Welcome back! At already the fifth post of our blog post series on S/4HANA CLOUD ESSENTIALS (formerly known as Cloud Multi-Tenant, formerly known as Public Cloud).
TheValueChain NV being proud frontrunner in this domain is publishing a blog post series in which you discover tangible insights about the ERP Cloud revolution.
What to expect? Ins and outs about great new features, but also the struggles that come along with. Follow our journey and become aware about the specifics in all the different areas.
Life as it is… in Cloud, Quality Management.
What’s the current status at our innovative customer in the aviation industry running their digital core in the cloud with TheValueChain and SAP ?
Well, we’re now live with 21 company codes. 3 of those are manufacturing sites, 1 is a distribution center and the other 17 are sales offices around the globe. Magic !
It should be no surprise that Quality Management is an important business area for a discrete manufacturer with a reliable reputation in the aviation industry. The manufacturing sites and distribution centre require systematic inspections through the whole supply chain. Materials are inspected in the goods receipt area, QC lab and on the shop floor. These are physical locations that are also characterized by some more advanced warehouse processes.
In the sales offices, there’s a light set up: they can block goods and they can log incidents with return to supplier or another plant as a possible result.
Furthermore, traceability is a key topic within this company for quality and customer service purposes. In case of a quality issue, it’s important to narrow down the potential impact on the produced batches and supplied customers. For standard products, traceability is ensured by serializing the finished goods and by batch-managing the electrical and mechanical components.
For the goods produced within the context of a project, the many different sub-assemblies are serialized, so that the relationship with the finished good should be made visible in the system.
SAP S/4HANA is the single source of truth where this kind of information is stored.
Also in the Quality Management area we’ve experienced successes and challenges during the different phases of the S/4HANA CE implementation:
Let’s start with sharing the positive ones :
- The user experience offered by the Fiori Launchpad with apps is a big improvement. Especially the use of your own smart tiles is very useful. We saved for example a tile to show all incoming inspection lots within a specific plant. It acts as a dashboard, because it shows you the total number of open inspections, and when you click on it, you get an executable worklist.
- New Fiori apps offer better insights. Some examples:
- The ‘Manage…’ apps are visually very appealing, but they are, especially, very powerful in supporting the business process. Since they are enabled on mobile devices, quality inspections are now performed physically in the warehouse or on the shop floor. QCs attach pictures easily to the usage decision.
- Inspection lots can be shown as fact sheets where you get a clear overview of the current inspection data (e.g.: document flows and material documents you can drill down in) and the historical data (e.g.: supplier scores of previous inspections)
- A large number of white-listed Core Data Services (CDS) views are made available. They can be used to create own custom CDS views and eventually, nice visual analytics.
- People like to see that the ‘good old transactions’ are still made available in most cases.
- Also the CoPilot is an interesting Cloud tool to collaborate with your colleagues. It’s especially useful when you include objects that will re-direct your colleague to the same view with one click.
Some challenges we encountered:
- Quality notifications have been simplified: action boxes are not included anymore. In this case, fit-to-standard can result into more manual steps than before.
- SAP is working out great new apps for defect management. Defect creation can be made in a simple and user-friendly way. Using the quality tasks, people get notified via the CoPilot. These defects are then to be converted into a quality notification. We really like the functionality, however, anno 1911, defects can only be converted into Internal Quality Notifications (Q3), not Customer (Q1) or Supplier (Q2) Quality Notifications. As this is not meeting the customer’s requirements, these apps are not used yet. We at TheValueChain are following up the roadmap and our running customer influence ticket with SAP.
- Cloud Warehouse is the WMS in S/4HANA CE to cover more advanced warehousing processes and is relatively new. When integrating this with other business areas, anomalies can occur. In the manufacturing focused blog post, we already provided the example of serialized materials not being compatible with Cloud Warehouse until 2002 release.
As a conclusion, we can say in all honesty that we’re impressed by the constant evolution of the S/4HANA Cloud CE system. With every release the system is getting more mature because improvements stream in at a lightning fast pace. The Quality Management area is no exception to that. Combining the new Fiori apps, offering a whole new level of user experience, together with the reliable SAP functionalities over decades, results in a solid system that can carry your Quality Management processes.
The focus in a CE implementation, is more than ever on the ‘fit-to-standard’ approach. Both customer and implementation partner must be convinced that keeping your core (S/4HANA ERP) standard and clean, is the fertile soil for constant innovation. It’s key to adopt this as a new organization culture. Migrating from a customized (SAP) legacy system to a S/4HANA Cloud CE system, might require sacrifices at the start, but side-by-side development on the Cloud Platform and (future) use of Intelligent Technologies (like iRPA, CAI and Machine Learning) will transform your company into a more autonomous Intelligent Enterprise.
If you have any comments, please leave it below or send me a direct message.
This blog post is part of our blog post series ‘Life as it is… Implementing S/4 HANA CLOUD MULTI-TENANT (PUBLIC CLOUD)’, where you will find links to other business areas. Please follow these blog post series that will be frequently updated. We will keep sharing tangible insights about the S/4HANA Cloud Essentials (CE). Especially, about the new releases.
TheValueChain NV is a leading SAP Partner that enables companies to speed up and increase the business value of SAP. As a trusted advisor we inspire customers to embrace end-to-end solutions to tackle their challenges in this digital age. We aim for the total approach with smart innovation, simplification and sustainability. We go beyond simple: with functional and technical expertise and an unconditional commitment we convert your implementation into a unique differentiator.