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Implementational Speed to Market

Key time consuming factors for an SAP Supply Chain Digital Transformation process

We understand that you may be experiencing frustrations or concerns regarding the duration of a proposed SAP© Supply Chain digital transformation. Whether it is replacing APO with IBP, or a brownfield S/4 HANA implementation, Implementing a digital transformation in any organization can be a complex and time-consuming process. There can be several factors that contribute to the length of time it takes to complete such a transformation. Let's explore some possible reasons for the delay:

1. Scope of Transformation: The scope of your SAP© Supply Chain digital transformation project can significantly impact its duration. If the transformation involves multiple departments, business units, or global locations, it may take longer to coordinate and align all stakeholders, processes, and systems.

Outlining the fundamentals that need to be addressed is a key aspect to ensuring success. What does success look like and how can it be measured? Is this a simple migration or are we looking to see improvement in key KPIs? Definition of the objective with metrics to track progress must be defined up front, these provide as both guard rails and a beacon to keep the implementation moving forward in the right direction.

While details of each aspect cannot be fully defined, a routing guide as to the structure and how the solution will be built can ensure a solid foundation on which improvements can be made. Alignment on these fundamentals can be gathered to ensure all stakeholders are aligned on the key objectives and to guarantee commitment to the structural plan.

2. Change Management: Digital transformations often require significant changes in organizational culture, processes, and workflows. Managing these changes and ensuring buy-in from employees at all levels of the organization can take time. It's crucial to provide adequate training, communication, and support to help employees adapt to new ways of working.

Regular feedback and refinement is key. The simple aspect of listening and engaging ensures that the user community understands that their opinion matters. While they may not have been able to define the key structural aspects of the blueprint, their input to refine and confirm the fundamentals is a way to let the organization know that the project team is listening and considering their input.

Another aspect that must not be forgotten when developing and delivering a large scale implementation is that quick wins are always possible. Adding value early, whether it is process documentation, master data cleansing, or basic functionality, can provide a positive jolt of energy to the project and allow for users to engage early. This delivers value and motivation to all parties involved, facilitating the change process by incrementing the change process.

3. Data Migration and Integration: Data plays a vital role in any supply chain, and migrating and integrating data from legacy systems into the new SAP platform can be a complex task. Ensuring data accuracy, integrity, and compatibility can take time and require careful planning and


Bringing data together across systems can be challenging due to system specific data or uniqueness of data structure for the system being used. For example, attributes can be helpful for reporting and selection in a core ERP system, but in an S&OP planning system, these attribute may be used for taking decisions and adjusting values. Their criticality to ensure planning happens is critical for the design of the solution

4. Customization and Configuration: SAP systems offer a high degree of flexibility and customization options. Tailoring the system to meet specific business requirements and integrating it with existing systems and processes can extend the implementation timeline.

Every business is unique and many have created their unique way of using technology to facilitate their processes. These are often critical to bring efficiency and/or transparency of data in a way that brings competitive advantage to an organization.

This adaptability can be a double edged sword, in that while it can bring enormous value to an organization, it can also result in increased complexity impacting timelines, resourcing and budget. Our approach is to start with the basics and build incremental complexity based on measurable value. Invest where and when needed. Understand the importance of sustainability to support complex customization. Focus on speed to market.

5. Testing and Quality Assurance: Thorough testing and quality assurance are critical in ensuring a smooth transition and avoiding any disruptions to the supply chain. Rigorous testing of the SAP system, including scenario testing, user acceptance testing, and integration testing, can consume a significant amount of time. The user engagement should be seen as an investment to not only ensure the current success but to build sustainability in the solution for years to come.

One of the benefits of moving to some cloud solutions such as SAP IBP is that updates happen regularly, bringing in new functionalities that companies can capitalize on. To ensure existing designs continue to work we can again look to technology to automate testing.

A robust and forward thinking project plan that has proper discipline and organization brings quality to the delivery and provides content that can be capitalized on for years to come.

6. Resource Allocation: Adequate resource allocation, including skilled personnel, project management, and technical expertise, is essential for the timely completion of the digital transformation. Limited resources or competing priorities may impact the project timeline.

We must be honest to understand there is no replacement for experience. Having seasoned professionals that have worked in the details of technology and understand what is possible is fundamental to success. We pride ourselves on being technology consultants that understand business processes. When people are assigned to projects they must know both sides and are capable of collaborating and discussing ways forward together.

It's important to note that each organization's context and requirements are unique, and the duration of a SAP Supply Chain digital transformation can vary. However, by working closely with experienced consultants, leveraging best practices, and addressing any challenges proactively, you can help expedite the process. Remember, the ultimate goal of your SAP Supply Chain digital transformation is to achieve long-term benefits and improvements in efficiency, visibility, and competitiveness. While the journey may take time, staying focused on the end result can help you navigate the challenges and reap the rewards of a successful digital transformation. If you have any specific concerns or issues related to your SAP Supply Chain digital transformation project, I recommend reaching out to us or your SAP Customer Success team for personalized assistance and guidance.

We want to hear your opinion as well! What other key factors should be addressed to ensure speed to market?

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