How IT Departments of Manufacturing Companies Can Optimize Time-to-Revenue
The IT department may feel light years away from revenue-generating activities, but IT prioritizations can have a direct, and dramatic, impact on time-to-revenue and agility to meet customer demands. It’s a human-capital-meets-automation dynamic playing out in real time.
Business Process Automation (BPA) is as much a corporate buzzword as Digital Transformation. Manufacturers are looking for BPA to drive efficiencies from the floor all the way to the front-lines of sales. IT organizations are central to both, tasked with supporting the ever-changing business needs, at increased velocity, with limited resources.
Over-Tapped and Strapped IT Departments
According to Aberdeen, manufacturers who are falling flat with revenue appear to be doing everything right–but still aren’t seeing the top-line results. To overcome this their #1 focus is promoting collaboration between departments. Particularly, uncovering customer insights based on real-time data.
Much of the real-time data needed for agile customer responsiveness, accurate quotes, ATP in eCommerce applications, and more is found inside SAP. Maintaining an SAP ERP is becoming a more and more challenging task for IT departments who are facing skill shortages on all fronts and especially those able to interface with SAP’s esoteric infrastructure. SAP predicted in 2008 that 50,000 more SAP specialists were going to be needed worldwide and in the year since, accelerated retirements, a global pandemic, and increasing demand for S/4HANA migration support have created a perfect storm where IT departments.
IT leaders tasked with prioritizing investments both maintaining and growing the business are:
- Combining quick-win/short-term business-driven projects with longer-term maintenance and evolution projects.
For example, improving sales quoting by deploying a CPQ solution that’s built to work on today’s ECC ERP, and seamlessly upgrade to S/4HANA when the organization finished work on that 18+ month project. The business gets a time-to-revenue-improving solution and the IT team minimizes (or eliminates) re-work as they upgrade the core ERP.
- Using data to guide investment decisions.
Has usage in your commerce portal continued to increase, or has it plateaued–or worse, declined? Work put into a modern front-end commerce solution–that uses data virtualized directly from SAP (no replication, no batching, no middleware) is a direct way to increase revenue.
- Combine agile methodologies with strategic outsourcing.
Breaking large projects into smaller sprints has become the IT norm for good reason. It can deliver business value faster, and more efficiently. Combining this mentality with strategic outsourcing to a Packaged Integration Process (PIP)-based partner with pre-configured, pre-tested SAP integration modules and you have another strategic advantage.
Business Process Automation + IT = Speed & Agility
Every time an IT team invests in automation projects, it lessens their maintenance load and drives business speed. This is especially true when automation projects use real-time SAP data to improve collaboration, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction.
- SAP-integrated customer portals allow 24/7 access to prior orders, shipping status, and other transactional data–meaning customer service representatives spend more time on value-added customer interactions and revenue-driving activities.
- Automated quoting means accurate pricing, faster turnaround times, and elimination of manual errors. It also means no duplication of pricing, configurations, or discount levels because SAP data is directly used for every real-time quote.
- Integrating Variant Configuration directly into eCommerce and quoting solutions ensures 100% SAP-acceptable order creation without tables to maintain, exceptions to manage, and error logs to clear.
Ensuring a frictionless customer experience often starts within the IT department. Understanding customer needs, focusing on decreasing time-to-revenue with user-friendly, accurate, and self-service solutions are key reasons CIOs are keeping internal IT teams focused on projects that can most efficiently be done in-house, while looking to PIP-based solutions and trusted partners as strategic extensions of their team. Learn how your SAP data can be live inside your front-end systems in just weeks by talking to our team today.