The fifth tip in our Optimize SAP blog series focuses on implementing solutions that replace current methods versus tweaking or making small improvements. By taking a current manual process and simply doing the same work with an expensive tool, it is like paving a cow path instead of eliminating the need to wind down the country road altogether. This blog continues our discussion regarding the importance of automating processes. The more processes your organization can streamline and automate, the more efficient it will run.
Implement Invoice Blocking Functionality
Putting a band aid over your current processes, like putting in excel a checklist that was on paper, may seem like an improvement, but does not address the root issue of having processes outside the system and unautomated.
During our Assessments, a flag that there is a root problem is when we hear that there are numerous blocked invoices and they are handled completely manually and outside of the SAP system via emails and Sharepoint.
We implement SAP’s standard invoice blocking functionality to enable system driven resolution. Review currently configured invoice tolerance keys; allow invoices that fall outside these prescribed tolerances to post in SAP; and use standard SAP transactions and/or a custom report to release the invoice for payment. Pulling the blocked invoice process into SAP allows for system driven block resolution. It also allows you to capture blocked invoice information for reporting back to suppliers.
Implement Production Reporting Functionality
Another example of paving a cow path is when we find companies performing functions without clear metrics on how they are performing. Standard production reporting functionality can be leveraged to provide vital (daily, weekly, etc.) operations information to evaluate and support production operations. Summaries of the number of production orders confirmed, quantity of units produced, quantity of units scrapped, etc., allow evaluation of conformance to schedule and efficiency of operation. This standard reporting functionality exists to provide this information, both within the production planning and materials management modules.
Check out my next Optimize SAP blog, “Master Your Data!” for an explanation of data governance and how a solid master data plan can positively affect your organization. Stay tuned for more valuable tips!
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