Case Studies

Insight: The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding.

Accounts Payable – Outstanding Debts

Discover how a healthcare organization shortened the process to produce an AP debt overview from over a month to slightly over a day, ensuring data is actual and the report is native within SAP.

 

An Accounts Payable Outstanding Debt overview (or ‘AP Outstanding Debt’) is a vital accounting document that outlines the overall debt a business needs to pay (‘State of Debt’, so to speak). Read how a tedious, manual, inaccurate and inefficient process of producing an Accounts Payable Outstanding Debt (broken-down into CapEx and OpEx debt classification) has shortened from over a month (for each report) to a one-time effort of slightly over a day that could be reused any time.

Running the AP Outstanding Debt overview powered by Insight SAP Suite assures it is native within SAP, unlimited in terms of the length of the overview’s period. For the office of the CFO, ultimately Insight SAP turns the issuing of the AP Outstanding Debt report from a liability to an asset. Consequently, the healthcare organization is in an advantageous proactive position (rather than a reactive one) with regards to its debt management and financial risk policies.

Providing companies their full Accounts Payable Outstanding Debt that outline the financial liabilities towards suppliers is often a tedious, inefficient, long and ineffective process. Actually, AP Reports are perceived as a liability that is being generated only when there is no other choice, mostly due to complexities and to massive manual labor needed to invest in order to produce an Outstanding Debt Report, which is effectively outdated as early as the following morning. 

PAIN POINT: Producing an Outstanding Debt Report requires significant SAP processing-time bandwidth and resources, given the volume of data that needs to be sorted at any given timeframe, by the supplier (Vendor). It is even more challenging to run further analysis over Outstanding Debt data, such as the breaking down the data between CapEx and OpEx liabilities. Moreover, triggering a multiple-year outstanding debt report often results with very long processing time given the volume of data. Altogether, within a mid-sized organization, it might take up to one calendar month to produce a multi-year Outstanding Debt report, every single time it is demanded.

Companies face various challenges when producing AP outstanding debt reports, such as in the following cases, when:

  1. Processing of any financial transaction code as the baseline of the AP outstanding debt for a period longer than a few months
  2. Handling in-parallel both open invoices (MIRO as depict in FBL1N) and not yet invoiced services (MIGO as depict in FBL3N)
  3. Breaking down the financial records between CapEx (‘Capital Expenditures’) and OpEx (‘Operating Expenses’) 

Furthermore, since the Outstanding Debt Report is often exported to a spreadsheet, it is outdated and inaccurate from the moment it has been exported, it does not enjoy the authenticity and liability of SAP, and the control over the quality and credibility of the data as well as overall data security controls is rather limited. Once the Outstanding Debt Report has been created and exported to a spreadsheet, the organization no longer benefits from the SAP Authorization protocol, and hypothetically – there is no control over who received the files and whether the person is authorized to access it.

When it comes to S4/HANA, an App named ‘Debt and Investment Maturity Profile’ (App ID F3130) is available on SAP Fiori Apps Library, using the C_MaturityProfile CDS view. The availability of this standard Fiori App merely moves the starting point forward, thus may reduce some development work in comparison to the ECC version. However, once a user wishes to further breakdown the data by different categories (i.e. CapEx & OpEx) or add any column or input to the charts (let alone push automatically notification and alerts according to predefined rules) then there is a need to further develop the CDS. With Insight SAP Suite, a user or a consultant could personalize the Outstanding Debt report without any development and in no-time, and provide access to the data for the end users through Fiori.

ACTION: Within slightly more than a day, a repetitive and automated AP Outstanding Debt Report has been created, presenting a 5-year summary (including the current year) of the AP Outstanding Debt Report, clustered by Supplier (‘Vendor’) and by expense type (Capital Expense and Operating Expense).

  • Standard SAP report FBL1N (Vendor Line Items) was used as the first baseline source of data. This report lists all of the suppliers who issued an invoice but were not paid.

For a predefined period, ending at a specific Key Date (e.g. 31.01.2020), by using Insight, the data was sorted as illustrated below, aggregated by Vendor:

Vendor CodeAmountAmount CapExAmount OpEx
Vendor 1Amount 1 in $C1
Vendor 2Amount 2 in $O2
Vendor 3Amount 3 in $C3O3

 

  • Standard SAP report FBL3N (G/L Account Line Items) was used as the second baseline source of data. This report lists all of the suppliers who delivered their service or product but had not yet issued an invoice.

For a similar predefined period ending at the same specific Key Date as in (1) above (e.g. 31.01.2020), using Insight, the data was sorted as illustrated below, aggregated by Vendor:

Vendor CodeAmountAmount CapExAmount OpEx
Vendor 1Amount 1 in $C1
Vendor 4Amount 4 in $C4O4
Vendor 5Amount 5 in $C5

 

  • Using Publisher Snapshot, the aggregated tables for the period captured in (1) and (2) above has been captured. The advantage of this action was that from this point on, each time an end-user is accessing the transaction, then it reads the structured data immediately from the background, with no delays created when usually reading the data all over from the source data on SAP’s Database.

 

  • LFA1 (Vendor) + LFB1 (Vendor + Company Code) tables provide the relevant Vendor (‘Supplier’) names. After combining both tables FBL1N and FBL3N into one table, as following, the AP aggregate table by Supplier is produced, as illustrated in the following table:
Vendor NameTotal $ for Supplier (‘Vendor’)MIRO
(Incoming Invoice.
Source: FBL1N)
MIGO
(Incoming Goods. Source: FBL3N)
  CapExOpExCapExOpEx
Vendor 1 C1+C1C1C1
Vendor 2O2O2  
Vendor 3C3+O3C3O3  
Vendor 4C4+O4  C4O4
Vendor 5C5  C5
     

 

  • A functional button (‘Change Key Date’) has been added to Insight, where the end-user could enter a new key date, whenever he requires a new AP Outstanding Debt Report. This button triggers the following:
    1. Change of Key Date in FBL1N Variant
    2. Change of Key Date in FBL3N Variant
    3. Trigger an event to Publisher Snapshot

Outcome: Fresh, automated and updated AP Outstanding Debt Report, reflecting the status on the new Key Date, sorted by ApEx & OpEx, native within SAP.

RESULT: From a process that lasted over a month of manual labor, subject to errors and out-dated once completed, AP Outstanding Debt Report became an automated, native & protected SAP, on-demand process. AP Outstanding Debt report could now be used as an asset and as an important tool to proactively manage the accounting and the cash position of a company. Not only the AP Outstanding Debt Report has been provided within approximately a day, but it has also been automated in a way that various stakeholders in the company could trigger the request, assure a one-truth and a standardized view of this report, regardless of the person invoking the demand. 

Since AP Outstanding Debt Report is now native in SAP, the healthcare customer is protected by SAP’s Authenticity, liability and authorization protocol. Furthermore, the outcome of using Insight SAP Suite permits the end users to personalize the data, split the data and run further analysis over the report, without any development or need to extract the data outside of SAP environment.

Sensitive fields – Approval Process

 

Discover how a Global Water Irrigation manufacturer has invested less than 4 hours to annulate business problems that were created as a result of not completing a double-signature approval process.

 

A Global Water Irrigation manufacturer needed to monitor the completion of a double-signature approval process when modifying sensitive customer and vendor data fields subject to Dual Control Functionality in SAP. The objective of automating the control over this process was namely needed to prevent Fraudulent behavior (e.g. Employee replacing a supplier’s bank account with a personal bank account), as well as to adhere to SOX regulations.

PAIN POINT: Hundreds of sensitive customer & vendor data-modification pending requests were not updated in SAP database since the 2nd layer of approval hierarchies did not complete the process. This resulted in customer service issues as well as with exposing the company to unnecessary risks.

ACTION: within less than 4 hours, a Insight SAP full-blown Business Process was created ready to use in the Production system.

  1. The standard SAP report FK09 (Confirm Vendor List) was used as the process baseline
  2. A new Insight Report was created.
    • The report was enhanced with a new formula column: Elapsed days (#days elapsed of the sensitive field change date).
    • New Snapshot was created, uploading an external Excel file containing pairs of Company code and its corresponding CFO’s user name.
    • The report was enhanced with a new Snapshot LookUp column: CFO_Username (SAP user name of the CFO in charge of the company code to which the sensitive field is related to).
    • New painting rule (conditional formatting) was applied to color the Elapsed-days field: yellow for over 7 days delay and red for over 14 days delay.
    • The advance filter was applied to colored records and a corresponding display variant, name Problems, was created.
    • A new Business Object was created under SWO1 (Business Object Builder) to enable drilling down from the vendor number to the correct change via T-code FK08 (Confirm Vendor Individually).
  3. A new Publisher variant was created based on the above-described Insight report.
    • The publishing format was set to HTML in the message-body.
    • The links checkbox was checked, to enable direct access from the email to SAP t-code FK08 using the ITS (Internet Transaction Server) framework.
    • The Publisher was configured to split the report records according to the CFO User name. That is to say, all records related to the same CFO, were accumulated together and were sent to the email address (automatically taken from SAP user master) of the CFO.
    • A new employee signature picture was uploaded using t-code SE78 (Administration of Form Graphics) to which Publisher’s Graphics File pointed at.
    • Last, the Publisher was scheduled as a weekly job

RESULT: within two weeks, all pending sensitive customer data modification requests were resolved. Following, a weekly email containing any future un-resolved modification requests, personalized to the recipient and in context, has been shared and published to relevant stakeholders (only in case new pending requests).

For detailed information concerning the solution deployed at the Global Water Irrigation Customer, please download the case study HERE.

 

Accounts Payable – Aging Report

Discover how the CFO of an Electrical equipment supplier has simplified and automated the processing of an AP Aging Report, displaying the debt summary per year as well as the cumulative to date.

 

An Accounts Payable Aging Report (or ‘AP Aging Report’) is a vital accounting document that outlines the due dates of the payments a business needs to pay to its suppliers. Read how a tedious, manual, inaccurate and inefficient process of producing an AP Aging Report has shortened from over a month (per report) to a one-time effort of slightly over a day, followed by several hours of processing each new report.
Running an AP Aging Report powered by Insight SAP Suite assures it is native within SAP, unlimited in terms of the number of past years included within the report, while including the actuals for the present financial year. For the office of the CFO, ultimately Insight SAP turns the production of the AP Aging Report from a liability to an asset. Consequently, the Electrical equipment supplier organization is in an advantageous proactive position (rather than a reactive one) with regards to its debt management and financial risk policies.

Providing companies full AP Aging Report that outlines the financial liabilities towards suppliers is often a tedious, inefficient, long and ineffective process. Actually, producing an updated AP Aging Reports is perceived as a liability that is being generated only when there is no other choice, mostly due to complexities and to massive manual labor needed to invest in order to produce a single Aging Report, which is effectively outdated as early as the following morning.

 

PAIN POINT: Namely within SAP ECC, producing an AP Aging Report requires significant SAP processing-time bandwidth and resources given the volume of data that needs to be sorted at any given timeframe, sorted by supplier (Vendor) and by fiscal year. Altogether, within a mid-sized organization, it might take up to one calendar month to produce a multi-year AP Aging Report, every time it is demanded.

Companies face additional challenges when producing AP Aging Reports reports when sorting and grouping the data (i.e. by Open Vendor / ‘Supplier’ Line Items and by year) might require a tedious and error-potential manual process.

Furthermore, once AP Aging Report (or its substes when there is a need to personalize, customize or share the report) is often exported to a spreadsheet. Consequently, it is outdated and inaccurate from the moment it has been exported, it does not enjoy the authenticity and liability of SAP, and the control over the quality and credibility of the data as well as overall data security controls is rather limited (i.e. the organization is no longer protected by the SAP Authorization protocol, and potentially there is limited control over who received the files and whether the person is authorized to access it).

Although SAP ECC ordinary users could run transaction S_ALR_87012085 and enter number of days (30, 60, 90, etc.), there are a few limitations they face when doing so:

  1. Limited by entering 999 days backwards.
  2. If a user wants to add information from other transactions, sort and run different calculations than offered by the standard report, and modify the output in any other way – then ABAP development would be required.
  3. Given the volume of data (and SAP Version), multiple-year AP Aging Report may require a long processing 

When it comes to S4/HANA, an App named ‘Accounts Payable Overview’ (App ID F2917) includes a KPI named ‘Payable Aging’, using the C_APFLEXIBLEAGING CDS view. One may click on the KPI area to navigate to the Aging Analysis app. The chart displays open invoices separated into age intervals. Use the drop down list to display either overdue invoices or invoices that are not due yet. It is believed that the availability of this standard Fiori App merely moves the starting point forward, thus may reduce some development work in comparison to the ECC version. However, once a user wishes to further breakdown the data by different dimensions, add any column or input to the charts (let alone push automatically notification and alerts according to predefined rules) then there is a need to further develop the CDS. With Insight SAP Suite, a user or a consultant could personalize the AP Aging Report without any development and in no-time, and could provide access to the updated data for the end users through Fiori in no-time.

ACTION: Within a couple of hours, a customized, personalized and automated AP Aging Report has been created, presenting a 5-year summary (including the current fiscal year open payments to suppliers), clustered by Supplier (‘Vendor’) and by Fiscal Year:

  1. By using ‘Publisher Snapshot’, captured with snapshot the data FBL1N (Vendor Line Items) of relevant previous years (i.e. 2010 – 2014) in the SAP background. This has been done so that whenever a user wishes to run a new AP Aging Report Transaction, the user will get the data instantly (rather than processing the entire database every single time).
  2. With Insight aggregated payable lines by local currency using Standard SAP report FBL1 (Display Vendor Line Items) for previous years. Then, each document has been sorted and grouped by its respective fiscal year (i.e.2010 – 2014) according to its Posting Date. Please see the debt aggregation (‘amt in local currency’) by supplier (‘Vendor’) in the following chart:

  3. With Insight, having created a new variant that updates regularly the current fiscal year’s due payments to suppliers, whenever the transaction is processed. The data is added to the respective suppliers

Outcome: Fresh, automated and updated AP Aging Report, reflecting the real-time debt status on the processing date, sorted by supplier and due year, native within SAP.

RESULT: From a process that lasted over a month of manual labor, subject to errors and out-dated once completed, AP Aging Report became an automated, native & protected SAP, on-demand process. AP Aging Report could now be used as an asset and as an important tool to proactively manage the accounting and the debt position of a company. Not only the AP Aging Report has been generated within a few hours, but it has also been automated in a way that various stakeholders in the company could trigger the request, assure a one-truth and a standardized view of this report, regardless of the person invoking the demand. 

Since AP Aging Report is now native in SAP, the organization’s customer is now protected by SAP’s Authenticity, liability and authorization protocol. Furthermore, the outcome of using Insight SAP Suite permits the end users to personalize the data, split & share the data with relevant stakeholders and run further analysis over the report, without any development or need to extract the data outside of SAP environment

Warehouse Work Order Monitor

Read how Tower Semiconductor plans to reduce the production line downtime by creating multiple operational views with Insight SAP w/o development in a single day.

 

In the semiconductor industry, downtime of manufacturing machines is very costly and must be minimized in order to optimize production. 
Tower Semiconductor
, the leading foundry of high-value analog semiconductor solutions (‘Tower’) is very sensitive to manufacturing machinery’s downtime and is constantly seeking ways to reduce it. One of the identified improvement opportunities was by monitoring and improving the release time of ordered parts and items from the warehouse to the production line.
Newly appointed management changed the visibility, transparency and management standard of work orders’ turnaround. Ultimately, the better the Turnaround SLA KPIs are, the quicker the turnaround time between the posting of work-orders and releasing of the items. The result would reduce the downtime delays and extensions as a result of fewer delayed parts that are held back in the warehouse.

PAIN POINT :
Until recently, the warehouse staff communicated with their internal customers by email. The warehouse received a work order by email, issued the requested item and communicated by email to the internal customer whenever needed. These emails were not consolidated in one place, nor the warehouse professionals or managers could have a high-level view of work orders status (e.g. Number of open items at any given moment, the processing status of each work order, or whether there were any issues worth mentioning).
The warehouse management sought a solution that could provide different views (depending on the role), such that it would be efficient to structure the monitoring of all work orders that arrived at the warehouse. The management sought also for a system that would reflect the live SAP ERP data and that would be very easy to create and later on to adjust and maintain.
The SAP competence team would have invested nearly a month in developing such a solution, had they been acquainted with Insight SAP Suite.

ACTION:

With SAP’s PM module, production line staff members may trigger a work-order which is routed through an approval workflow to the warehouse. Tower re-used an existing historic ABAP Query and diffused all work-orders through Insight SAP. With Insight SAP, Tower enhanced the ABAP Query & SAP standard report results by adding various columns. For instance, Tower added formula columns as well as columns with inventory information from other SAP tables. Each work-order is automatically tagged within the Priority Text column (please see the 4th column from the left at the screenshot below). Then, by using conditional formatting, Tower highlighted  (in LIGHT RED) and prioritized open work-orders which are causing machine-downtime delays, for immediate processing.

Tower defined the Warehouse turnaround SLA (between the work-order’s posting time and the item’s release time) as 20 minutes. With Insight SAP, Tower has easily highlighted work-orders that exceed this SLA definition. Moreover, the Operational Report is sorted by order of arrival of the work-order, its status, whether there is available stock to issue and if it is impossible to issue the item for whatever reason.

With Insight SAP, Tower created several layouts in no-time, as following:

  1. Manager Live-View: layout with essential operational information (i.e. work order time and item delivery time), while highlighting with conditional formatting work orders that exceed the agreed SLA.
  2. Manager KPI Dashboard View: a monthly statistical overview of the number of work-orders, on-time / late delivery data, breakdown by material item, and so on. This report is exported via an interface to Tower’s BI tool, where Tower runs trend analysis.
  3. Warehouse Staff: Insight SAP enables Tower to add free-text columns in seconds. By using such a column, Warehouse Managers may easily enter comments which are displayed within the SAP Report and shared with whoever has the right SAP authorization rights (for the PM module’s t-code report). Thanks to the created column, warehouse managers are now easily adding inputs per any line order or cell (inputs such as “item was not issued on time since the item was locked during the night shift…”).
  4. Large Screen Monitor: A dedicated team layout which is placed at the warehouse, in which only open Work Orders are displayed and highly prioritized orders are highlighted in LIGHT RED:

Last, With Insight SAP’s Publisher module, the reports are being sent regularly to relevant stakeholders through their email, in an automated way, with drill-down capabilities to the data on the transactional level from the email body, subject to SAP authorization.

RESULT:
With Insight SAP, Tower merged and displayed three different reports in one, added additional input and formula columns – in less than a day of work, without development, in Production. Tower could have pursued two alternative standard options: (i) Manually run excel V-Look ups and other calculations whenever a new report is needed, (ii) 1-month ABAP Development to set up the report, and further development and maintenance whenever adjustments would be needed.
Instead, Tower decided to invest a one-day one-time effort with Insight SAP. Now, 4 different Report layouts are a click away, always presenting the latest data since they are embedded within the SAP system.
Business-wise, the expected outcomes are shorter time-cycles of completion of work orders, which would lead to a reduction of Machine-Downtime. Shifting from an eMail based service to a service that is embedded within SAP ERP has led to simplification, transparency and streamlining of the warehouse work order monitoring processes.

Inventory Valuation Report

Discover how Amiad Water Systems, a global producer of water filtration products, lowered their Inventory Value by monitoring & forecasting inventory levels with a tailored report in a day.

 

Inventory valuation is the cost associated with an entity’s inventory at the end of a reporting period. It forms a key part of the cost of goods sold calculation, and can also be used as collateral for loans. This valuation appears as a current asset on the entity’s balance sheet.

Amiad Water Systems Ltd. (‘Amiad’), a global leader in water treatment and filtration solutions, made a strategic decision to reduce inventory cost worldwide.  Although inventory is managed within SAP ERP, it was challenging to produce an updated operational report, which reflected real-time data and 6-month forecast of inventory value, Globally, by site (Amiad operates 8 sites worldwide) and by material item.

A one-time one-day work effort with Insight SAP replaced a 5-day labor needed whenever a new report was required. As a result, the execution of the corporate guidance was made easier and more effective, the agility of the mid-level managers to make the right decisions based on the accurate information has dramatically increased, and the company’s inventory forecasting unlocked saving potentials as a result of adjusting planning of replenishment orders when they seemed to surpass the defined thresholds.

PAIN POINT: 

Amiad launched various projects aimed at reducing the inventory levels, but the ability to monitor the outcomes of the projects, given the availability of 135,000 material items across 8 different sites worldwide, has been challenging. The company wanted to identify both material items that presently exceed the desired thresholds, as well as to identify in advance material items that are forecasted to exceed thresholds in the near future. Identification of the latter could trigger preventive measures, such as reduction of stock replenishment.

So far, In order to produce a Global Inventory Valuation monitoring report, users needed to download to a spreadsheet data from 4 different tables & apply very complex formulas. Since there are 135,000 material numbers across 8 different sites, the running time when creating such a report was very long. Each one of the 8 sites required nearly a day to create a single inventory valuation report – about 5 working days for all 8 sites combined. The outcome (an excel spreadsheet) was extremely heavy and opening the file was tedious. As a result, as much as necessary the Inventory Valuation Report was, it was not produced regularly, but every month to three months. Even then, the file size required the users to split data and any additional analysis or modification in the structure of the report translated into further investments. Hence, the Operational Managers were semi-blind when trying to execute upon the corporate guidance related to the reduction of Inventory Value.

ACTION: 

The Company has taken a Z-Report that is using SAP MRP data (based on a Logical Database DBM), and uploaded it to Insight SAP as the baseline report. This table displays MRP data such as inventory levels at a specified moment, movement inventory data (move-in, move-out) and other relevant inventory control data.

Having the Z-Report as a baseline, thanks to Insight SAP, various Data fields from SAP MARC Plant Data (MARC table – ‘Material Connection Disclosure’) and from SAP MARA (‘General Material Data’) were added as new additional columns within minutes to the Z-Report baseline. Other columns were added as well to the report from SAP MB52 table (Display Warehouse Stocks).

Once the structure of the data was combined into one single view, as described above, the data was organized, within Insight SAP, by Material Item (by Site) and by Month (6-rolling months forward). The data was aggregated by Material Number, and displayed as the summary of inventory level and value by material item (with drill down to the granular Material item’s movement information).

At the next step, in accordance with the inventory level policy, the company calculated the desired safety stock level and maximum stock level by Material Item. As a result, each material item had a clear acceptable inventory level range. Thanks to the ‘Stock Value per Unit’ column (added to the report with Insight SAP), a simple formula calculation within Insight has now provided the customer minimum and maximum stock value per Material Item, and consequently the Acceptable Stock Value Range per Material Item.

Next, the aggregated monthly data (displayed on 6-rolling months forward forecast), was color-coded with formulas through Insight SAP’s Conditional Formatting capabilities, as following:

    • GREENInventory value within the acceptable range
    • ORANGEInventory value consistently outside the acceptable inventory range
    • REDAnticipated changes of inventory slipped outside the acceptable range
    • YELLOWInventory Value in a risky position with respect to the acceptable range

At the following illustration, a sample of the Material Items associated with site #1300 (one of Amiad’s 8 sites), specifies the movement list accessible through the ‘Records’ column (far left column):

Finally, by using Insight SAP’s Suite Publisher Module, Amiad will send automated email alerts to the Inventory Manager at each site. The Inventory manager will receive notification emails, with all necessary details, outlining the problematic Material Items for his attention. From within the email, the Inventory Manager could drill down to the material item data on the transactional level, subject to his SAP authorization clearance. In addition, any Inventory Manager at any site could now run the Inventory Valuation Report at any time in order to further analyze the data and for any other purpose.

A second Publisher Job will consolidate top issues within each one of the sites, all displayed on the same pre-scheduled email, sent regularly to Amiad’s COO and Global Head of Inventory. This will enable them to take actions as they will have a global and by site views – as well as to report progress related to Company’s Guidance of lowering the Inventory Value. 

RESULT: 

From a process that lasted over 5 days of manual labor, delivered outdated information (as data was exported to a spreadsheet), and with various limitations as a result of Big Data and other technical matters – Amiad’s managers could move from a defensive to a proactive mode. The Company has visibility on current and forecasted Inventory stock levels and costs on a global level, site level and by Material item and month – enabling various decision-makers and operational managers to take corrective measures and to measure impact of Inventory Value reduction programs. 

All of the above was made available within a one-time one-day of work effort, without development, which is equivalent to the time invested previously per the production of a less-capable report of one single sight. 

Furthermore, few end-users were technically capable of creating the Inventory Valuation report as opposed to today – that each person with the right SAP authorization level could address his personalized needs by a single mouse-click.

Before using Insight SAP, which enables the creation of this report without development and On Production (hence, eliminates the need to put in place a development requirement document and then pursue an ABAP development path), it was alternatively planned to execute the Inventory Valuation Report through standard ABAP development – a painful, long, tedious and invested process that would have ended up with a Z-Report, that amongst other matters is ultimately unsupported by SAP.

Late Service Completion Report Monitor

Read how an Electric Utility Company monitored the submission of Service Completion Reports within the required SLA standards agreed between the Company and its suppliers. 

 

Learn more about how Insight SAP has facilitated, simplified and improved a previous report to better address the business needs, in a much more efficient and effective way.

Service Completion Reports are submitted by service providers when a job is completed. All types of service providers require to submit a Service Completion Report that needs to be approved by the Company, prior to issuing an invoice. This is important for several reasons:
(i) the need to pay to suppliers on time (certain service orders could not be paid unless there is an invoice issued, whereby an invoice cannot be issued in some cases unless a Service Completion Report has been submitted);
(ii) Respect to the committed SLA and Process is important for the Company’s reputation;
(iii) Avoid potential relationship or legal disputes between suppliers and the Company in case there are different recollections of memory or understanding on whether a service has been supplied as required.

PAIN POINT: 

Until recently, an ABAP Query that extracted information from SAP Material Management (‘MM’) module has been used in order to identify delays in the submission of the Service Completion Reports. However, the ABAP Report could not have answered many questions, nor consider nuances that would have made the monitoring report effective, relevant and valuable. For instance, the ABAP query was not sensitive to different types of service providers, who are bound to different terms of SLA. Furthermore, the ABAP Query did not count business days, but only calendar days. In addition, the ABAP Query was not capable of clustering service providers by organizational units, and dispatch notifications and reports accordingly.
Following a monthly extraction of the ABAP query, several hours of work were required in order to send some information, not all of which is relevant, to key stakeholders. However, since the information was generic, and not tailored to the circumstances nor to the audience, it created some frustrating situations in which the internal stakeholders or the supplier needed to prove that the terms or data derived from the report were invalid or wrong, as they did not reflect their situation, the job performed or the profile of the supplier
Another issue emerged when in certain cases invoices were issued before the Service Completion Report has been submitted, at times without the internal confirmation that the invoice reflected the actual word that was ordered or that took place.
Altogether, the Company was exposed to reputation, legal, financial risks, and invested inefficiently labor in a repetitive manual process.

ACTION: 

The baseline ALV report which was enhanced by Insight was an ABAP Query that was previously produced by the Company. This meant that a past investment was not buried, but rather re-utilized and improved.
There were over a dozen field columns with data from various tables and sources as well as from various formula calculations which were added to the baseline chart. Amongst those columns, the following are interesting to highlight:

  • Organizational affiliation data of the vendor who submitted the Service Report.
  • Business Unit’s Cluster: several business units needed to be re-classified and clustered together specifically for this report, in order to assure a more accurate affiliation of suppliers to them, followed by a better dispatch of specifically sliced report data. In order to do so, the Company created an excel spreadsheet, converted it with Insight into an ALV format, and associated the given cluster in with the organizational unit
  • Number of Business Days count for completed service orders that did not yet receive the submitted Service completion report.
  • Various vendor (supplier) indicators, which were retrieved from the EKKO table. 

RESULT: 

With Insight SAP, The Company was able to create an automated report that surfaced the Service Completion Report which exceeded the defined SLA agreements. This was done by creating a filter with Insight that selected the Service Completion Reports that exceeded in terms of the number of business days the allowed standards. Additionally, the Company could now be sensitive to the nuances between different service provider categories when measuring the adherence to the SLA standards, since each supplier category has characteristics, constraints and timeline different from the other’s.
By using Publisher, key stakeholders, both from Financial and Procurement departments, receive on a regular basis by email information of the incompleted or late Service Completion Reports, only relevant for them. If their portfolio of suppliers have all submitted their reports on time, they will not receive any spam messages.
The Company could have addressed the business need by triggering a standard ABAP development project. However, the Company decided to use 
Insight SAP instead for several reasons:

(i) Less than 50% of the net development time was invested in creating the report in Insight.

(ii) The quality of the development would not have been as equal in terms of quality of the Insight output, since there were various elements at this operational report which were almost impossible to produce in standard development, especially without any development errors (i.e. re-classification of suppliers and clustering them in a structure relevant only for this report). Other functionalities (such as the accurate dispatching of information by business role) would have been a heavy development investment.

(iii) A development would have required multiple resources to address the business need, e.g. developers, QA, Basis, and investment in composing a detailed requirement document. With Insight SAP, the business analyst was independent in creating the report, thus Time-to-Market and Time-to-Value were dramatically shorter.

(iv) Future considerations: in case of future adjustments and/or system upgrades, a developed report would have needed to be re-developed in order to accommodate any adjustments in content or in the way SAP is structuring its transactions or business entities. With Insight SAP, this risk is eliminated. Any adjustment would be made in minutes, on Production.

(v) Additional possibilities for this report, included within Insight SAP Suite, are considered such as the ability to Pull reports by authorized stakeholders (rather than only scheduled Push) or providing access to stakeholders through SAP UI5 (Fiori), in both cases within seconds, without the need to develop.

 

Customer Credit Exposure Monitor

Read how Clemens Food Group can now anticipate and prevent processing sales orders that may bring customers to exceed their credit threshold. 

 

Within 1-day of work, Clemens Food Group can now anticipate and prevent processing sales orders that may bring customers to exceed their credit threshold. Clemens can proactively contain credit exposure risks while eliminating internal manual work and increasing customer satisfaction.

Reassuring that customer credit is kept within predefined levels is important for a company that wants to manage a healthy credit exposure balance. Within 1-day of work, without any development, Clemens Food Group (‘Clemens’) shifted from a reactive to a proactive position with regards to customer credit exposure management, thus allowing the company to predict and deploy preventive measures that will eliminate customer difficulties and delays with respect to the processing of new orders.
This use case illustrates how ‘long tail’ processes and reports, typically not prioritized within the company’s development roadmap, could be easily automated without development thus contributing to the business’s operational efficiency.

PAIN POINT:

The total credit exposure is calculated as the sum of open orders, open deliveries and open invoices. Clemens manages its credit exposure risk on a customer level and assigns a credit limit to each customer. If, for instance, the credit limit of a given customer is $500,000, then next time an incoming order brings the customer to exceed the credit limit, then the order goes to an ON HOLD status immediately. This causes many delays in processing orders taken by Clemens’s customer experience team, who are logging the orders on to SAP’s SD module. When the orders are ON HOLD, the customer experience team needs to call the credit department to get the individual orders OFF HOLD, or alternatively increase credit limits.
As a result of the above, the standard process was not smooth, having many interruptions on its execution that were impacting their business & customers, and distract the focus of Clemens’s customer experience team.
When orders went ON HOLD, the pain was also felt by the mid-management layer across the entire supply chain: the sales team, the credit department (who needed to either approve excessive credit limits or take orders manually), the product planning team (that faced challenges as the orders were not downloaded to the system on time) – and of course – the customers felt pain when it came to smooth order engagement with Clemens.

ACTION: 

Within one day of work, Clemens set up an automated process that included smart automated operational reporting and a daily dispatch of notifications over email with relevant data dispatched to relevant stakeholders (if applicable at any given day).
Prior to using Insight SAP, the treatment of orders that brought the customers to exceed the approved credit limit was handled one-by-one, manually – occasionally only after escalation took place once realized that the order was put ON HOLD (‘passive’ mode). At the time, Clemens could not have regularly anticipated orders that brought customers to exceed the credit limits.

With Insight SAP, Clemens combined the FSCM (‘Financial Supply Chain Management’) credit screen with Open Credit Exposure data on a daily basis. Two operational reports views were created and sent regularly: 60%-80% of credit exposure (‘Nice to know’: start to pay attention to this exposure) and >80% (‘must know’ basis: need to take action).

The Business Partner screen (that adds up all the credit exposure per business partner) was the baseline table used at Insight SAP. Then, Clemens added more customer data columns which are usually not seen in BP, sourced from customer master data. Clemens also used conditional formatting rules to highlight the 60-80% band in one colour, and the >80% band in a different colour. Formula fields were added in order to calculate the credit limit, which varies from one customer to the other. From this point on, any user with sufficient authorization levels could see combined data in real time at one single report. Also added to this report was a column showing the number of open invoices for the customer. At a line item level this directly linked to the open receivables, allowing the Credit team to view the open receivables prior to making a decision on the next steps for the customer.

Last but not least, Insight SAP Suite was also used to compile and email out reports through the Publisher. This automated, man-free action occurred on a daily basis.

RESULT: 

Before the relevant stakeholders start their working day, they receive an email with relevant ‘nice-to-know’ (60%-80% band) and ‘need-to-take-action’ (>80% band) data, within their areas of their responsibilities. Effectively, these interactive email notifications became the staff’s ‘Good Morning’ action list, every morning.
The greatest impact of this report is that Clemens could now anticipate customer credit-related matters and to prevent upcoming issues. Consequently, orders are no longer getting ON HOLD without anticipating these to happen and the process became much smoother.
Without Insight SAP, it is likely to assume that developing this solution would not have taken place, given the lack of ROI when evaluating the investment required to develop in-house such a solution versus the estimated benefits. Actually, using Insight SAP has created the option to enhance many reports, and to automate multiple processes no one thought before would be realistic to be placed on the ABAP development roadmap.

 

contact us