Materials, Products, SKUs, Oh My!

By Jennifer Hwang on May 4, 2020

By Jennifer Hwang and Jayasri Varyani on May 4, 2020

Many of us probably don’t say this often enough, but we are grateful for the ability to continue doing our jobs in the safety of our homes. Yes, there are new stressors to manage that come from having different routines, a new work from home space, and lack of in-person collaboration. You may have kids, pets, and other important people wanting your attention during the day and they don’t quite understand that you are indeed working and have meetings, projects, and deadlines.

With the new normal for so many of us being working at home, how many of us have recently experienced:

  • A new love of daily sweatpants
  • Having a pet / child / spouse accidentally walk into a video conference
  • Missing water cooler chats about binge-worthy TV shows (I’m talking about you, Tiger King!)
  • A sudden appreciation of funny pandemic memes

As employees have had to make changes to their day-to-day, so have many corporations. Some of our customers have seen an increased demand for their products and are re-organizing people, processes and data to make it all happen. Others are having to change operations to temporarily shutter some plants and consolidate the work to select locations due to safety or economic reasons. Some have repurposed their factories to manufacture essential supplies for relief operations or focus on key high-demand goods. Many customers are having to react to shifts in their supply chains.

Regardless of their individual situation, every single one of them has been tasked to do more with less and adapt to a new mode of operations in very little time. This means the “work” and the activity has not slowed down. Projects were shuttered, but new ones took their place. More and more data related changes are needed in the backend SAP systems to deliver to new priorities. This is where Winshuttle can help.

As long as you have VPN access to your corporate SAP system(s) and access to Winshuttle Studio, there is nothing stopping you from continuing to “Winshuttle” as part of your new work-at-home day. If you are one of the companies having to shift operations to new plant locations, that requires extending material data to an additional plant or plants as well as updating material statuses. You likely also need to extend BOMs and routings to those plants.

Studio can help accelerate the creation and update of your product related data in an easy and efficient way. By utilizing the simple 3 step process of the Transaction module to record, map, and run, you can quickly and cleanly create and change data in SAP.

For extension and update scenarios you can use the Query module to pull existing data out of SAP before making changes or extensions. You can filter your extraction results based on the material type, plant, status, MRP controller, etc. Using Excel as the user interface, you can use the full functionality of Excel to manipulate your data. Feel free to use formulas, data formatting, and even incorporate macros to help you get your data to where it needs to be.

If you need to get approvals for the creations or changes before loading them into SAP, you can use Winshuttle Evolve to build a no-code/low-code web form and workflow or an Excel-based workflow. These workflow solutions integrate directly with SAP and can load data automatically through the workflow or with the click of a button.

Watch this mass maintenance with Excel webinar to learn more about Winshuttle and to see a demonstration of mass data creation and change with Winshuttle Studio. Remember that Winshuttle provides supported templates for many key transactions to help you get started.

We also want to remind you about key features in Studio that can make working from home with a large data set a little bit easier. We all know internet speeds can put a damper on the best of us, with households fighting for precious bandwidth across multiple PCs, gaming consoles, and TVs. Here are some key things to remember:

  • Schedule the data to load overnight (must be connected to VPN)
  • Use a wired internet connection
  • Close unnecessary applications
  • For very large data sets, set your Studio Data Settings Options to “save the data file after [n] number of records” to avoid Excel memory issues

Happy Winshuttling from home!

About the author

Jennifer Hwang

Jennifer Hwang is a software consultant and business process analyst with 20+ years of experience implementing and optimizing various technical solutions. As a Solutions Engineer for Winshuttle, with 13 years of Winshuttle consulting expertise, she ensures customer success by being their trusted technical advisor.

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