Beyond the Floor: The Continued Rise of Automation for SAP Manufacturers

Much has been written about the impact of the pandemic on digital transformation initiatives across industries and companies. Underneath those headlines lies the manufacturing industry – seemingly late adopters of many transformational technologies but keenly aware of the revenue and profit that’s at stake. Specifically, the impact of automation for SAP manufacturers can be felt far beyond the manufacturing floor.

Automation should play a central role in quotation, sales, and order creation–ensuring 100% accurate pricing and availability by bringing SAP data directly, in real time, into the front-end systems these functions leverage. Automations should also pull asset data directly from SAP to create asset maps, process criticality, equipment information, and much, much more.

Customer Portals: Freeing Human Capital to do What Humans Do Best

No employee wakes up each morning excited to answer phone calls about tracking numbers and shipment status. Nor does any company want to dedicate employees to the same pursuit. One place where automation for SAP Manufacturers intersects with a burgeoning push for self-service, is with eCommerce portals.

Customers and distributors expect today’s manufacturers to offer the same online ordering ease, and account management, as Amazon, Target, Uber Eats, and more. In a time when you can track your dinner delivery from the moment your order right up until it arrives on your doorstep, it’s not a stretch to expect comparable functionality for manufactured goods–regardless of complexity.

The key to scaling this type of functionality is automation. Leveraging the single source of truth for all business transactions – SAP – and delivering that information in real time to front-end systems like eCommerce, customer portals, CRMs, and more. All available 24/7, 365, with no human interaction necessary.

Process Automation for SAP Manufacturers: Error Elimination and a Single Source of Truth

HBR (Harvard Business Review) cites that bad data costs U.S. companies $3 trillion each year. Even a seemingly minuscule error rate compounds as resolutions require time, manual intervention, and even margin concessions. Automation of pricing, order creation, and BOMs ensures 100% accuracy to SAP-defined rules and downstream processes.

This also creates a single source of truth – where not only are business logic and rules maintained inside SAP, but mission-critical front end systems that leverage (not replicate) that data. 

Further, every effort must be made by SAP manufacturers to eliminate manual data entry and automate redundant tasks. Freeing employees from mundane and error-prone tasks enables them to be more strategic and value-added. This is more critical than ever as companies are challenged to hire – and keep – employees.

Don’t wait for ERP Modernization to Implement Process Automation

It can be tempting to wait for SAP S/4HANA migration before automating key business processes. But if you partner with the right SAP experts, you can leverage prebuilt processes that lift-and-shift from ECC to S/4HANA without reworking (think enosix). Get the benefit of modern front-end systems with real time SAP integration designed to speed automation for SAP manufacturers.

Want to learn more? Check out our blog post on moving faster than your ERP or our eBook on Data Integration.

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