Bringing Quality to a Fast-Paced Market

April 26, 2012 by Chi Wang

SAP partner Neusoft ensures quality implementations in a rapidly developing market. (Photo: istockphoto)

As SAP extends its reach into the Chinese market, competition is heating up for partner firms doing business in the region. Beijing Neusoft Huiju Information Technology Co., Ltd, already an established player and SAP partner, has become one of the leading domestic companies providing specialized ERP consulting services to Chinese enterprises across multiple industries. Founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of the Neusoft Group, China’s largest IT solutions and services provider, Neusoft Huiju is headquartered in Beijing and now has more than 350 employees.

Yang Wang, senior project manager at Neusoft Huiju, provides insight into the market when he says, “Now SAP business is moving very fast in China and competition is intense. You can see a lot of new partners in the market every year.”

Wang also notes the unique demands of doing business in China, adding, “On the other hand, Chinese customers request more. They ask for better solutions to fit their business with lower costs and shorter implementation cycles.”

Why Focus on Quality

Given the current rapid development in the market, Neusoft Huiju knows that it is important to enhance quality processes both in the bid cycle and the delivery cycle to improve customer satisfaction and expand its business. That’s why the firm joined the SAP Active Quality Management (AQM) partner program, offered by the SAP Partner Service Delivery – Partner Quality Hub. By working closely with SAP through the program, Neusoft Huiju successfully achieved SAP’s AQM partner accreditation earlier this year as recognition for its ongoing commitment to quality management.

The SAP AQM program fits well with the business ambitions of Neusoft Huiju, as one of the requirements of this program is for the partner organization to establish a robust quality framework by creating a detailed annual quality plan. At the beginning of this program, Neusoft Huiju set up an internal AQM project team, which was led by the technical director and staffed by a senior project manager as a full-time position to run the program actively. Within Neusoft Huiju, the AQM program had very high visibility across all lines of business and received strong support in terms of resources and authorizations. 

Why Standards Matter

Based on guidance from the AQM program, Neusoft Huiju reviewed all of its processes for the bid and delivery cycles. Specifically, the company enhanced opportunities for review processes, included a formal handover process from the pre-sales team to implementation team, and implemented a customer satisfaction survey as well as knowledge management processes.  It also standardized all project management documentation, including the project plan, issue log, communication plan, project status report, and customer satisfaction survey.

One of the biggest improvements Neusoft Huiju made was in the area of its project quality audit process, where it developed an audit sheet that is fully aligned with SAP’s ASAP methodology and includes checkpoints for each project phase. “By using this quality audit sheet, it is easy for the project manager to evaluate and monitor the project quality status. With the result of this evaluation, we can have a clear picture of the project status – which is in a good status and which is not. Especially for the unsatisfied points, we can have follow-up activities, such as what is the mitigation plan and who will be the owner for the improvement, also when is the deadline,” says Wang. “From the process point of view, it is very helpful for us to standardize our quality review activities by using this document as the quality baseline.”

As another tangible benefit from the AQM program, the knowledge management process has been improved significantly. “I can give you an example of this,” says Wang. “Before, we needed six resources for an archiving project, since the project required covering five modules (FI, CO, PP, MM, SD) with five consultants and one project manager. And normally the project took two to three months to complete.”

After Neusoft Huiju had completed several similar archiving projects, its consultants participated in the AQM program’s “lessons-learned” session, and summarized the technical solutions and approaches of the archiving projects. Additionally, they standardized all the necessary project documents, which can now be shared internally with other consultants as a training material.

“Now, we only need two resources to complete the archiving projects. One is for FI/CO and project management; another can cover all other logistic modules,” says Wang. “Compared with the previous approach, after the knowledge was structured and transferred, we saved around 60 percent of the budget for archiving projects.”

Run Better with AQM

The SAP AQM Partner program motivated Neusoft Huiju to improve quality management in the delivery cycle and ensure that implementations run more smoothly. The AQM program created a positive impact on Neusoft Huiju’s long-term development towards improving customer satisfaction. Having  accomplished the first-year accreditation successfully, Neusoft Huiju is off to a good start for continuous improvement of quality management.

“As we know AQM is good for our quality management, customer satisfaction, and our market reputation, we believe it will prove its value for our project management and other aspects,” says Guihua Zhang, technical director of Neusoft Huiju. “And I believe we will cooperate with the SAP Partner Quality Hub much more closely in the future, and eventually reach the ‘pinnacle’!”

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