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Supporting and learning from many SAP S/4HANA projects I think we should always have a dialogue around how customers can achieve business value, and of course they can.

Questions remain, is it enough? Can I see? and more so, how can I get there? On the later one we have given the answer with #RiseWithSAP, and of course we will share more later.
But lets share some 
learning from projects, tangible ones.   

For the last couple of months, I have been discussing concepts that can help enterprises derive business value using SAP S/4HANA for their mission critical processes. And kudos to my team we have collected a lot - so seems we are on a start of a series here...

In my previous blogs I talked about the power of best-in-class and next Practices Content as a conduit to increase business value for your modern ERP: Blog: The Power of Best-in-Class and Next Business Content for a Modern ERP and I also discussed how you could potentially increase Business Value with SAP Innovation Technologies Blog: Increase Business Value with SAP Innovation Technologies.

Continuing on this topic of value, in this blog I would like to provide you with concrete examples that illustrate how SAP customers have achieved value with their financial and operational benefits following their go-live with SAP S/4HANA as well as information on one of the tools SAP offers to help customers achieve this value.

First, I would like to refer you to the following resource, a booklet, which provides a comprehensive list of Value Based Stories from customers in different industries that have implemented SAP S/4HANA: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/797713/. This booklet can be a powerful tool to provide an overview of customers by specific industries as well as by specific geographical areas.

One example of a value based customer story is PayPal Giving Fund. They implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud with the goal of improving the speed of transactions in an effort to help raise even more money for deserving causes. SAP S/4HANA Cloud provided them with a state-of-the-art intelligent ERP system which allowed them to support higher transaction volumes helping people to donate more to their favorite charities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, SAP S/4HANA Cloud allowed them to support a steady rise in transaction volume to an average of 66,000 transactions per day, thereby helping to raise millions of dollars for related causes. As you can see from this example, SAP S/4HANA Cloud was the key value enabler for them to achieve quick business results.

Another customer example is  Powell Electronics. Powell Electronics was looking to improve e-commerce experiences for customers and suppliers. With SAP S/4HANA, Powell Electronics is powering its ‘Assemble to Order’ operations, which use configurable product permutations with more than 250,000 unique end products within a catalog of eight million SKUs. SAP S/4HANA has provided Powell Electronics with more than 50% faster order processing and a larger than 99% on-time performance with supplier managed inventory customers. Now with SAP S/4HANA, Powell Electronics is on target to increase its revenue growth by 100% in the coming years.

These two examples are just one of many, more can be found in the booklet of value-based stories, real life examples of how customers have been able to achieve additional financial and operational value using SAP S/4HANA.

SAP has several tools and methods in place to help you answer the “value” question, however, the tool which I would like to highlight and will elaborate on in this blog, is the SAP Benchmarking Survey that is part of the SAP Value Lifecycle Manager.

In future blogs, I intend to cover other self-service tools (e.g. SAP Business Scenario Recommendations, etc.) that read transactional data to help drive potential business value included in the new SAP Business Process Intelligence.

We often hear that the hardest part for customers around the value topic is “Where do I begin?”. Performing an SAP Benchmarking Survey can help customers get started on their value journey by providing customers with a baseline of their business’ current state and by comparing their benchmarking values to the best-in-class industry peers. From this baseline comparison, during the Discover Phase of an implementation, customers can then derive areas they need to further improve or adopt innovation in, allowing customers to have a focused plan of how they could improve their business outcomes and market competitiveness. In addition, this baseline can be later leveraged in the Run Phase of implementation project to track actual improvement in process maturity and key performance indicators.

When starting the SAP Benchmarking Survey for baselining,  you first need to create an account in the SAP Value Life Cycle Manager tool https://vlm.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com/index.html#/home.

After accepting the terms and conditions, you will be able to start your participation in the SAP Benchmarking Survey.

The Value Lifecycle Manager tool has an ample collection of Benchmarking Surveys that are organized by Line of Business, and some industries, or by Products. Therefore, if you are looking for a particular enterprise-wide initiative, i.e. Financial Transformation and/or improving the Supply Chain to ensure on-time delivery, you can use a focused survey to benchmark your information against industry peers.

The Value Lifecyle Manager also includes a survey with regard to SAP S/4HANA. While I won’t be able to cover it in this blog, this survey process warrants a special discussion and we will cover it in an upcoming, dedicated blog.

For the purpose of my benchmarking study example, we will look into benchmarking my Supply Chain to ensure on-time delivery. The Value Life Cycle Manager tool provides me with different types of surveys within a Line of Business that I can choose to execute based on what level I would like to focus on.

To start, I will focus on the Executive Assessment, as this will provide me with a benchmark of my performance and the maturity of my Supply Chain processes, based on key metrics and best practices which, in turn, will help me to benchmark against my industry peers. The tool also provides me with the ability to select the organizational level I should focus on for the study (i.e. Corporate Level, Business Unit, Division, etc.).

After completing the initial selection, I need to fill out my company information, including company name, region, currency, industry, etc.

The assessment will show the Executive-focused Supply Chain areas that will be part of the analysis.

The assessment will then lead you through a questionnaire that includes finance related information, coupled with questions about your Supply Chain structure plus some additional cost related questions.

After this section is completed the assessment will present you with the Supply Chain Management maturity model, which, in turn, will allow you to assess the state of your business processes compared to best practices. This will help you to assess the maturity of your Supply Chain processes by comparing your end goal with your current state.

After completing the Maturity model section, the assessment will conclude with the currently selected scope of your SAP product portfolio, thus completing the survey collection.

The Value Life Cycle Manager tool will allow you to review some of the Key KPIs before providing you a final score card and the possibility to download your final report.

With the score card you can see the main Key Metrics and how you compare within your peer group. The dashboard will provide your score, compared to the bottom 25%, the average and the top 25% in your peer group.

The tool gives you the ability to select different peer groups as needed, so you are able to compare your current performance with a number of diverse groups.

The dashboard will also show you the current maturity of your best practices compared to your peer group.

Here again you have the ability to change the peer group to have some additional references for comparison purposes. This gives insights into areas where you might have challenges. In this example, you can see big internal gaps for Demand Management, Response and Supply Planning and Warehouse Management. Some of these process areas strongly correlate the issue to poor performance of KPIs like on-time delivery, days in inventory and inventory carrying cost. So, now you can deep dive into how SAP S/4HANA can help you close these process gaps and improve operational performance.

All this information can be downloaded into a comprehensive report that can be reviewed together with your colleagues. This way you can start with a value journey that can help you focus on improving your business performance and help you capitalize on your SAP investment.


As I indicated before, whether you are in SAP ERP or new to SAP S/4HANA please start with a simple step towards business value by participating in a benchmarking exercise which will provide you with a baseline to compare as you continue to make improvements, investments or implementing SAP S/4HANA Best Practices.

Please make sure to take advantage of the massive industry data and peer groups that SAP has collected throughout the years to decide on Best Practices implementation and also to compare yourself with best-in-class companies so that you can realize even more value. And once you have set the baseline, you can identify the areas that you want to focus on and how S/4HANA can help you build the business case and ROI.


Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast

As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our new podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA Product Experts, Partners and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practices. There is no customer success without product success and project success; we will help you get to the next level and make your SAP S/4HANA projects a success. Subscribe now and benefit from the shared knowledge.


openSAP microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA

Just a couple of months ago, we launched openSAP microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA as an exciting new learning opportunity. What began with a small batch of 20 videos, has now become a channel with more than 50 microlearnings that have generated over 20,000 views since then. Today we cover multiple lines of business, like Finance and Manufacturing & Supply Chain, and key technology topics like Master Data Management, Extensibility, User Experience, and Upgrade Management. We are continuously adding new microlearnings to the SAP S/4HANA channel, so make sure you check them out.


Your voice matters!

If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community. This platform which is available to SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customers and Partners has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions.


For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:

  • The power of best-in-class and Next Practices business content for a modern ERP Blog Post by Sven Denecken

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud: The Intelligent ERP Link Collection Blog Post  by Sven Denecken

  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Content Here

  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community: register here

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here

  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here

  • SAP Activate Community here 

Follow us via @Sap and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken