General discussion

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  • #2212116

    Anyone use SAP//ERP?


    by oz_media ·

    Out of personal curiosity.

    Does anyone use SAP/Business Objects software for their enterprise?

    If so:

    What benefits have you found it offers your organization?

    Do you use it for enterprise mobility, supply chain management, sales and marketing, financial objectives, all of the above, other?

    Does it enable your company to grow due to added data manipulation?

    Does it save you time and money?

    What modules do you find you gain benefit from?

    If you use an alternate solution for such needs, what software do you use and why?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3026997


      by santeewelding ·

      In reply to Anyone use SAP//ERP?

      That noodling, off-topic commentary is welcome this time?

    • #3026993

      Since no one else rose to the bait,

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to Anyone use SAP//ERP?

      Our company uses SAP. We rolled it out in this division in January 2007, as mandated by corporate directive. All divisions now run SAP; previously there was a mix of apps.

      I don’t use it personally, and am only peripherally involved with those members of the IT staff who support it. My interaction consists solely of installing the local client.

      One of the big benefits was the ability to export data to Excel and SQL databases. Our old MRP system was incapable of this. It has eliminated many double-entry activities, but any modern ERP system probably would have had the same benefits.

      We’re using it for supply chain management, financial transactions, sales, shop floor control, and as a front-end to our payroll system.

      I don’t think we’ve seen any growth from it, but our industry as a whole has been in a slump along with the rest of the US economy.

      Does it save time or money? Depends on the users. I think it may be costing us more to use than our old system, but much of that is due to the implementation factors unique to this company and not due to the application itself.

      • #3026890

        Thanks much

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Since no one else rose to the bait,

        Are you using any OnDemand or mobile solutions with it? Such as power users needing mobility etc?

        • #3026853


          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Thanks much

          I’m not familiar with OnDemand.

          Most of our upper management types have laptops, primarily for functions other than SAP although they have that capability. Most of those folks aren’t going data mining for themselves anyway; they’ll have a subordinate dig out the info and e-mail it to their Crackberrys.

    • #3026986

      Not directly

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Anyone use SAP//ERP?

      I was involved peripherally in the Finance division of a Fortune 100, while I was there they went with another ERP, eventually went to SAP after I left. Someone I know well is one of the project managers who worked the migration to SAP.

      An ERP like SAP is a tool. You can implement it well, or poorly. Compared to say Oracle financials, where you get the basics and can build your own solution, SAP is highly customizable, but still directs its users into adopting SAP processes. Some have described SAP as a cult. You bend the business to work with SAP.

      The whole point of an ERP is to have better information flow across the organization. And SAP does help that. And that can in the long run help the organization better manage its resources. But its a long multi year very challenging process to implement, and it only works if people will change to accomodate it.

      Would people be better off with another ERP thats less complex? Hard call, depends on the company.


      • #3026888

        Cheers, James

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Not directly

        Really appreciate your comments.
        How long ago was it implemented? Mobility?

        • #3026827

          When is complicated…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Cheers, James

          The main project started in 2001, ended in 2004. But the requests for fine tuning, add ons and upgrades continues. My friend has never had less than 3 SAP projects on the go at once.

          They didn’t implment the mobility, probably because the company is being sold. He has another 2 years guarenteed work to integrate the system into the new owners systems.


    • #3026979

      Left a bad taste

      by choppit ·

      In reply to Anyone use SAP//ERP?

      Used SAP R/3 at my previous company. From the sidelines I witnessed a botched implementation. As Production manager I suffered it and watched it cripple the business, then finally as IT manager ripped it out and replaced it. The implementation is everything, that and the funding to support it on an ongoing basis. We used materials management, production planning, sales and some of the financial/HR stuff. As someone has already mentioned you need to bend to fit SAP and we just couldn’t bend far enough to make it work for us. I should add that we were a small company (?20m turnover / 120 employees). As a replacement I implemented an industry specific solution from a small software house but also looked at Navision and Sage (Production Management?) among others.

      • #3026887

        Nice one

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Left a bad taste

        When was SAP implemented? Do you feel it was a poor planning issue that caused the most problems, invested in the wrong package?

        Being a smaller company I can see how you would have found it a bit overkill though.

        • #3026845

          All of the above

          by choppit ·

          In reply to Nice one

          Implementation was 1999 (R/3 4.0b) and in my opinion was mis-sold/represented and incompetently implemented by the VAR. The board of directors had their sights set on global domination having just set up a second branch in Australia with plans (read dreams) to open multiple sites in mainland Europe. SAP was never implemented in the Australia branch and the company started to buckle with the costs of running it.

        • #3026763

          Ah so it was some time ago

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to All of the above

          Just wondered what part of their merger acquisition path it was on. They have since taken over/friendly merged with Business Objects and there are some extreme changes in their design and implementation system.

          Also surprised to hear you dealt with a VAR and not directly with their support teams, probably would have been a LOT cheaper for both initial product and support contracts.

          The reason I am asking is poltitical really, I appreciare your input, wasn’t baiting anyone or looking to go anywhere but to obtain opinions.

        • #3026760

          I think you will find

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Ah so it was some time ago

          That the majority of large SAP implementations as well as other ERP implementations, involve a third party. Often its consultants from the IT consulting group of one of the big accounting firms, like Price Waterhouse etc. If you don’t have a wide range of SAP implementation experience, it is less risky to hire it, and many people turn to the company that audits their books.


        • #3026687


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to I think you will find

          SAP deals direct with the end user for all their products, as did Business Objects.

          There ARE also resellers too that will increase the overall costs, uncluding support, a great deal.

        • #3024017

          Yes and No

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to SAP

          It still stands that most large organizations implementing SAP get a third party involved. They aren’t VARs, they are consultants, and they may or may not assist the implementing company in the purchase process. What they are most often used for is project management and implementation. The contract is between SAP and the implementing company, the consultants may help determine the details of what they should purchase. They may negotiate as well (though I rarley see this help).

          This is, by the way, one area where you really have to be careful. I know one previous employer who got suckered in by this approach; when pitching for the assignment, the consulting firm brings in its big guns who impress the heck out of the people making the decisions, because they are very knowledgable and experienced. But when the contract starts, the consultancy sends less experienced/capable people, who charge the contracted rate. The old bait and switch exists at many levels….



    • #3026978

      Currently deploying SAP….

      by notsochiguy ·

      In reply to Anyone use SAP//ERP?

      ….for all of the above. I will offer two bits of opinion:

      1). It does seem to work okay; but so have other ERP systems I’ve used (Lawson, PeopleSoft/Oracle). Doesn’t cause me much angst, but doesn’t ring my bell, either. They key is not to over-customize.

      2). You have to admire a company that named themselves for what they do to a company’s financial resources!! 😉

      If you’re looking into this, I’d encourage you to read up on the Waste Management–SAP fiasco. It is an interesting case study in how not to run an ERP project. Here is one blurb on it:

      • #3026976

        The Waste Management implementation is legendary.

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Currently deploying SAP….

        As you noted, it’s the text book on how NOT to do it.

        It’s difficult for me to determine where our problems originate. First, SAP is managed for our company by another firm owned by the same holding company. We had no choice about using them, and they run the servers, host the data, and manage the access. Second, our company HQ made many decisions regarding implementation before the initial roll-out. Third, all of our sister divisions went on line before we did, so they made additional implementation decisions we had no say in. We went on line last, with what I feel was an over ambitious time table, poor implementation assistance from the hosting company (including representatives that didn’t speak our language), and grossly inadequate user training.

        None of this is the fault of SAP or its flagship product. But it’s one of those things that’s so easy to get wrong, and so expensive to do twice that many companies just live with the results.

      • #3026886


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Currently deploying SAP….

        Yeah I saw that one!

        Are you implementing mobility products? Using OnDemand or storing and manipulating solely in house data that is not publicly shared.

        • #3024013

          Right now, all internal data

          by notsochiguy ·

          In reply to LOL

          However, there are some discussions about using SAP to help with our public data, as well.

          I think there may be too many integration points (read: booku $$$ in customizations) for that to come to fruition.

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