A lot of SAP ERP users, such as those who run Business One or R3/ECC, have to face a wide range of challenges to their businesses on a daily basis. Some of these challenges are more prevalent than others and the most common ones need to be addressed to help businesses get the most out of their SAP install. Here we can explore the most common issues that a business running a SAP ERP system can face and how we can surmount those problems to make life a whole lot easier for SAP users in the long run.
Issue 1: Cross-Configuration Between SAP and Other Systems
When a business gets their SAP system installed, it comes pre-configured to suit the business itself. The issue here arises when that business starts using systems that are different to SAP in their configuration. Trying to address this problem leads to further complications. It's possible to reconfigure the SAP server to work alongside the new acquisitions, but if every new system that comes in requires reconfiguration this is both expensive and time consuming. Alternatively, you can use the system as is, and hope none of your data falls through the cracks. Neither one of these "solutions" are ideal, and both can lead to more problems for the parent company in terms of complexity and cost.
Solution to issue 1: Utilize an ERP Integration Platform
Integration platforms are specifically coded in order to deal with the discrepancies between systems. if the systems you're intending on using are going to be used for long-term work and there is an expectation that more of these systems may be needed then investing in an integration platform in order to standardize the data structures between your ERP data and your SAP install is a must.
Issue 2: Transaction Data Quality and Integrity
Transaction data is generated at such a volume that if an error were to be present in that data it could lead to a massive fallout in just a short space of time. Some of these issues that could stem from this include (but are not limited to) wasted time in procurement, as well as unhappy customers. That's why ensuring that the transaction data within a company remains pristine through transmission and receipt using fast web hosting is ideal.
Solution to Issue 2: Planning and Implementation
Transaction data should be verified before it leaves the location and systems should be put in place to ensure that this data isn't tampered with. Redundant data transmissions that are rechecked at arrival can also serve to stem this problem. Additionally, integration platforms as mentioned before can be used to make sure that this data is exact by removing the need for human keying of data, thereby removing data entry errors altogether.
Issue 3: The Volume of Data to be processed is Massive
Whether you're a small company or a multinational corporation, the data that will be flowing through your SAP database can get to be pretty large. This flow of data as well as the systems needed to interact and process it will need to be scaled to suit. If they aren't, like if for example a company runs their server from an on-site, hardware install that can only handle a certain amount of operations per second, it could lead to bottlenecks in the data and slow down the generation of results.
Solution to Issue 3: Expansion and Management of Data Flows
SAP already has solutions available for businesses who may need to scale their operations. Thanks to the SAP Cloud Servers, a company can utilize nearly limitless processing and storage power to work seamlessly with its SAP install. Additionally, an installed integration system can adjust dynamically in order to deal with incoming large-volume processing, ensuring that the processing power available is used efficiently.
Issue 4: The Analysis of Complex Data Models
A business is not a simple model. If it was, then anyone would be able to simulate whether a business would perform or not before it's even opened. The complexity of businesses running on SAP can be a daunting task to draw conclusions from, especially if the data itself is difficult to analyze in order to gain useful insights. In such a case, it could lead to the business contemplating whether it's even worth it to do data analysis on their ERP data.
Solution to Issue 4: Develop Detailed Reporting Procedures
While the system itself IS complex, some of this complexity is artificial. This comes from poor reporting methods and incorrect data being transmitted by the ERP system, leading to confusing output which then makes it difficult to have a clear idea of what's going on. By automating systems, a company can reduce these errors while at the same time ensuring that the data that needs to be processed gets to the system in a timely manner so as to generate pertinent conclusions that can be acted upon.
A Tall Hill to Climb
For any new business just starting off with SAP ERP systems and their interface, it can be quite difficult. Taking two complex systems and trying to mash them together can lead to unexpected results, few of which really benefit the company in question. If a company intends to keep using SAP alongside ERP systems, investing in an integration platform might be a very good idea. These platforms can aid a business in a number of ways and help them to spend less time worrying about their data compatibility and integrity and more time dealing with their business at a hands-on level.