Revamp Your SAP Environment to Be Lean & Sustainable
By David Coerchon on March 3, 2014
When we speak with customers or prospects, they often speak fondly of the efficiency of their corporate operations. They have implemented lean management improvements methods for their SAP environments. Their improvements can be measured in terms of costs, time, information improvement, stock reduction and even working capital turns. However, there is a lot left to desire.
After discussing what’s working for them, the discussion naturally diverts on their wish list for their ERP system. We often hear frustrations on the lack of flexibility, scalability and lack of ease of use, especially for administrative tasks and for data entry. The decision on which ERP system to purchase is usually made by business managers, but the lower-level employees, whom are ultimately effected, are the daily users who enter data and the IT department who has to maintain the data.
It’s no secret that businesses depend on accurate data to be able to make decisions. The ultimate difficulty lies in entering the data in a manner that doesn’t slow down processes or add to higher costs. In addition, there is a need to customize the data entry process to each company’s processes and to organize it amongst different contributors across the company. Although goals differ, all companies want the same thing; to revolutionize the data entry processes with the same methods that apply to industrial and logistical processes. The idea is to provide the same boost to the ERP system, as provided to primary activities in the Porter Value Chain, to obtain a lean ERP department.
At Winshuttle, our goal is to revolutionize the ERP system: make it lighter, quicker, less expensive and more reactive. You might have seen our slogan: empowering people and making heroes. So, how do we do make heroes of our clients? We start by helping end-users take ownership of their data management and relieve IT departments of the data management burden. Our approach is flexible and based on improving selected processes, as well as keeping an eye out for future processes we could alter. One can measure the potential results through transaction efficiency, data quality, and operational benefits.
To improve surround transaction efficiency goals, we use our transactions analysis capabilities, powered by our Business Value Assessment (BVA) process. The idea of the BVA process is to extract SAP transaction and user activity – then compare transactions against existing process efficiencies maintained in our patent pending value assessment database. This enables us to identify which transactions, processes and users could be optimized with the use of our solutions.
After data has been collected and the analysis process is completed, we prioritize the transactions used into 4 groups – most advantageous to optimize based on complexity and time savings to least advantageous. The priorities are based on transaction complexity, level of activity and expected capacity gain.
Here are a few of the results our customers receive with our products:
- Reduce bottleneck in data management operations, for single data entry, mass data entry or data quality analysis. Users will be able to load data themselves into the ERP, and to prepare and share information with Excel. Employees spend less time on the data entry, and more time on important projects.
- Reduce workload for IT, with less pressure on results and SLA, thus improved customer service levels. Without the responsibility of developing ad hoc business process improvement requests, teams will focus more on strategic systems infrastructure rollouts. Lean means reducing costs and increasing flexibility.
- Identifying process bottlenecks – Streamlining data management operations in alignment with management expectations. If data entry slows down operational changes, it will introduce bottlenecks in operations. Identifying these bottlenecks will help enhance overall business operations.
- Improved speed and better service levels of all operations and processes, will impact key indicators beyond the P&L, such as working capital requirements, and therefore providing more flexibility and better resilience.
Once the benefits are identified, all you need to do is to select the key improvements to implement. Other improvements can either come from the BVA analysis or from a classical business analysis, with the use of other KPI’s, like exceeding transportation costs, business issues or SCOR metrics.
One thing is certain, governance and quality have costs associated, but they are very low when compared with the consequences of low-quality and slow processes. Winshuttle is here to help you gain better governance along with enhanced data quality in a lean and sustainable environment.
About the author
David is pre-sales consultant at Winshuttle France since 2013. He is a specialist in Business Intelligence. As he graduated in business and controlling, his main concern is how companies can improve their processes and measure their return. This marathon runner also knows when it is worth tracking more, and when it is necessary to think in order to make leaps.
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