In the Name of Quality

October 16, 2012 by Jacqueline Prause 0

Photo: iStockphoto.com

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Perfect for People, an SAP partner based in the Netherlands, recently achieved the SAP Active Quality Management (AQM) accreditation for its commitment to the continuous improvement of its project management practices through careful attention to quality assurance measures. Motivated by a desire to standardize its project methodology and increase customer satisfaction, Perfect for People worked closely with SAP throughout 2011 to achieve the accreditation.

Ferdinand Clevers, founder and CEO of Perfect for People, says, “Quality and customer satisfaction are very important for us. The SAP AQM team has compressed a lot of the global experience into tools and procedures to improve and assure quality. We took the opportunity of joining the SAP AQM program in our continuous effort to strive for further improvements.”

Sharpening attention on quality

Known for its SAP CRM expertise, Perfect for People has won numerous awards for its implementation projects, including four of SAP’s highest awards for customer satisfaction in the last six years, as well as two silver awards for quality in the last two years. To further improve project delivery excellence, in May 2011, Perfect for People began working towards the SAP Active Quality Management accreditation, which is offered by the SAP Partner Service Delivery – Partner Quality Hub.

One of the key requirements of the AQM Partner Quality program is for the partner organization to establish a robust quality framework to ensure the predictability of implementation projects. To accomplish this, Clevers says, “We standardized a lot of the documentation and the processes. We defined in which projects we will do milestone reviews, in which projects we will do quality audits, and in which time frame.”

After a series of quality reviews with a Partner Quality Advisor from the Partner Quality Hub, Perfect for People had completed all requirements of the program. On December 13, 2011, it became the first Dutch SAP Partner to receive accreditation in Active Quality Management.

One of the benefits of working with the Partner Quality Hub is that Perfect for People has linked SAP’s 10 Quality Principles to its own project management practices. Clevers says this has the effect of going through each project step with the 10 SAP Quality Principles in the background: “It means paying attention that the methodology is followed, people are aligned, change management is covered, trainings and authorizations are closely monitored.”

Maximizing the benefits to customers

One of the first projects in which Perfect for People applied the SAP Quality approach was an SAP CRM 7.0, Sybase Unwired Platform, and Sybase Mobile Sales 2.0 implementation it completed for PPG Industries’ architectural coatings EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) business in its Northern Europe region. From the outset in May 2011, the project was routinely monitored using a Project Quality Scorecard provided through the Partner Quality Hub. This two-page audit document is designed to keep critical aspects of the project in focus and mitigate project risks.

Next page: What to do when things go wrong

Through a series of workshops with PPG, Perfect for People was able to pinpoint the customer’s need and assess the scope of the project to maximize the benefits for PPG. As part of PPG’s shift to a more customer-centric business approach, it needed to replace the legacy software system it had been running to meet its CRM needs. It was already running SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) and was seeking a solution that integrated easily and allowed it to optimize its existing SAP footprint to gain a 360-degree view of its customers.

The business objective of our CRM project is reflected in the name ‘Project I-FoCus’, which stands for Integrated FOcus on our CUStomers,” says Egbert Dijkstra, IT manager demand and e-commerce. “By realizing a 360-degree view on our customers, we believe that we are able to improve our customer experience and satisfaction. SAP CRM improves our ability to win, know, keep, and grow our customers. Another advantage is that we are able to manage the IT support in-house and build on existing knowledge and experience.

During the project, Perfect for People followed SAP’s ASAP project methodology and utilized guidance from the Partner Quality Hub to ensure thoroughness. One of the challenges of the project was that the legacy system had been extensively customized and the project demanded a high degree of change management to accommodate the new SAP CRM software.

Wouter Kitsz, project manager from Perfect for People, recalls, “The other challenge was to make sure the business of PPG would accept the way SAP CRM and Sybase Mobile Sales work and the functionality works, and we needed some change management for that.”

Throughout the project, Perfect for People had monthly conference calls with a Partner Quality Advisor from the Partner Quality Hub to align the quality plan and assess the Project Quality Scorecard that was provided through the program. Clevers says that this guidance kept the details of the project in focus: “It keeps you sharp. One of the things that can happen, because time flies by, is that if you don’t really take care, two months will have passed. With the AQM Partner Quality program, there was a monthly meeting set up to review. You had to prepare; you had to see what steps were taken and what not. It sharpened procedures.”

Going live with additional support

SAP provides resources and tools to support participating partners in ensuring project success, thereby helping them build their SAP business and promote customer satisfaction. Clevers says it was very helpful to know that SAP’s Partner Quality Hub team has resources to help partners avoid project risks and provides guidance on delivering successful projects. He says, “If things go wrong, and sometimes they do, then it is very important that you are able to get a project back on track fast and then you need a backup from all sides.”

Clevers says that this is one of the aspects of the program that makes a positive impression on customers when selecting a project partner: “They feel confirmed that there is an open communication with SAP and an escalation fall-back scenario.”

As the go-live date approached, the Perfect for People team reviewed SAP’s audit document for the final-preparation phase to ensure that all critical topics had been addressed: Has a complete user acceptance test been performed? Were all users trained? Was communication done? Is the infrastructure in place? Is there a formal go/no-go decision? After determining that everything was in place, the new SAP CRM software successfully went live on December 11, 2011, as scheduled.

PPG is satisfied with the implementation of SAP CRM, including the SAP Mobile Sales application,” says Dijkstra. “Our project was delivered within the given constraints of time, budget, and quality. SAP CRM provides us with a good basis to support our customer intimacy strategy. By integrating SAP CRM with other SAP systems and by efficiently capturing the customer dialogue, we achieved a 360-degrees view of our customers.

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