Tim Woods Series #4: How Long Are You Waiting for Customer, Vendor or Material Data in SAP?
By Clinton Jones on April 19, 2017
In the 4th post in our TIM WOODS series, learn why you shouldn’t be wasting precious time waiting for parts, information, instructions or equipment.
Anyone who is a veteran user of LSMW will be quick to jump on a number of aspects of Tim Woods that resonate – in this, and the preceding blog on this topic I deconstruct one aspect of the acronym and explain how Winshuttle helps eliminate that aspect in data management inefficiency when working with LSMW.
W – Why wait?
Wasting time waiting, kills. It kills productivity. We’re so accustomed to business in real-time, that we don’t have the capacity to sit around waiting for decisions to be made, or waiting for our work to process. SAP’s own strategy with technology is to try and reduce the number of bottlenecks that hold up business velocity. If you’ve been working with SAP for a while, then you’re familiar with long running jobs, processes that need to be nudged periodically and the mind numbing waiting for a job to complete.
LSMW is fast, but it’s a bit of a funnel. You stage the project, supply the data file and execute. Batching is the most obvious way to collate your data for the run, but would you use LSMW for just a few records? The amount of effort required to get data into the format you need and then submit a request for IT to execute the data file is often very time consuming, and involves a lot of waiting. This is especially true if you have a lot of data to load – and that data is flawed. You could be going through many stops and starts as you supply data, waiting for it to be processed, checking the log, and submitting it again.
More importantly, do you have time to wait for IT to to do your runs for you? Do you have to wait for a window of time before your data create or data change job can be run?
On demand data creation and change
Winshuttle’s approach to you get data into SAP is quite different than LSMW. With Winshuttle Studio, IT doesn’t need to be involved. The methods for data upload or change can be pre-scripted by IT for self-service, or if you have the right permissions and license type, you can create your own scripts and templates – on demand!
All you need is Microsoft Excel or Access, and access to the transaction code and requisite licenses and permissions in Winshuttle and SAP. Scripts can be created as quickly, and mapping to a data source is almost instantaneous. There are no transports, no custom programming, and no need to engage with complex system requirements or specifications.
When Winshuttle scripts and templates are used with User Governance, templates and integration scripts are available for use centrally on a Winshuttle application that is installed on SharePoint. When data needs to be contributed by several users, a web form may be best for data collection and together with approval routing can provide quality data at top speed. Winshuttle allows you to record a script and deploy it as a web service for consumption within a form in a matter of minutes. Data can be staged for update in real-time to SAP via Excel or web form, on a schedule or via a background process – whatever works best for the business.
Learn how you can use Winshuttle Studio as an alternative to LSMW by downloading the Winshuttle white paper An Easy Alternative to LSMW.
Check out other posts in this series:
About the author
Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.
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