Picking up the Pace

October 29, 2003 by admin

The ripple effect of bottlenecks and supply chain inefficiencies can have far-reaching consequences – leading to delayed product launches, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately shaky profit margins. Add to this equation – increasingly diverse and changeable customer needs – and it soon becomes clear that small to midsize companies operating in this space carry a hefty responsibility. When it comes to software implementation, it’s easy to understand why SMBs are looking for a product that offers minimum business disruption at maximum benefit. SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components, a combination of technical and industry know-how from SAP and its partners is packaged in pre-configured business scenarios that serve the specific needs of mid-market machinery and equipment companies. Keeping abreast of constantly developing business processes, SAP Best Practices help SMBs to integrate and manage their customers, supply chains, product life cycles, and service processes more quickly and efficiently – trimming down costs and reducing time-to-market.

New wave

In line with the new wave of SAP Best Practices, SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C boasts new, flexible add-on technology – enabling users to pick and choose which scenarios they want to use and implement them individually. The now familiar ‘Building Block’ technology enables SAP partners to combine pre-configured pieces of functionality or ‘Building Blocks’ to create new mySAP All-in-One solutions for their SMB customers in the machinery industry. Customers can also use Building Blocks to modify their existing scenarios or solutions. Building Blocks can be easily combined with Building Blocks from other scenarios as well as other SAP Best Practices versions (providing they are of the same release). Other new features, which are common to all new SAP Best Practices versions, aim to simplify implementation further. The organizational structure is more streamlined and generic, and localization occurs in each individual country version as opposed to storing a variety of country settings in one single version – for example, the latest U.S. version, available since August 2003, only contains business content relevant to the U.S. Master data has been localized and content has been adapted to reflect regional differences such as the U.S. tax system or units of measure.

Wider reach

SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C contains a number of new business scenarios and some extended ones, which are designed to meet the most common requirements of the machinery and component industry. Several new SAP R/3 scenarios are offered in the established enterprise resource planning (ERP) area, an additional customer relationship management (CRM) scenario helps with set-up of a more customer-focused e-business solution, and for the first time, pre-configured business content is provided in the area of supplier relationship management (SRM) and business information warehouse (BW).

Showing you the ropes

The new ERP ‘Make-to-Order (MTO) – Sales Order Processing’ scenario demonstrates sales order processing at a robot manufacturer using prefabricated components and components produced on an order basis. Covering business processes for materials planning, down payment processing, price comparison, delivery processing, and invoicing, the scenario clearly illustrates how detailed orders can be created using pre-configured components and prices. A welcome extension to the range of ERP scenarios comes with a new addition to the ‘Service Processing’ scenario. This scenario now includes pre-configuration for processing of repair orders that are carried out at the manufacturer´s plant. Other enhanced scenarios include MTO quotation processing, which now incorporates a credit limit check, and ‘Make-to-Stock – Production Unrelated To Specific Customer Order’, which has been adapted to cover external processing and subcontracting.

Engineer to order

SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C presents two new ERP scenarios for the ‘engineer-to-order’ (ETO) environment. The first scenario covers the quotation process, starting with the generation of a quotation project and the use of SAP Easy Cost Planning to get a rough calculation of the customer requests. All activities in the presales phase and the time taken by employees to realize these activities are recorded in the SAP Cross Application Time Sheet – making it possible to analyze the whole project by recalculation. Any further quotations issued to the customer are handled individually as versions of the original. This makes it possible to obtain an overview of all quotations relating to a specific customer request and means that the final quotation can be used as a template for the sales order in the second ETO sales order processing scenario. This scenario depicts sales order processing for a specific machine or asset type in an ETO situation. All key business processes associated with the processing of an order are showcased – order-specific bill of material (BOM), SAP Project System, advance procurement of long-lead items, project-specific BOM, project-oriented production, final assembly with network functionality, delivery from project stock, and milestone billing.

Grand designs on customer service

To keep up with increasingly demanding and changeable design and engineering specifications, industrial machinery and component manufacturers need a flexible approach to project and change management. The new ERP ‘Product Lifecycle Management – Product Design and Engineering’ scenario lays bare the key functions for design and configuration of a product for resale at branch offices. This includes project management, document management, product data management with change management, product cost controlling, and parts interchangeability. These functions ensure high quality and fast delivery of products and ultimately lead to greater customer satisfaction. Customer orientation is also central to the new CRM scenario, ‘Interaction Center – Customer Service’. The scenario provides a step-by-step view of the typical activities performed by a call center agent interacting with a customer on the telephone. With constant access to real-time customer information, call center agents are able to update customer data during a call. Agents can also check service agreements, send information to the customer, and create service requests. Integration of these kinds of service capabilities can provide a decisive competitive advantage for machinery and component manufacturers in the SMB marketplace.

SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C has also taken on additional scenarios in the areas of supplier relationship management (SRM) and business information warehouse (BW). The SRM scenario contains pre-configuration to enable a swift and trouble-free set-up of Internet-based procurement processes for requisitioning and purchasing of non-production materials. From submitting bid invitations to potential suppliers and selecting vendors to creating shopping carts, good receipts, and invoices, the ‘Indirect Procurement’ scenario integrates and automates the entire supply chain. A number of new BW scenarios cover analysis of business areas such as accounts receivable and payable, purchasing, production, manufacturing orders, and sales. The pre-configured business content facilitates flexible reporting and transparent data analysis. And additional pre-configuration in the form of so-called InfoCubes, queries, key figures, and characteristics make the whole BW implementation run like clockwork.

Order details

Partners and customers can order the standard version of SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C from the Software Catalog on the SAP Service Marketplace. For documentation only, orders can be placed in the SAP Knowledge Catalog. Currently an Italian documentation CD is also available.
Localized country versions are available on demand from the SAP Best Practices contact persons in each subsidiary. The contact for the U.S. version of SAP Best Practices for Industrial Machinery & Components – V3.46C is Jacqueline Charles.
All SAP Best Practices versions are free of charge to SAP partners and customers.

Further information:

www.service.sap.com/bestpractices (login required)

Lindsay Johnson

Lindsay Johnson

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