A key selling point for many companies to choose SAP to manage their business processes is “Integration”. This is “Integration” through all the logistics modules, all of them being held accountable through the financial modules. An SAP module by itself most likely would not represent best in class but it’s the integration of all the modules that represent best in class.
This is a fundamental principle that the business community must embrace. Fortunately, the decision-makers have experience and appreciation of the challenges of redundant master data and keep them in sync (real-time) due to having multiple systems resulting from requiring different functionality, organizational units, etc.
Now that we are all in SAP, one would think integration would naturally happen. The good news is that it does naturally happen. What doesn’t happen naturally is the removal of silos and a stronger appreciation of information available (and required) for each other. How many times do other teams come up with solutions disguised as requirements or requirements which left out key details? With the tangible inventories in your supply chain, the data in your ERP system needs to reflect the true situation of what is going on.
Just because you have tangible inventory, doesn’t mean that it is all good or it’s in the right location or that it is reflected in the desired product mix. When it comes to the data in your ERP system, a similar analogy can be made for your user community and decision-makers desperate enough to abandon ship and leap into what they see as life rafts (Excel).
The best-run companies run SAP. Is your organization in this league of being considered one of the best-run companies? How are the business process owners (from Executives down) of these logistics processes engaging with each other? Are their business goals and priorities in alignment with each other? Are there hints of Silos (turf wars) between any of them?
Over the span of a few days, Reveal conducts a Wellness Assessment primarily based on information in your SAP system. We identify symptoms like whether your processes master data is in alignment with the business process rules. Other clues include data processing being done outside the ERP System and the creation of custom reports to aid with transacting daily activities.
For your organization to maximize their returns on opting to implement SAP, the user community needs to have confidence that they can manage their responsibilities within the system. When this is not the case, there is a need to understand why and address the source(s) of the challenge using a process align team. Remember, the organization’s objective is to enforce the business behavior of using the ERP system to manage all business activities involved in getting inventories to customers in a timely manner, in exchange for the quoted prices.
A combination of education on SAP functionality combined with configuration and master data fixes/adjustment is needed to achieve the organization’s objectives. Enforcement will never be achieved when trying to force a square peg into a round hole. When underperformance is observed at key points within the supply chain, both the business process and supporting functionality need to be evaluated to determine why there is a disconnect, which is resulting in the underperformance.
Becoming a best-run company using SAP does not have to break the bank. It involves tearing down silos within the organization, educating the organization on SAP functionality, then employing this functionality with master data which aligns with the business rules, to eventually achieve the organization’s goal to deliver on its commitments to customers. Keeping these points in mind when entering a supply chain optimization provides the conditions needed to become one of the best-run companies using SAP.
If you haven’t read the first article from this blog series covering how to allow SAP to help meet your supply chain goals, read it today!
Read the next article in this blog series that touches on why it is important to keep the planning master data separate from the execution transaction data.