Make SAP Easy to Use | 5 Simple Tips

  • Feb 4, 2019,
  • By Zach Reed
SAP

Numerous businesses utilize SAP to optimize their business processes, from small mom and pop shops to large global conglomerates.  SAP helps capture the various business transactions happening around an organization in departments like Accounts Payables, Risk Analysis, Sales, HR, and Marketing. It’s an Enterprise Resource Planning  (ERP) software — a logical representation of the business which is centrally connected and assists in completing real-time reporting. However, while SAP can be beneficial to organizational streamlining,  it can also produce some IT headaches, especially for businesses that tend to have leaner IT departments.

In order to make SAP easier to use, we have five easy to implement suggestions.

1 — Active Directory

Adding a new SAP account can be a time and labor-intensive task, requiring multiple manual actions. When a new employee is brought on, you have to create an account and enable appropriate access with the correct permissions so that they’re able to perform their required work. As roles expand and change, you’ll likely need to manually make access and permission changes to the various systems. And, when it comes to employee separation, access should be revoked in a timely fashion. All of this means more time and energy spent managing your SAP instance. Manually making these changes in SAP is complex and expensive. To avoid paying for unused capacity, it’s critical that changes are implemented in a timely fashion. 

The solution to combat this issue is integrating SAP with your Active Directory. If you begin integration by syncing with your HR application, changes made within it will automatically trigger changes across other SAP systems, such as user facilities and functionality assignment, as well as your network (Exchange, Active Directory, etc.). This allows system admin to easily reclassify roles and edit access rights in SAP while making the process of de-provisioning accounts of former employees much more simplified.

There are multiple options available that actually help simplify Active Directory integration and you’re highly likely to find that a little homework on this can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to SAP infrastructure.

2 — Customize

You might be surprised by how often this easy step is overlooked. Taking the time to set your profile can help you execute transactions quickly, with many field selections populated automatically for you. To accomplish this, SAP uses Parameter IDs. Below is a common list of parameter IDs that you can utilize along with their value.

Example: For your Maintenance Plant

Parameter ID = SWK | Parameter Value = 2461 (this is your plant code). Once this value is entered, SAP will automatically populate every transaction that calls for the Maintenance Plant value.

To locate a field parameter ID, simply click any transaction within a field and then hit the F1 button. Then select the technical info icon (looks like a wrench and hammer) and a table will then popup and one of the fields will display the parameter ID. Note — not all fields have a parameter ID.

To display the actual SAP code:

  • In the Menu bar, click ‘Extras.’
  • In the dropdown, select ‘Settings.’
  • Check the display technical names.
  • Click the checkmark.

3 — Capriza ApproveSimple

When you take a look at the broad picture, your business depends on key approvals such as expenses, purchases, IT services, and timecards. With the ability to consolidate and simplify your approvals while using your existing applications, Capriza ApproveSimple integrates with SAP via the RFC integration layer and allows you to manage approvals directly from SAP’s Enterprise application software.

A delayed PO approval could result in missed discounts, equating to lost dollars, late fees, delayed collections, and compliance risks. Not to mention what a delayed shopping cart approval could mean for your revenue, brand, and overall customer satisfaction. Slow approval cycles are only certain to do three things: aggravate your clients/customers, frustrate your stakeholders, and cost you money. SAP is much easier to use when you integrate ApproveSimple.

4 — Customize Even More

We’re throwing this one in because it’s a little known yet very useful tip. While not exactly easy to find, there is an easy way to increase or decrease the SAP screen font size. Increasing the font size sounds like a small thing but we often see SAP users struggle with the default font size.  This simple change can have big results in terms of reducing literal oversights and increased frustration by SAP users.

Just follow these 10 steps.

  1. Click the ‘Customize Local Layout’ button.
  2. From the dropdown menu, click ‘Options.’
  3. Click the tab for ‘I18N.’
  4. Check the box next to ‘Activate Multibytes Functions.’
  5. Close the session.
  6. Relaunch SAP.
  7. Click the ‘Customize Local Layout’ button again.
  8. From the dropdown menu, click ‘Font (I18N).’
  9. In the new window that opens, you can adjust your font style and size.
  10. Once you’ve made your desired changes, click OK, exit the application, and relaunch SAP.

Your new font changes will now be applied.

5 — SAP eCommerce Platform

SAP is written in its own language, ABAP, which is difficult to present on the web. However, even more troublesome is the fact that SAP eCommerce really requires live SAP data displayed and modified in real-time through the eCommerce store.

You can solve this problem by syncing data between SAP and the eCommerce store with utilization of an SAP eCommerce platform. With the right platform, this happens in real-time while data with a low refresh rate is synced via batch updates. Additionally, taking the time to research available options can provide even greater value to your SAP commerce.

Accurate pricing — If you’ve extended a specific price point or discount with a specific client, when they log in to your SAP eCommerce store you don’t want them to see list price or one without their promised discount. Frustrated calls to your Customer Service or, at worst, actually losing the sale can easily occur over a mistake such as this. Additionally, you need need real-time pricing data loaded from SAP if you have products with incremental volume discounts by quantity.

Available inventory — If your buyers constantly have to call Customer Service in order to get accurate inventory levels from SAP, your eCommerce platform isn’t really “self service” is it? Instead of relying on nightly batch updates, the right eCommerce platform is loaded with real-time inventory data that’s pulled from SAP when they request it.

Credit limits — Some of the really good SAP eCommerce platforms query SAP for real-time data on the customer’s credit limits. This allows the customer to see how much credit they actually have remaining, or receive an error message if they’re over their credit limit along with a Call to Action to navigate to the payments area and return to placing orders again without ever having to call Customer Service.

Getting the Most Out of SAP

Having any ERP, especially SAP, can provide numerous benefits to both the company and your clients — not to mention your ROI and stakeholders. That said, the most powerful systems can become unwieldy and complicated quickly. Finding the right tools and systems to complement your SAP installation is paramount to getting employee buy-in and getting the most out of your SAP purchase. With the right partners like Capriza and utilizing the tips above, you can definitely take SAP to new levels.

To learn more about how to reduce the complications of SAP through streamlined approvals, contact us now. ApproveSimple by Capriza makes ERP systems like SAP, Oracle, and Concur a breeze. We’d love the chance to show you how.

 

Zach Reed

Zach is the Director of Solution Consulting at Capriza. His background in enterprise mobility enables him to better serve customers in their own digital transformation journeys.

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