The architecture of SAP solutions
SAP SCM Solutions
Solutions Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a relatively new position in the range of my competence. SCM requires a broader view of logistics, not only in the enterprise, but also in the external environment. In an increasingly globalized economy, where previous problems with transport and customs curbed the global exchange of goods, today are not as critical. Through the external environment companies I understand not only suppliers and customers but also logistic partners , distribution centers, suppliers of services (banking, transport, telecommunications etc.), and also competitors. A broader look at issues of logistics, so called , helicopter picture comes with time. After years of working as a consultant in various areas of logistics I came to the conclusion, that in fact , most of the internal nad external logistics issues or are known to me and it`s time to collect all these powers with one thematic area under the SCM name. My offer in this area is primarily a business consulting related to building supply chain models, distribution networks or models of integrated planning in enterprises. My knowledge in this field is based on two pillars:
- The APICS standard
- SAP environment
I don`twork for companies that do not work on SAP solutions. My competitive advantage in this baed on the fact that I build together with the client logistics solutions and then we implement them together ,based on SAP and third-party companies solutions whose products integrate with SAP. This direction is definitely one of my priorities for the future. My many years of experience in various industries, countries allowed me to explore a lot of interesting projects. Ofcourse I see in each of the previous projects, good and bad ideas but I try to consistently build t my own solutions, which every year are becoming more refined in terms of both: business and technical (new products or product versions).
Taking in consideration how wide is a range of SAP offer in this area, surely comprehensive solutions, that support the SCM in the enterprise can be built. .I use myself, in my projects, among others , the following components:
– Module PP – Planning, S & OP and MPS together with the resurces planning and the rough production capacity planning
– Module MM -for MRP planning together with the production capacity planning, functionality DRP, planning within the distribution network
– Module SD – demand management within theforecasting meaning ,CRM and sales order management
– SAP APO (business, I’m not a technical APO consultant ) – the central planning of large, spread out supply chains and distribution networks
During my professional career I have experienced several projects where central planning was carried out in such an external tool eg. Manugistic, through advanced interfaces and planning implementation of these plans has been monitored in SAP ECC.
Extensivnely knowledge of business terminology related to planning (MPR types procedures for designating the size of the lot, algorithms points reordering or are safety stocks, advanced statistical prediction algorithms) allows me to efficiently communicate with the client using the generally understandable language of business (standard APICS) and so developed solutions are ‘translated’ into the SAP system parameterization. This approach ensures understanding of the planning mechanisms before their implementation in SAP, which gives the expected results (or at least can be determined to what extent the results of planning, forecasting, SAP diverge from the expected), as opposed to uncontrolled implementation forecasts and plans generated by SAP.
In summary, the range of solutions offered by SAP in the area of SCM is quite wide. It happens that the same functionality is offered in the context of the classic ECC system components and additives in the newer generation systems as SAP SCM eg. APO or EWM. Selection of appropriate components of software best support business needs while maintaining the assumed cost of ownership (TCO), together with the architecture of links (interfaces) between these components is the common tasks that are placed on the architect solutions. When it comes to the designing of logistics processes in the SAP environment – certainly such competencies are in my range – I`m inviting you to cooperation.
SAP AP automation solutions
Managing Purchaesing invoices managment it has been one of the two pillars of the MAJ Consulting company (the second was SAP) for 10 years. Currently, it has changed a little, my interests are focused on widely understood logistics in the SAP environment. It does not change the fact that the purchase invoices are an important part of the logistics processes (not financials). I know from experience (working as a provider, or later as Head of Procurement, even before I became a consultant SAP), that it takes about 50% purchaser`s time to register and handle purchase invoices. The cases that we have an invoice not matches with the order, partial, collective, corrective, pro-forma and many others, usually require an individual approach, in contact with the Supplier, Department of Finance (AP), or the different levels of management (authentication). . MM invoices are processed differently (usually for materials / goods direct to the warehouse clerks to contracts MM) and other cost invoices (usually with the controling object assignment, outside of the warehouse, for services, fixed assets etc.). Because each P2P procurement process usually ends with the invoice, I believe, that the logistics and more precisely procurment is responsible for the registration (often parking) purchase invoices in the system.
In recent years a number of electronic communucation methods has developed and law regulations changed resulting in increasingly emerging e-invoices in various forms. My experience in this area is really rich. Of course, I should mention here about ReadSoft’s products (now part of the Lexmark company ), which I met in ReadSoft . Issues like scanning, text recognition (OCR), indexing, integration with the SAP system in a variety of configurations and models are well known to me. During my career I have repeatedly implemented comprehensive solutions for the Account Payable Department (AP) either in individual companies, as well as international Shared Service Centres (SCC). The integration of e-invoices in the forms:
– PDF attachments to e-mail
– Invoices sent as XML files
– Invoices sent by EDI
– Invoices are generated through website
into SAP environmnet are known to me.
The emerging issue of optical storage (visualization of e-invoicing) and circulation of invoices (Workflow) are topics that are always the subject of discussion and implementation. Because I am SAP DMS and SAP Workflow consultant, I am able to offer to the customer a comprehensive solution in this area. Topics of integration with external servers or external compactness class workflow tools are not new to me and I have repeatedly completed several such a projects.
Recently, large international corporations are often used all kinds of internal, intercompany invoices. These are quite advanced mechanisms, that allows efficient and automatic handling of invoicing processes in case of the movement the goods between different legal entities working in a SAP environment. These tools are great ways to Stock Transfer Orders processes between plants, eg. manufacturing and distribution centers. I was involved in configurating VAT rates in various European countries (including Russia) while implementing invoices managment system. Many times I was working in projects supporting the movement of goods in international supply chains hence terms like plant abroad or Intrastat are known to me. I was also repeatedly handling customs processes in SAP along with communication with customs brokers (Russia).
In conclusion, I would like to say that the subject of the purchase invoice management are my core competencies, where by using various organization or technologicall forms I can offer to the market advanced solutions adapted to the specific needs of the customer. The role of the solutions architect in AP processes require extensive market knowledge of solutions, as there are many of them in addition to products from SAP.
Rather, there are no issues in this area that go beyond the scope of my competence. As an architect solutions in the area of the AP together with the client we develop cost-optimized business and software solutions, helping in the selection of hardware and later participate in their implementation, taking responsibility for effective implementation process.