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What's the problem?

Organisations buy from SAP to benefit from highly standardised software and best practice business processes but in many cases they fail to audit their systems after go-live to ensure that they are fully compliant with project specifications and produce the expected business benefits in terms of increased user productivity and added business value. Senior business and IT executives lack an appropriate methodology and metrics to evaluate and optimise how effectively their SAP live production systems are supporting their business operations. Major potential for improved business processes and reduced support and project costs are not recognised or remain unexploited.

What's The Cause?

Leading analysts comment that 70 to 80% of SAP Application Lifecycle Management efforts focus on the design, development, and testing phases of an implementation but post rollout operations, support and project activities often represent 70 to 80% of lifecycle costs. As already noted, many organisations do not measure the value derived from their SAP implementations after they go live. Over time this misalignment of management focus results in sub-optimal business processes that are not aligned with changing business requirements and unintended or inconsistent user behaviour.

What are the consequences?

Inspace Technologies has completed over 1,500 analyses of SAP production system KPI's for more than 100 companies in 10 industries.

Typical issues identified using this benchmarking data include: -

  • More than 50% of the available and relevant standard SAP code was never used.
  • 30-40% of all programs used during period analysed were custom code.
  • 30-40% of custom code programs in the system were never used.
  • Unused custom code programs were maintained for months or years
  • Inspace Therefore, conducting a post-go-live audit is very important. In particular, these audits should focus on four key areas:

    1. Baseline and post-go-live performance measures.

      Every ERP project should have a solid business case well before the system is selected or implemented. However, the only way to understand the level of ERP business benefits is to measure performance before and after go-live. It is important to establish baseline performance levels, then compare those to the performance levels after go-live. This will help identify areas of under-performance and opportunities for ongoing improvement.

    2. Identify ongoing training opportunities.

      No matter how well you've prepared and trained your employees, there will be a decrease in productivity immediately after go-live. The key is to minimize this drop and help them to eventually be more productive than they were before ERP. Post-implementation audits should explore areas where employees are under-trained or could benefit from ongoing training. This will help optimize the business benefits of your ERP system in the longer-term.

    3. Identify opportunities to improve business processes.

      Just because you have implemented ERP doesn't mean that your business processes are going to be perfect. There are always going to be process inefficiencies and breakdowns that can be improved. By working with employees to identify process pain points and following this up with root cause analysis for these pains, you will identify opportunities to improve your processes and make them more efficient and effective.

    4. Identify adequacy and availability of decision support Reports

      A complete organization wise survey across all departments for the adequacy and availability of MIS reports would ensure the power of SAP data be utilized effectively and enables key strategic decision making easier for organizations...

    The above four steps are important to ERP. It benefits realization and is part of an ongoing organizational change management program. The focus is to leverage the investment you have made in ERP technology to realize a strong return on investment. From our experience, reasons for poor business results of SAP implementations are typically not the system itself. It is the way SAP has been implemented.

    For example, during the implementation:

  • Critical functionality hasn't been implemented, e.g. interfaces to legacy systems
  • The system is poorly configured
  • Processes haven't been simplified before the SAP implementation hence the system doesn't does little more than automating suboptimal legacy processes
  • Lack of change management during implementation, i.e. users don't understand how to use the system for their benefit
  • New processes are over engineered or too complicated for the users

  • Inspace's "Post Implementation Review" service provides customers an approach to optimize, extend and realize the full latent value of their existing SAP investments. Through the determination and resolution of "pain areas" that often remain outstanding or, indeed, are created as a result of existing ERP implementations, we strive to release the full value of your investment in ERP technology. Based on the experience of our senior consultants, who are able to leverage industry best practices and the full functionality of the SAP software, pain points can be resolved typically resulting in step change improvements at marginal additional cost. As a result of our "Post Implementation Review" you will be able to implement best practices and also address gaps of your SAP implementation in order to realize the full SAP benefits that so many other companies enjoy around the world. Our consultants shall perform a post implementation checkpoint review of the clients SAP Modules. The review typically includes

  • Assessment of relevant functional and technical aspects of the SAP Modules
  • Review of Business Blueprint
  • Review of identified Gaps
  • Review of SAP configurations to match Blueprint functionalities.
  • Review of SAP configuration documents for optimum leverage of SAP functionality and controls.
  • Review of Training Needs assessment
  • Review the key configurable and management controls
  • Identification of potential conflicts in the segregation of duties
  • Perform quality review of deliverables submitted by implementation partner.
  • Review of support process SOPs.
  • Review of End User Support mechanisms
  • Review procedure for handling change requests.
  • Reviewing of evidence that relevant key go live activities were performed and project documentations were prepared by SAP implementation team
  • Testing strategy and the Test cases.
  • Review of UAT scripts for completeness and appropriateness in terms of functionality and controls.
  • Planned support SOPs and Trainings performed
  • Planned end user Support mechanism.
  • Go live Plan and responsibilities.
  • Preparation of formal report with findings and recommendations.