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Part 1: Organize Your Journey

What do rice mills in India have in common with your SAP S/4HANA Journey? Let’s explore that question in the first of a four-part series on SAP S/4HANA projects.

Earlier this year, I met the CEO and CIO of a family-run business in India that manufactures rubber rolls for rice mills. They implemented SAP ERP in 2003. The CEO told me that his business is very simple, boring even. His sales team goes from one rice mill to another (many of them in remote villages) to sell their product. It is a simple but critical product in the operations of a rice mill.

For mill owners, their biggest concerns are the quality of the rubber rolls (which determine how much rice can be processed by each roll) and getting the lowest price they can. The CEO explained further that the only two ways to offset a reduced price without comprising quality is to either sell more or increase business efficiency.

The CEO’s son will join the business in the next two years. He was looking at their systems—including SAP and he said, “ Dad, how do you get any work done with this. It so archaic!”

What the business needs, CEO explained, is something fresh, new, simple, and future ready. Along with the CIO, this executive was meeting with SAP partners to discuss SAP S/4HANA. But he wasn’t sure what he should be looking for. He wanted to have some knowledge about this SAP S/4HANA transition before talking to them.

It occurred to me that many of our customers are in this same position. They hear—mostly from SAP and our partners—about giant, sweeping transformational SAP S/4HANA projects. But what if that isn’t what is needed right now? Perhaps the immediate need is to modernize ERP and build a foundation from which to deploy innovations in the future. For sure, every company must transform over time or be left behind by the competition or changing customer needs. This, however, can seem overwhelming to many organizations and it is difficult to focus on what is achievable today. If only there was a simple way to adopt SAP S/4HANA.

Well, I have good news: there is a simple way forward! In this series of articles I will show you what you need to know to organize and plan your move to SAP S/4HANA, and how you can make this journey simpler.

In my next three articles, we’ll discuss three steps that you need answer to organize your move and make this journey simpler:

  1. Match your business goals to an SAP S/4HANA project scope

  2. Determine your adoption path

  3. Engage with SAP and partners for the services and support you need

Join me for this journey and please engage in the comments if you’d like.

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