Published on in ManufacturingUncategorizedManufacturing

I was listening to some old CDs the other evening and one of the songs on George Harrison’s disc caught my attention. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. Like most of his work, there are profound messages contained within his songs. This one in particular made me think about myself and some recent client interactions.

Most of the clients I meet today are either on their SAP S/4HANA journey, have road mapped it out or are planning for it. The majority of those conversations are focused on which migration path is being taken (Brown, Blue or Greenfield), what the commercial construct such as RISE will look like, and what flavour of cloud will be adopted. There is also a focus on how to speed up activities and see things in real time. There is one common human flaw in this – there tends to be a focus on doing the same things in the same way, faster.

S/4HANA is one of the biggest generational changes for most SAP clients requiring significant investment in terms of cash, resources and time. It cannot be rushed and needs to be carefully considered.

Over the last year, I have been working closely with SAP Signavio and have been astounded by the questions it has generated and changes that have been made as a result.

The first question is – what is my business process? SAP Signavio has the ability to pull these as processes out of your ECC6 environment and the associated key metrics with them. I can’t tell you how many hours as a FICO consultant I have spent in a project room with whiteboards and post it notes, trying to work out a process with a client and how they would want that to change in SAP. They say SAP implementation projects run over time and budget but in my experience, it’s not the implementation as such. It’s the lack of information, understanding or decision making that is the real cause.

So, you now have a great understanding of your existing business process and metrics around that but what now? Well, the ability to take that information and compare alternative processes is essential. I have spent a lot of time with clients who are then able to compare ECC6 processes with S/4HANA standard processes and understand the impact. More importantly, SAP Signavio suggests processes that can be automated such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Clients can run these scenarios by comparing and adding more resources vs RPA to build business cases for this. Integration with Solution Manager enables this to be held at the heart of your SAP environment.

But as we all know, once you are live, you need to know how you are running and how you compare to others in the same sector/industry or simply your own metrics. SAP Signavio provides ongoing monitoring against your KPIs and alerts if they are out of tolerance but also pinpoints why. This enables the business to continue to discover roadblocks and make the necessary changes quickly. In addition, there is a collaboration hub that allows all employees to contribute and make changes as they happen. This also builds a company taxonomy which has become essential in modern business.

You can now see why SAP bought Signavio and it is to their credit that much work has been done to embed this easily into S/4HANA.

It is no mistake that Fujitsu has already embedded SAP Signavio into our S/4HANA assessments and are already including them into our manufacturing solutions and other SAP offerings. Making the right informed process decisions early on, understanding how technology can improve those processes and managing and governing your processes beyond the S/4HANA implementation are key.

CDs are fun and tactile but in the end they lost to streaming. The process of downloading music on demand was quicker, easier and more efficient. Something we should consider carefully in our S/4HANA plans.

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