The first tip in our Optimize SAP blog series focuses entirely on automating manual processes. To automate manual processes may seem like a simple task on the surface but I haven’t encountered a company yet who hasn’t allowed some of these manual processes to persist, often because they simply haven’t had the time or expertise to automate them in a cost-effective manner. The trick to delivering rapid time to value on this task is to identify manual processes that can deliver strong productivity gains through automation. Here are just a few of the manual processes that can be automated to deliver huge value back to the business:
Automate Manual Accounting Processes
Most companies are aware of how Accounts Payable activities can be automated, but if you have been on SAP a long time and began years ago mailing invoices, the only automation performed may have been moving to emailed invoices. Taking the complete step to configure for ACH and Wire payments and e-mail to Vendors at payment run can fully leverage the system capabilities and automate manual processes.
Automate Manual Warehouse Processes
Many warehouses run using manual processes. We often find processes creating transfer orders for put-away, production staging, and picking for deliveries conducted in an ad-hoc manual basis. As a result, there is a loss of productivity for the main warehouse managers and personnel whose time would be better spent reviewing high-level analysis of warehouse activities and resolving exceptions.
Automate Quality Management Processes
SAP Quality Management for incoming and production materials inspections is often implemented as a pass or fail decision. Quantitative results are entered into offline systems and the creation of the COA is also done offline, often in a Word document. Significant benefits of SAP’s strong QM functionality are being left on the table when this information is spread across disparate systems.
These are just a few of the manual processes that can be automated to deliver rapid time to value back to the business. A thorough process assessment, by an experienced SAP partner, will identify other processes across the business that can be automated relatively easily with SAP.
In my next Optimize SAP blog, I will be focusing on how to transition tribal knowledge into formal processes and systems. Stay tuned for more valuable tips!
I presented a customer case study with Morgan Foods at the SAP SAPPHIRE conference in Orlando on May 15-18 that focused on the 7 initiatives to Optimize SAP and the benefits realized in each step on the road map. Click here to view my presentation.
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