If you engage an SAP Implementation Partner and you are new to SAP, the first thing the partner should suggest is that you build (Train or Hire) your own permanently employed SAP support team.
This is NB’s suggestion Day 1.
We assist our customers with the specifications for each functional and technical consultant(s) and how to find these employees. We will help interview the candidates and assist in the selection process: even if we are not being financially remunerated for the positions.
We Enable your SAP Self-Sufficiency
We enable your self-sufficiency on SAP by the way we consult during your project. One of the founding principles of our SAP consulting firm is “Our Success is Your Self Sufficiency” on SAP. What does this mean? Which areas of SAP can you maintain yourselves without outside consulting help? Why would a consulting firm want you to maintain design that they would be happier billing you?
Real Life Example
We have two customers. One of them, Company A, we have enabled to maintain our design with little or no consultation with us. The other company, Company B, engages us to maintain everything down to variants in reports.
We have taught Company A how to:
– maintain their ABAP customizations in accordance with our design
– maintain SD and MM such that new sales organizations can be rolled out without our assistance.
– our design template is enabled to allow Company A to create new sales organizations (and all the set up within that) where their businesses have grown, easily and without our assistance.
– they liked this approach so much they insisted their external HR and FI consultants enable them as well in those areas.
– since full time project activities ceased and we moved to a support role Company A has enabled multiple company code/sales organizations globally, without our assistance. Company A engaged us to complete the following complex roll outs.
– removing their US sales tax software and going “native” in SAP (yes you do not need a sales tax software if you are registered in less than one half of US states.)
– variant Configuration: They sell a product which changes rarely. VC is a beast that is best kept tamed when the users change it much more frequently. VC skills are easily forgotten if not practiced monthly
– complex changes to ABAP worklists and interfaces
Company B: This company engages us for everything from roll outs, functionality and business process improvements. All normal for a consulting partner. However, they also engage us for things they should be enabled to do themselves. Some examples:
– variant maintenance
– GL account maintenance
– master data mass maintenance
We have enabled them just like all our customers. We teach our customers how to find the correct door. They have to open it.
Not only does Company A spend less on consulting, but their COE is enabled to support the business whilst also adhering to design that is required for business process change and continuous improvement.
What do I mean? When you engage a consulting firm post go live for help desk support their goals seem to be on the surface beneficial for both you and them:
– to satisfy the user and close the ticket to the user’s satisfaction
– to bill you
Self-sufficiency is not just about a capable COE that is able to translate business requirements into system design and carry out that design themselves. It is about a COE that has the respect and authority to push back on business requirements which do not support your own company’s best business process.
During your project you may have fought hard against politics to enable a business process that benefits your profitability or customer service. Politics usually come back post go live as a help desk ticket.
The consulting help desk team wants to fix the issue and bill remember? If no one from your own COE exists to triage the ticket, then the business process improvement may be wasted. The business reverts to the old way of doing things which might be politically motivated.
If you have your COE who was involved firsthand with the implementation project the design policies of the project are enforced. The ticket does not go to the consultants “to fix”. COE works with the business to enforce the design.
Self-sufficiency means not having to contact, wait for and pay your consulting company for every single change you want to make and every question you have. Self-sufficiency means strict enforcement of project design principles.
One of the keys to lower SAP business process change costs is to build a skilled COE and empower them. They should be supported by a consulting firm that judges its success on how well you do without them.
Self-sufficiency means contacting your consulting company when something is only done once in a while or bringing in new functionality or rolling out a new business unit without impacting your COE’s support of the live business.
At NB Consulting your self-sufficiency on SAP is our core belief.