“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
This insight is not really new, but it is more important than ever for our companies marked by innovation and change. Ideas and developments shape our competitiveness in these times of ongoing pressure. In this context, a fundamental correlation is unfortunately overlooked time and time again – namely that the creation of knowledge should not be an end in itself but instead should pursue specific objectives and application possibilities. Precisely the same applies where innovative solutions in the IT environment are concerned. New technical functionalities and intelligent problem solutions are tried and tested tools which can influence the growth and the adaptability of a company in the positive sense. However, in the absence of a specific purpose and the corresponding application scenarios they remain little more than what is in most cases a rather expensive toy.
It is therefore all the more important to map the precise application scenarios and possibilities in such a way that they can be understood with the help of comprehensible examples. For this reason, we have put together a number of authentic project scenarios in the following article in order to clearly illustrate the potential and characteristics of RBE Plus.
Matching with corporate standards
The first case of application relates to one of our recent analysis projects for a medium-sized company in the food industry. The customer situation was primarily characterized by the fact that the ERP environment is operated on a stand-alone system that only represents a component of an international corporate group. The task consisted of two parts: on the one hand the matching of the company’s own local customer requirements with the global requirements of the corporate template and, on the other, the evaluation of efficiencies and peculiarities involved in the use of this corporate template. An RBE Plus System and Process Usage Analysis was used to identify and assess the clear benchmarks of the usage. In the course of some three to four weeks, it was made clear which deviations there were from requirements and where the strengths and weaknesses of the template lay.
It turned out that the synergetic discussion and validation of the results played a key role in the implementation of the identified peculiarities. The various potentials could be identified, from the consideration of individual processes and programs, occurred inefficiencies and exceptions right through to the detailed analysis of document types and organizational units as well as the trend curves of the core processes.
Taking over of an unknown SAP system
Taking over an unknown system, for example through the transition from one outsourcing provider to another, always presents a challenge. In particular the exact measurement of the processes and functionalities act as a milestone here which can be decisive in terms of the success and failure of this change. In this context it is not only crucial to undertake a clear stocktaking of the system settings and data quantities. Additionally, it is particularly advisable to assess the data quality as well as the development of these data in relation to the sequence of activities.
Our experiences in a number of customer projects in this environment have shown that reliable data rather than subjective assessments play a key role precisely in the uncertain area of system takeovers.
The big picture or the building up and structuring of consolidated documentation and analysis
Given the many different aspects of the process-parameter possibilities as well as the functional diversity of ERP systems, it is difficult to combine all aspects of a system analysis with each other. In terms of the synergistic view, however, it is precisely this that should be the central task, seeing as it is, after all, the interlinking of the individual segments of information that constitutes a gain in terms of knowledge that cannot be underestimated.
We visualized the interrelations of several segments of core information from our analysis results for a customer for whom we have been providing support for several years now. It once again became clear that the comprehensive factual basis of system and process usage analyses in exactly that combination can yield insights with a sharpness of detail that astonishes even experienced system supervisors.
Even after three hundred years, the name Benjamin Franklin is still well-known. He is an icon of constructive curiosity and practical knowledge. Especially in the context of complex IT projects, a certain affinity for constantly gaining knowledge is an essential aspect. This is all the more so since the object under consideration is volatile and the application scenarios are nevertheless clearly different from each other even though fundamentally comparable. After all, the harmonization project of a global energy supplier cannot look like a regional SME’s Application Lifecycle Management preparations. Nevertheless, clear guidelines can be derived from the consideration of these project tasks, and practical experiences thus become useful for all concerned. Just as it should be with knowledge, because the benefit is nothing other than a good interest yield.