SAP Digital Transformation: Mapping Your Journey
What does SAP digital transformation look like? How should you approach this next phase in the life of your business? If you’re starting at square 1, the prospect of digital transformation is a bit daunting. Even if you’ve already begun your journey, it can be difficult to get a handle on how SAP digital transformation will affect all aspects of your business.
To help you sort out priorities and define a digital transformation roadmap at your organization, we’ll look at SAP digital transformation from 4 angles:
- Transforming customer experience on top of SAP
- Revising internal processes with SAP digital transformation
- Choosing infrastructure that supports SAP digital transformation
- Transforming company culture
Let’s dive in!
1. Transforming customer experience on top of SAP
For organizations which have run SAP for years, digital transformation should account for on one critical facet of the business: customer experience. Manufacturers, in particular, haven’t had to think much about customer experience before the digital revolution. But as manufacturers launch digital transformation on top of SAP, they must consider a profound revision to customer experience or risk losing customers to the competition.
Old paradigms for customer experience often look something like this:
- Placing orders via phone/fax/email
- Calling customer service for account information
- Mailing paper checks for payments
In contrast, SAP digital transformation should support new paradigms for customer experience:
- Self-service online order placement
- Self-service online account management
- Self-service payments
- And much more
2. Revising internal processes with SAP digital transformation
Some organizations need minimal revision to customer experience, or have already undertaken that revision, but still need to become more efficient in the back end. At Corevist, we see this frequently as manufacturers seek to cut out the clutter in their business processes.
Companies with a long history of running SAP are particularly at risk for bloat in internal processes. SAP business rules may contain layer after layer of revision, added by different IT teams over the years. Becoming more efficient often means taking a step back, looking at the end goal of any business process, and asking, “What’s the simplest way to set that up in SAP?”
There’s room to improve efficiency in order processing, too. Taking orders via phone/fax/email creates a much higher cost of order fulfillment than self-service, SAP-integrated ecommerce. Even without an ecommerce catalog, i.e. with an SKU-based order entry portal, manufacturers can see significant cost savings by switching to ecommerce. See our FREE ROI calculator for more.
3. Align your infrastructure with your unique brand of SAP digital transformation
Successful SAP digital transformation requires the right technology—a platform (or platforms) aligned with the business case facing your company. Perhaps the largest unknown facing SAP organizations is the migration to S/4HANA. With SAP planning to end maintenance for ECC in 2025, companies running their ERP on-premises need to consider the outlook for that technology. We believe there is no right answer when it comes to ECC vs S/4HANA; rather, companies need to make informed decisions here that align with their long-term SAP digital transformation goals.
When it comes to customer experience, a cloud-based solution like Corevist Commerce is a critical piece of the infrastructure puzzle, whether your ERP stays on-premises or moves to the cloud. Customers need real-time SAP data in ecommerce for accurate inventory, contract pricing, ATP, RDD/EDD, and much more. Corevist Commerce is fully compatible with all major SAP ERP versions (ECC, All-in-One, R/3, ECC on HANA, & S/4). Corevist allows you to transition your customer experience seamlessly as the cloud-based future arrives.
4. Transforming company culture
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. A phrase like “SAP digital transformation” doesn’t quite give you the whole picture of what’s required for a successful transition because it focuses on technology (“SAP,” “digital”). In reality, a successful digital transformation requires far more than launching a new platform. After all, new technologies are useless if people refuse to use them.
To make your SAP digital transformation a success, you need to consider the aspect of company culture. How will your transformation challenge existing culture? What resistance will you encounter from each stakeholder? How can you communicate the positive aspects of the transformation in a way that’s relevant to each stakeholder?
For more on curating a healthy company culture, see this post on managing digital transformation.
Moving forward: FREE case study
Want to see an SAP digital transformation in real life? Download this case study on Mannington Mills. You’ll learn how this leading manufacturer of flooring transformed their customer experience while maintaining SAP as the source of truth for all aspects of their business. The result? 150% sales growth in the digital channel.
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