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5 Golden Rules For SAP Success

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Write Excellent SAP Technical specifications

I’ve written subpar specifications in the past and received hell from programmers. The ability to write a clear and precise technical specification is the primary skill for any IT company. A SAP technical specification is used to understand and agree upon all business requirements. It is the holy grail of SAP documents. If business requirements are not clear we insist on sitting down with the users and clarifying them. I have frequently seen a one hour face to face or Skype call be far more beneficial than 10 emails. Nothing beats looking at a screen together. Once the requirements are clear, the technical spec will be clear. Do you think Apple, Google or Facebook follow this rule?

Show Grit and Persistence

On the first day of a project to finish implementing a delayed SAP Vendor Consignment project, I immediately asked for the Director of IT and all 3 Plant Directors to have a conference call with me. The client of this client (who wanted Vendor Consignment) yelled on the phone the first day I got there. I was persistent in having the client’s executive team on board from day one. In one month the tests were completed, users trained, documents written and we went live without a single hitch. We have also worked on changes with clients with SAP ROI’s (return on investment) potentially worth millions of dollars. SAP changes are not always a high priority for clients. They have products to sell and their own clients to keep happy. We make sure the SAP ROI stays visible for a client. I remind the client that each day they delay implementing, tens of thousands is lost in savings.  Nothing in the world can take place of persistence or grit.

Work with the Best Damn SAP Team you can get

I have worked with engineers that dig into a SAP system until it is crystal clear how a process works. We have worked with programmers that will find the best and most efficient solution for a client. I am not an engineer or programmer. Nor will I ever pretend to be. I am a Supply Chain Architect and Senior Technical Consultant. Sure I have technical skills and apply them. I also inspire and motivate clients and consultants towards common and complex goals. I enable things to happen, focus on relationships, watch the big picture and wear a dark blue suit some days.  As a team we bring out the best in each other because we have to. Work with the best damn SAP team you can get.

Test your SAP solution until your fingers bleed

You will most likely miss some test scenarios at one point. Especially when changing complex SAP driven processes that span across multiple clients. We are persistent when gathering initial requirements to ask for all possible test scenarios. In this day and age many clients don’t have the luxury of having users testing fulltime. Therefore it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t all get caught with our testing pants down. Collaborate with the client after initial SAP design and development for a few quick tests. Prior production collaborate a bit more. It only be an hour. But that hour will save weeks of post-production stress. Test your SAP solution until your fingers bleed.

Don’t’ be a sub-contractor be a consultant.

We aren’t hired to blindly do what clients want. If the client wants a green button that glows, sure we can program that. But then we are just another sub-contractor spending the clients’ money on a green button.  What if there is a much simpler solution? What if we run the transaction and the solution is already a standard feature? Sometimes we overlook the obvious in our haste to make a pretty button. A SAP consultant is a professional that has wide knowledge of his subject matter. A SAP consultant consistently improves the bottom line of a company or organization. A consultant is a change agent, coach, teacher and facilitator. A sub-contractor isn’t any of this. He will make a pretty green button.

Let’s recap

Write Excellent SAP Technical specifications

Show Grit and Persistence

Work with the Best Damn SAP Team you can get

Test your SAP solution until your fingers bleed

Don’t’ be a sub-contractor be a consultant.

Terry Vermeylen is hell bent on rapidly transforming your business into a World Class Operation by major transformation or by eliminating one bad habit at a time.

Terry Vermeylen brings 30+ years of experience in SAP and Supply Chain Process improvement. As an SAP professional and Supply Chain Architect he has worked and consulted for some of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturing companies focusing primarily on the Aerospace and Pharmaceutical industries.

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