invoice.

6. Receivables – Accounting

The controller reviews the invoice margin, and also reviews the order P&L, sales person P&L, and product P&L.


Register Now for Plan to Shipment Webinar 


Would you like to learn more about the Plan to Shipment process? Join us to hear client success stories and learn how they made their businesses more efficient through streamlined, integrated processes. Vision33 and Ultra Consultants are offering informative webinars on how SAP Business One – the SAP solution designed specifically for small to midsize growing companies – meets the needs of distribution companies.

Hosted by leading ERP experts at Ultra Consultants and Vision33, the webinar takes place on Thursday, February 9th, 2017, 1:00pm CST and requires no registration fee.

To learn more about Ultra Consultants, please visit their website,


Reserve your spot while there’s still time.