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The business value in SAP

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It is a truth universally known that many companies find it difficult to keep up with the ever-changing needs and demands of today’s consumer, to say nothing of the challenges that lie in innovating ways to remain at the forefront of success. This has, unsurprisingly, led to the spending of untold sums on technology, people, and processes which should allow a company to push forwards.

But what do you do after you’ve spent the necessary pennies, implemented the essential software, trained all the users, and all appears not to be running smoothly? When will you start to see the true value of your investment?

At what point do you start to experience the efficient use of SAP, the true Return on Investment (ROI)? Deon du Preez, GM, Innovation at Britehouse, tackles a question that keeps most CIOs awake at night.

Creating your own magic

The truth is that you can’t sit back and wait to derive value for your company, not unless there is a constant flow of Business Process Improvement (BPI). Looking after the people, processes, and technology, and ensuring that all three are functioning efficiently and working together, is how you continue to take your company to the next level.

Each one of these essential cogs in your BPI strategy can only take you so far on their own, though. It makes sense that you simply cannot afford to ignore any of the three elements of an effective BPI approach. It won’t, for instance, do justice to all the time, effort, and money you’ve spent if your company’s technology function is working but the people are not trained correctly on it and your processes aren’t efficient and aligned to your company’s business objectives.

The role of CIOs these days is not just about what technology challenges and issues the business faces, but rather, what are the overall business challenges facing staff, customers and suppliers. Technology is only the enabler, so how do you get the overall perspective from which you can make on the go decisions to improve the quality of your business functions?

Bird’s eye view

In the process of ensuring a constant flow of BPI, it is necessary to view the organisation as a whole so that you can successfully ensure that synergy is taking place at all levels, from operational to tactical and strategic levels.

This is an issue that many companies face. Often this is because they don’t have the capabilities, the resources, or the knowhow to create a congruent BPI strategy, which leads to the inability to close the gap between effective software and bottom line value.

A major global manufacturing entity has introduced their solution in the form of their SAP Operations Control Centre (OCC). Through the use of a control room they are able to offer companies in the group, the chance to steer away from being server- or application-only focused, and towards having an end-to-end business focus through 24/7 monitoring of each of the different components across the business.

The real value lies in the impact this monitoring will have on the overall quality of business, specifically in how you are exposed to new opportunities, whether this be with innovative business ideas or improving processes that are already in place. For example, what is the monetary value of dead stock in your organisation, and what should you do to clear this dead stock values, and sustain it. Another example might be to look at your on-time and in-full commitment to your customer, and sustaining it in a changing market. The objective is to add real value to business processes on a day-to-day basis, and sustaining it in an effective way.

Ideas and approaches like these are spreading into Africa – and not a moment too soon, according to Deon du Preez, General Manager, Innovation at Britehouse.

Partner for the future

The key to unlocking the door to new business opportunities, says du Preez, is through “pro-reactive monitoring which covers your business around the clock with an SAP partner who can effectively drive the value out of your technology into real life operation.”

How do you do this, though? How do you create your own control centre and reap these benefits?

With companies like the example above leading the way, there are now solutions from SAP that you can take advantage of, to do just this. The question, however, is what if you don’t have the budget or internal resource capability or capacity to perform the actions required in an efficient OCC?

Says de Preez, “local opportunities are opening up in Africa, such Britehouse’s Business Control Centre (BCC), which closely aligns the strategic objectives and functionality of SAP’s Operational Control Centre and helps companies actively look at moving forward and optimising what you have put in place.”

This is precisely what is needed. A partner who has made the investment so that you don’t need to, and is able to drive the same and more value as a service to you. The more value lies in your preferred partner’s deployment, not only of SAP skilled resources but also business subject matter experts, who strive to deliver value to the customer through the use of a service, like the Business Control Centre.

With this system and the right partner to help you manage business process applications and technology you will enjoy a good indicator of performance across locations and departments.

So if you’re looking for the answer to ‘Where’s the value?’ in your company, it’s worth your while investing in a partner who can offer you a bird’s eye view into your end-to-end business processes, one who possesses an unusual combination of the necessary technology insight and unique facilities, combined with a leading group of subject matter experts so that your business can respond to issues timeously and improve as it operates and grows.

That’s how you continuously unlock ROI on your SAP investment.