As an IT manager, you may be struggling with various challenges: How can I demonstrate the real, positive impact of IT to the lines of business in my organization and, as a consequence, how can I strengthen buy-in from my business stakeholders? How can I prioritize my activities on SAP ERP in agreement with the business? How can I identify the right innovations and the right improvement potentials for each line of business, based on their challenges, their own goals, and the specifics of my organization?

The SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder service for lines of business helps you answer these questions in a simple yet precise and fact-based way. It offers a report, which is free for all maintenance customers of SAP, that can act as a foundation for a value-based conversation with your business executives. It will assist in answering the following questions:

  • How can the head of a line of business get the visibility on how their core business processes are performing and how the business is positioned compared to industry peers and competitors?
  • What can the IT department, the line of business, and SAP jointly do to improve and innovate these processes?
  • How can the business transform the way it is working today to be better suited for the digital economy and gain a competitive advantage?

For example, a finance head may be wondering how to improve cash flow, accelerate period-end closing, and get near-real-time reporting. The report will outline whether a process does not work the way it should and, as a consequence, will show how to quickly and efficiently take the appropriate steps to correct it.

For the CFO, the finance edition of the report from SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder will provide specific answers and guidance. Tailored to the finance organization’s processes, the report will show a company’s process performance indicators —  such as number of overdue invoices or deliveries not billed — together with industry benchmarks and tailored recommendations of suitable SAP offerings. The report is also available for sales, procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, and asset management with the same level of detail specific to that line of business.

As market dynamics change and digital technologies become more mainstream, businesses must continually adapt and find new ways to create value. The line-of-business editions of the report support companies aspiring to become intelligent enterprises by enabling technology-driven innovation and revealing a path for continuous improvement.

Prioritize Decisions about Your Innovation Road Map

This line-of-business specific approach helps business managers and IT prioritize decisions about the company’s improvement and innovation road map to enhance business performance, a feature that Matthew Kirchner, director of SAP applications at Cooper Standard Automotive, finds to be of value.

“Looking at the details and recommendations by the lines of business and IT — from deploying SAP Fiori apps for plant management or plant maintenance to preparing for SAP landscape for future innovations — made it easier to prioritize our SAP initiatives and secure buy in from our key business stakeholders,” Kirchner explains in a testimonial video.


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Use It As Many Times as You Like

The line-of-business reports complement the offering, SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder for SAP ERP, introduced last year and which helps CIOs and IT leaders easily identify relevant innovations from SAP, business and IT performance improvements, and actionable next steps from SAP Digital Business Services. Companies with maintenance contracts can order the SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder reports without any additional cost. Doing so helps to ensure a system stays current with the latest technologies available as a general best practice. It also helps prepare for a more extensive transformation in the future.

As Peter Monaghan, IT availability and production manager for Breakthru Beverage Group, explains in an interview, “Our Customer Center of Expertise uses the report at least once every six months to identify further improvement and innovation opportunities. Our business is now one of the early adopters of SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder for finance. We plan to engage more closely with our finance team to build our road map to SAP S/4HANA.”


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How to Make Use of the Service

To get a tailored line-of-business report and use it to gain insight to drive the intelligent enterprise, follow these steps:

  • Ask your SAP basis administrator to request an SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder report via sap.com/pathfinder to get a summarized report over all lines of business. Or go directly to www.sap.com/pathfinder-lob and select the line of business of interest: finance, sales, procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, or asset management.
  • Receive your own tailored report within five business days.
  • Review your tailored improvement and innovation opportunities and prioritize the next steps with IT: gain visibility into process, improve and extend capabilities, or accelerate the adoption of advanced capabilities.
  • Create a value-driven road map for your line of business to perform at peak levels and execute your company’s strategy.

To learn more about the SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder service and see how to request a report for your line of business, please visit the Web site, view a sample report, or download an overview presentation today.

Wassilios Lolas is vice president and global head of Customer Value Experience at SAP.