The SAP Business One sales process is a series of marketing documents designed to move a customer through the buying process. The sales process flows through each document moving all the information along to the next document. Each step of the process involves a document from quotation to sale commitment to delivery to billing the customer. They are all covered here in what is considered the heart of SAP Business One.
Sales A/R - Sales Quotation
The SAP Business One sales process starts with the "Sales Quotation". Before a customer commits to buying your goods and services, they will often need a sales quotation to either submit to their internal departments, get competing quotations, or just to think about it.
The quotation is a great document to have completed to serve as the centerpiece for the actual salesmanship. You can expect to edit pricing, quantity, vendor any number of factors to win the sale. The sales quotation does not effect any inventory status such as "on hand" and "committed" which makes this document almost a must to start off the sales process.
If you go further in the SAP Business One sales process, inventory starts to become effected by what you are entering in the system.
Try to complete the sales quotation with as much information you can possibly gather about the sales opportunity. Since each marketing document in the sales process builds on each other, starting at the quotation with shipping addresses and completely filled out customer contacts is recommended. Be sure to take complete notes on the conversations in either linked activities or using the few places SAP gives us to write in free form, such as "opening and closing remarks".
Sales A/R - Sales Order
The important thing to remember about a sales order is that it is a commitment from a customer to purchase your goods or services. This is different from the quote because as we've gone over, the quote doesn't affect inventory status. When you add a sales order into the system - the inventory on the ticket will mark itself as "Committed". This status means that the customer has committed to buy the product and should not be sold.
We always keep all three inventory status on the sales order and quotation form so we can see the status of every line item we add to a ticket. Although this adds to the bulk of the marketing documents form, we find it's best to be able to see inventory status all the way through the sales process.
In SAP Business One the sales process flows from one document to another. If you need to make a sales order because the customer has committed to buy something form your company, simply use the Copy To or Copy From functionality. This will bring all the data including line items, customer, notes, etc, over from the sales quotation.
The SAP Business One sales order is a central document in the whole ERP software system. In further advanced uses of SAP Business One it becomes important for planning production, planning inventory, and even creating purchase orders!
Sales A/R - Delivery
You've got the sale and now you need to deliver it to the customer. You can print pick lists or use pick and pack manager to get the merchandise ready to ship.
The delivery document is an important step in the chain for accountability but totally optional. Product on the delivery ticket will be removed from inventory once this document is added. If you have a shipping and receiving department, I don't consider this optional. The delivery document gives full control of the inventory right where it should be, in the warehouse.
Adding a delivery document will close out your sales order based on the delivery. Once again the sales process flows easily when you use the "Copy to" and "Copy from" functionality which is a core SAP staple. It will also clear the committed status of the inventory (because it's gone) and reduce stock quantity. Financial transactions on the general ledger also occur with the delivery document, so it must be cancelled to be rolled back and may not change after being added.
Sales A/R - A/R Invoice
The A/R invoice is the final step of the SAP Business One sales process. It is the only mandatory marketing document of the sales process. You may create an A/R invoice without creating any of the other documents in the process. Like the delivery document before it, since inventory and financial transactions happen here it must be rolled back with a cancellation document and cannot be changed once added.
This is the place where you collect the money owed to you for providing goods or services. It will create an invoice which can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to the customer for payment. The fun stuff!
If the delivery document has been skipped, inventory transactions will occur when adding a A/R invoice. It is also recommended to report on sales commission on this step. It also serves as the place to record revenue and tax for your financial reports.
The SAP Business One Sales Process
The SAP Business One sales process is a simple 4 step process that involves one marketing document for each step. Your business will have to decide how to best utilize these 4 steps.
Keep in mind that the sales quote, sales order and delivery document can be skipped if your business sales process does not need them. The SAP Business One sales process is highly customizable and can accommodate most workflows. We have found in our experience that it is important to include as much of the process as possible for maximum accountability and visibility into your business.