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Sap ERP - Pain plus Gain
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Updated April 29, 2015

Sap ERP - Pain plus Gain

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

SAP Press Distribution

Modules Used

  • SAP ERP Financials
  • SAP ERP Operations
  • XI

Overall Satisfaction with SAP ERP

SAP Is used throughout the company, SAP Financials, Master Data , Payroll, Stock, Billing, EDI data transfers, backend to customer website & app. Industry specific functions are either in house developed or external packages that have been purchased. The issues that the ERP were there to solve were - multiple in house systems that weren't properly integrated. Lack of user standards - frequent cost overruns due to bespoke development projects.
  • The key strength is forcing standardisation - many users hate the clunky screens, the workarounds and the SAP attitude of that's how it works. However by making the frontline users do things only one way it is easy to slim down over large processes and therefore costs.
  • Centralising all operational data allows sites to be compared on all KPI's allowing a proper 6 sigma approach to be made again improving process & costs.
  • The high cost of changes to vanilla SAP mean that a proper PMO style project review and justification is essential.
  • The XI module whilst having a few annoyances allows previously disparate Ecomms offerings to be standardised and therefore save costs - design is key.
  • The main issue is the change of mindset that both IT and users have to undertake. IT will shudder at some of the ways it works - but the key thing is that it works.
  • The installation project where configuration and bespoke changes are required will be extremely painful (and costly) unless you either stick strictly to SAP vanilla or hire in good consultants full time before you sign any contract.
  • The older modules e.g. master data do not link particularly well with the newer ones so industry specific changes may require double entry.
  • Sap support is notoriously slow after the initial install period - their consultants/account managers are on a constant churn
  • Headcount reductions are significant both in IT and user departments
  • When implemented with a true PMO is provides a solid basis for all future development
  • It can negatively impact on users who previously had tailored bespoke software - this area needs to be managed sensibly
  • In a distributed company centralisation of key data allows comparisons & improvements between sites to be fast tracked
SAP covered more of the industry specifics in its core than Oracle
Salesforce was good at what it did but costly.
Once SAP was taken on board with the bulk of the company it was a "no-brainer" to buy Payroll / HR.
Bespoke systems or external packages were used for very industry specific tasks...but with a constant review as new features are added.
You can make SAP do anything - it's all about cost and risk. Operational systems are usually better being external so that if SAP is down for patching, upgrades etc, the company's work continues. SAP Payroll is normally implemented as a separate install to prevent interference so make sure any budget covers interface between SAP instances. When implemented as part of business transformational projects it delivers and once implemented continues to provide process improvement opportunities.

Using SAP ERP

250 - All of finance(GL/PL/SL/Fixed Assets) except budgeting and forecasting. All of logistics Stock, Goods in, Goods Out, Call centre (order changing raising queries etc), Customer Maintenance, Product Maintenance, Customer Billing, Back end for B2B Website & App, Processing of all ecommerce/EDI files in and out, Financial reporting input from subsidiaries. Payroll weekly and monthly, some minor HR functions.
25 - The number above is approximate and applies to Full Time Equivalents - NB the company is 24/7 364 days per year and has 4000 (approx) employees... The company is distributed and support is built as following. Each site has one SAP champion. They solve any local queries problems on site. If this fails they will raise with the company help desk. If the issue / query is known the service desk will answer/fix. If not it is passed to 2nd level support. 2nd level support is a team of super users who originally were part of the SAP implementation team. They test changes and know how to do standard fixes that require access to higher level utilities - either part of SAP or created for bespoke recurrent problems. They also feed back to standard users who are causing problems by not following process/procedures. There are 7 in the team and one is always on call outside core hours 9 - 5. If they can't fix the issue they will raise it with 3rd level support who have much more technical knowledge and may be technical users or user facing IT. There are currently 4 people of whom 1 is always on call. In addition there are 3 technical people for Basis support, 1 DBA of whom 1 is always on call, 1 on call ABAP programmer and 3 hardware/network specialists on call.
It works is the real answer however In a declining market it would be too costly to change. If you have your rationale properly thought out for buying and implementing there shouldn't be a reason not to renew. All the issues that I've mentioned before I heard about the other main competitors i.e. clunky, not properly designed for specific jobs etc. If you are about to implement a BI solution it is a godsend - to get the system to work you have to have cleaned all the data for upload to the SAP install. Learn live by the SAP way of doing things and everything becomes simpler.

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