Friday, May 16, 2014

Have we SAP consultants forgotten why we do what we do?

The people who read this maybe aren't the SAP using customer and therefore you might strongly disagree with me. But before you jump my throat, ask yourself: “Is what I do really helping the customer in their efforts to use SAP software for their core business?” (and don't get me wrong, there is plenty of very valuable work done to support the customer outside of their core business - but I am talking about why customer buy SAP software in the first place: to support their core business!)

To answer that question we should first identify what the core business is. The customer that I am talking about here, is a company that transforms raw materials into a finished product (or service) that they sell. So their core business is ‘transformation’ and they need to do that in the most effective way using stocks, resources and time.

According to that definition you might now say “we are selling extraordinary technology to do just that!” Great. You also installed that technology at the customer site and they have now mobile devices that foster a full inventory report, run MRP on HANA, can use scheduling heuristics and see graphics that show forecasts and sales activity.

But does the user know how to set a planning policy that drives great service levels and low inventories for that transformation? Does their SAP functionality support lean manufacturing? Yes it does, but no one knows how to use it.
I put out a statement here: “100% of all SAP using companies use the software’s capabilities to less than 80% and 98% of all SAP using companies use the software’s capabilities to less than 40%!”

Wow! If that is true, shouldn't we all shift our focus a bit?

And it is true in what I see when I visit customers: I NEVER come across a company that uses the availability checking rules correctly. I NEVER see a company that does automated policy setting. I have NEVER seen SAP production scheduling supporting ‘flow’… to just name a few.

I’d greatly appreciate any comments to get this conversation going