What is the True Cost of Swivel-Chair? A Must-Read for SAP Manufacturers

Each functional department in a modern manufacturing company has optimized, agile front-end systems to drive their workflows:  Payroll and expense solutions for HR, CRM for Sales and Customer Service, etc. But these best-in-class solutions start to fail if the ERP is antiquated and traps data from being accessed by the people who need it–when and where they need it. Significant work and investment has gone into configuring business rules and processes inside the ERP so it’s important to leverage that logic and not rebuild it.

Locking down access to ERP-based data can be great for security and data integrity, but where it starts to break down is for externally-facing employees like customer service, or sales, that need access to broader information sets. Preventing or limiting access to customer-related data ultimately hurts customer satisfaction and revenue.


Swivel-Chair Inefficiency Frustrates Customers and Employees

When data is spread across multiple systems, customer-facing employees are often left to jump from system to system in order to find information or provide answers. This phenomenon is known as swivel-chair, or swivel-screen and not only does it take longer to find answers when a customer is on the phone, or chat, but it wastes employee productivity and satisfaction.

According to CIO Dive and a study by Qatalog, hopping back and forth between digital tools hampers productivity for 45% of workers. Further, nearly 45% of workers said siloed digital tools are making it hard to gauge whether work is being duplicated and nearly half said the inability to track work led to mistakes on the job.

This doesn’t mean data access needs to be a free-for-all, of course. What it means is that the information a department needs to meet their mandate must be accessible in their main system of record.

No customer service rep wants to have to login to SAP to try and locate a tracking number or ATP date. No sales rep wants to call someone to validate the pricing hasn’t changed on a product based on volume, availability, regional discounts, etc. And because information is always changing, having a side-spreadsheet of “last time I asked” pricing or “possible configuration options” ends up creating duplicate data sets that aren’t sync’d. A single source of truth (your ERP) should always be the goal!


Bring SAP Data Directly to Employees, Exactly When They Need It

Using data virtualization in a purpose-built framework solves all of these problems. Sales teams and Customer Service representatives spend the majority of their day in their CRM–like Salesforce–generating quotes, tracking leads, managing contacts. It only makes sense to make sure the data they need is available directly in the CRM.

Accurate quotes, reflecting account-based pricing, volume discounts, varying tax rates, and more can and should all be available in Salesforce. This doesn’t mean rebuilding price books in Salesforce, it means pulling data directly from SAP to display, and act on, in Salesforce.

For customer service, real-time access to order status, tracking numbers, availability of spare parts, and more must be equally simple and accurate. Any time you have to tell a customer you’ll call them back hurts your relationship and complicates the time-to-revenue process.


The Solution to Swivel-Chair is enosix SAP Pre-built Integration

Any time you consider integration another solution with SAP, the word complicated comes to mind. The enosix difference is pre-built modules that map lead-to-cash SAP functions directly to Salesforce. Of course we can further customize things, but the connections are already built and ready for you.

And because the information is coming directly from SAP, it’s 100% accurate to the business rules, pricing, and processes you’ve already built out and pressure-tested. Gone are unbuildable orders, inaccurate pricing, or missing tracking information.

Ensuring your externally-facing employees have direct access to the information they need to drive revenue and customer satisfaction is a simple way SAP manufacturers can ensure a 21st century experience for customers and distributors. Read more about quoting solutions specifically designed to eliminate swivel-chair in this blog post.

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