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The True Value of SAP Installation

Peter Girgis, CIO, Dunn-Edwards Paint
Peter Girgis, CIO, Dunn-Edwards Paint

Peter Girgis, CIO, Dunn-Edwards Paint

Most people will highlight how difficult it is to implement SAP, but ultimately there must be a recognition that the real challenge around a successful SAP install is in a post go-live environment. Once you’ve actually implemented the system, the journey really starts.

In order to be successful on this journey, there must be engaged business users who see themselves as owners of the processes and data. Business users have the best understanding of their current processes and what can be done to gain efficiencies by enhancing these business processes. These same users have a better understanding of the data and ultimately what type of reporting is required.

“There’s always a temptation to go after the latest functionality that SAP is selling, so enhance what you own before purchasing more”

As much as possible, it is important to stick with SAP standard functionality versus customizing the system to the point, it becomes too proprietary. Every business will tell you they are different, but in reality there is so much that is common, there needs to be an effort to adhere to the standard. This takes significant support from the top of the organization and empowerment given to the IT team.

Once the system is installed there needs to be a continuous effort to improve and train on the existing functionality/modules that have been installed. There’s always a temptation to go after the latest functionality that SAP is selling, but there’s already so much that has been purchased and not used effectively. Enhance what you own before purchasing more.

The true value of any SAP installation can be realized in the reporting that is generated. This valuable reporting is the most difficult milestone to achieve due to lack of requirements, bad data and complex system requirements. The best option here is to start with some simple reporting requirements and a simple dashboard. If there can be a few quick wins with the simple requirements, it’s time to take the next step and take on more.

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