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ERP Comparison for the Packaging and Logistics Sectors: SAP S/4HANA vs Oracle NetSuite vs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Comparison of SAP S/4HANA, Oracle NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

As your business to business (B2B) operations grow they become more complex. Extra employees, customers, products and services often lead to new processes, systems and sources of information. Speed and efficiency can suffer but using the latest technology and automation tools can help.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems allow growing businesses to organize and manage data and workflows. With the right tools you can simplify and scale activities more easily. ERP-ecommerce integration provides an end to end view of your operations.

For the packaging, distribution and logistics sectors SAP S/4HANA, Oracle NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management are amongst the leading ERPs.

To tackle modern supply chain challenges, your customers and salespeople need accurate real-time inventory information.

Cloudfy is a business to business (B2B) ecommerce solution purpose designed for complex operations. With data directly from your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system you can simplify and scale your operations in the cloud. Your seamless online portal gives your customers end to end visibility of their orders. You can collect and share accurate information in near real time. Using cXML or an application programming interface (API) you can even update your customers’ databases directly.

With Cloudfy you can also create bespoke supply chain management solutions and interface with third-party systems.

Table of Contents

Challenges facing the packaging distribution and logistics sectors

Challenges facing the packaging, distribution and logistics sectors

Around the world businesses are developing strategies to tackle supply chain disruptions, reduce their environmental impact and handle increased regulation.

Supply chain disruptions

Wars and disputes, weather, political changes and the economy are all important factors. Resilience requires diversification but this makes operational management more complex.

Packaging assembly

There’s no doubt the sector significantly contributes to carbon emissions. The search for ways to minimize packaging, storage requirements and fuel use is now a priority.

Systems integration

Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and software as a service (SaaS) solutions create both opportunities and challenges. Making everything work together seamlessly demands new skills and approaches across the sector.

Regulations

Continuous tracking and monitoring are needed to meet national and international standards and controls. Companies that fall short of these requirements face significant penalties and fines that affect operations.

B2B Ecommerce ERP System

Which ERP is best for my business?

The best solution depends on your requirements for B2B features, functionality, customizations and integrations. It will also depend on your company’s size, budget, future needs and plans for growth.

Most ERPs are modular, allowing you to select the most useful business functions. These might include accounting, HR and customer relationship management (CRM), for example. Some providers bundle modules together while others allow complete flexibility.

Solutions that use the same code and data across all modules provide a seamless view of all your operations. Non-native modules acquired by a provider might use different codebases and databases to the rest of the ERP system.

Some customers prefer the non-native ERP approach for its flexibility to integrate third-party applications in a ‘best-of-breed’ strategy. However, ERP integrations require additional effort and cost, and separate databases can hinder real-time data handling.

Here we take a look at three of the most popular ERP solutions for the packaging, distribution and logistics sectors.

SAP S4HANA ERP System

SAP S/4HANA

Originating in Germany, SAP has provided business solutions for decades. Its Enterprise Central Component (ECC) client hosted ERP is still widely used. However, it will reach the end of its supported life in 2027.

SAP S/4HANA was launched in 2015 as its flagship ERP solution. SAP’s in-memory database technology processes large amounts of data in real-time so it’s good for larger enterprises. It features advanced analytics, AI, machine learning (ML), automation and integration. Current SAP ECC customers are likely to move to S/4HANA by 2027.

Oracle NetSuite

NetSuite claims to be the market’s first cloud-based ERP solution providing a unified suite of business applications. It’s now part of the Oracle stable of business products.

NetSuite supports both in-house and customer facing functions from finance and accounting to supply chain management (SCM). It uses a unified company-wide database and provides an end-to-end view of your business.

You can customize NetSuite to create automations that streamline processes and workflows. There are tools to support third-party integrations and it offers hundreds of partner applications. It’s used by different sizes and types of businesses around the world.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

The two core Microsoft Dynamics options are Business Central suited to small to mid-sized businesses and Finance & Operations (F&O) for larger organizations. F&O is a comprehensive ERP solution with strong support for SCM. It has evolved over many years, based on multiple acquisitions. With the help of Microsoft Partners, it’s highly customizable.

MS Dynamics 365 SCM capabilities help optimize demand planning based on historical data and AI-enabled analytics. You can continuously plan replenishment and lead times to maintain stock levels and teams can collaborate in real time.

ERP comparisons

Each ERP solution takes a different delivery approach but all three options are popular with all sizes of business. S/4HANA is the natural successor to SAP ECC, NetSuite offers a single solution and Microsoft Dynamics takes a multi-product approach. Fast-growing organizations might prefer the scope for customization in NetSuite.

S/4HANA might lack some of the key features you need, leading to integrations with other SAP and partner products. For example, S/4HANA uses group reporting for financial consolidation, so you might need additional products and licences.

NetSuite provides an integrated suite of native modules for finance, procurement, warehouse management and inventory management. You can combine them or purchase them separately when you need them. This often means additional third party integrations aren’t needed. NetSuite’s no-code approach allows you to create custom fields, reports and buttons, which is more complex with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers standardized bundles of modules such as finance, sales, customer service, supply chain and project management. If you don’t require all of these tools initially you might find it an expensive option.

Japan’s Tomy is famous worldwide for children’s toys and merchandise. The company chose Cloudfy when it was time to modernize their European B2B ecommerce platform. The company wanted to reduce their total cost of ownership and find better ways to serve their customers online. Their objectives included real-time customer information, seamless digital experiences and simplified IT requirements.

Cloudfy Tomy Case Study: Revolutionizing E-commerce Solutions
Tetenal Portal Business Central ERP Systems Integration

Tetenal is a major UK-based supplier of paper, ink and printers. The company wanted to improve online ordering and simplify operations. They chose Cloudfy as a robust B2B ecommerce solution to provide an invoice portal, Microsoft Dynamics integration and direct to consumer (D2C) capabilities.

 

The B2B ecommerce site for Foodcare Systems Australia is fully integrated with Oracle NetSuite. The company specializes in products designed for the Australian food market from food handling and storage to hygiene wear. The company needed a complete B2B and D2C portal.

The new portal meets the needs of specialist B2B and D2C users. They can explore the product range, see prices and discounts and place orders, even without an account. 

foodcare website
ERP integration for packaging distribution and logistics businesses with Cloudfy

B2B ecommerce and ERP integration for packaging, distribution and logistics businesses with Cloudfy

You can unlock the power of seamless integration between your B2B ecommerce site and ERP system with Cloudfy. You’ll have a one-stop-shop solution for streamlining your business operations, improving efficiency and enhancing customer experiences.

We understand that setting up and maintaining integrations is a complex task. That’s why our expert team handles it all for you. You can focus on growing your business while we take care of the technicalities.

Importing and exporting data between your cloud-based or on-premises ERP solution and B2B ecommerce platform is simplified. It’s easy to maintain accurate and up-to-date product information, inventory levels, pricing, customer data, and order details. You’ll minimize manual data entry in both systems for reliable consistency and accuracy.

To find out how to simplify, save and scale your B2B operations with Cloudfy and ERP integration contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best place to start is with your business priorities. This helps you define the critical capabilities you need from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Delivery is important, so you’ll want to decide whether you need a cloud-based, on premises or hybrid solution. You might not need all the typical ERP features at once such as finance, human resources and customer relationship management. Your business might also have specialist requirements for manufacturing and supply chain management, reporting and analytics.

Worldwide there are probably three leading providers of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for packaging and logistics businesses. SAP S/4HANA is a popular choice for larger enterprises and those looking for on-premises solutions. Oracle NetSuite is good for fast-growing small, midsize and large businesses. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (F&O) provides strong supply chain management capabilities for larger companies.

ERP modules offer specific benefits so the best choice depends on your needs. Financial management is often an important core ERP function. Many other modules such as CRM and SCM feed data into the financial workflows.

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