Maximizing SAP Supply Chain Performance with Reveal

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Independent research suggests that 94% of companies feel they are not leveraging SAP effectively and that most organizations use less than 35% of SAP's capabilities.

⇨ companies struggle to realize the expected return on investment (ROI) following an SAP implementation and often resort to inefficient manual processes, and suffer from a lack of confidence in the data.

⇨ Reveal offers an approach (solution) to this challenge by helping organizations achieve tangible and sustainable business outcomes by leveraging their existing SAP system and investments, in essence, value harvesting.

The importance of maximizing SAP capabilities cannot be overstated. Independent research suggests that 94% of companies feel they are not leveraging SAP effectively and that most organizations use less than 35% of SAP’s capabilities. As a result, companies struggle to realize the expected return on investment (ROI) following an SAP implementation and often resort to inefficient manual processes, and suffer from a lack of confidence in the data. This highlights the significant opportunities waiting to be capitalized on, and an urgent need for a shift in approaches to maximize available resources and drive tangible improvements in business operations, especially in supply chain efficiency and SAP utilization.

Reveal offers an approach (solution) to this challenge by helping organizations achieve tangible and sustainable business outcomes by leveraging their existing SAP system and investments, in essence, value harvesting.  The company supports organizations in elevating internal business operations, educating users, and maximizing the potential of SAP to achieve enduring and quantifiable advantages. Whether it is streamlining supply chain operations or integrating additional SAP functionalities, the company empowers organizations to refine their workflows and harness SAP intelligently by advocating for a transition from a transaction-centric mindset to proactive exception management driven by insights. As a result, organizations can enhance agility, service excellence, cost-efficiency, and inventory performance.

Reveal’s involvement spans various areas within SAP, including sales and operations planning (SAP Integrated Business Planning), supply and demand planning, contract and supplier management, procurement, MRP, production planning, capacity leveling and scheduling, shop floor activities, project systems, enterprise asset management, planned maintenance, warehouse management, quality and batch management, order fulfillment (specifically ATP), and distribution logistics. Additionally, they have expanded their services to encompass finance and other supporting functions which align with their core focus on supply chain and operations.

Martin Rowan, Managing Partner at Reveal emphasizes, “Our primary goal is to enhance and optimize business operations by maximizing and leveraging the functionality of SAP. Essentially, we serve as operational and supply chain business experts proficient in leveraging SAP software to achieve specific business outcomes. These objectives may include enhancing service levels, reducing inventory, increasing manufacturing throughput, lowering costs, scaling operations, managing customer allocation, and other essential business tasks. To accomplish this, we collaborate with organizations to understand their business goals, evaluate their current use of SAP, identify recommended areas of improvement, and seek automation through enhanced SAP usage.  The key is using what you have to its fullest first, then seek additional solutions!”

ongoing VALUE 0ptimization®

Reveal’s strategy employs a unique approach to assist companies in reaching higher levels of Business Maturity® (a concept developed by Reveal – an organization’s ability to meet and exceed its business goals by leveraging its SAP investment), Reveal has developed a proprietary methodology, known as, ‘ongoing VALUE optimization®’ or oVo®. The methodology targets organizations already employing SAP, typically manufacturers, distributors, or wholesalers, and revolves around embedding continuous improvement capabilities within client teams to achieve desired goals through standard SAP practices, while custom solutions are avoided in favor of utilizing SAP best practices and providing extensive education to teams.

Central to the methodology is educating teams on system capabilities, master data integrity, and alignment to business rules, while leveraging information effectively to drive business results. Notably, the methodology offers guaranteed outcomes for clients, such as inventory reduction, cost reduction, throughput improvements, service level improvement, etc. using their unique fixed-price engagement outcome-based model. This broad range of capabilities ensures clients benefit comprehensively from the methodology deployed.

As Rowan highlights, “Our methodology, adaptable across various SAP functional areas, prioritizes the broader context of the end-to-end supply chain. This approach enhances operational efficiencies and cultivates a culture focused on delivering tangible business value. Through education and change management initiatives, we foster critical thinking among team members, ensuring ownership of the SAP system within the business. By promoting alignment with best practices and facilitating cross-functional collaboration, we empower organizations to leverage the full potential of their SAP investment while driving continuous improvement and measuring key performance indicators.”

Many companies that struggle to get value from their SAP investments often contemplate diversifying their product portfolio or exploring alternative 3rd party solutions before exploiting what they already own. Reveal emphasizes assessing the proper utilization of existing SAP functionality deployed, the organization’s maturity in the use and knowledge of SAP capabilities, and acknowledging the combined inherent efficacy. Their approach hinges on addressing knowledge gaps within client teams, ensuring comprehensive utilization of SAP functionalities. Remarkably, around 95% of the time, companies opt to retain SAP software or leverage its capabilities as a first step, after realizing its potential through guidance from the Reveal team. This success contributes indirectly to SAP customer success, as satisfied clients are more likely to renew their subscriptions. Thus, the team’s closest alliance lies with SAP’s Customer Success Partner (CSP) teams. While Reveal will undertake implementations, it primarily engages with established SAP clients seeking assistance in maximizing their investment, educating their people, and driving tangible operation and supply chain outcomes. New entrants into the SAP ecosystem typically engage directly with SAP or other initial service providers.

A “Streaming Service” for SAP Customers

Reveal’s focus is on achieving outcomes in the supply chain and operational efficiency for clients, with technology serving as a facilitator rather than an end goal. Rather than simply implementing functionalities, they aim to utilize these functionalities effectively to drive desired results. Despite the claims of many competitors who profess to offer comprehensive solutions, the company’s main competition comes from clients attempting to tackle projects internally, often resorting to online resources like Google for guidance.

To combat this challenge, the company has introduced a new service called Reveal TV, modeled after popular streaming platforms like Netflix. Reveal TV is an SAP supply chain and operations training video platform designed for organizations to learn in expert-led videos how to manage their supply chains and operations using SAP as designed. Reveal created the service to help supply chain-focused business users quickly learn more about SAP and its capabilities. All videos are formatted as bite-sized, expert-led “how to” demonstrations up to 10 minutes long. By making these resources readily available online, the company hopes to intercept potential clients during their online searches and provide them with valuable insights tailored to their needs.

Reveal TV uses generative AI to recommend relevant videos to users based on their specific roles, questions, and challenges. This approach aims to streamline the process of accessing pertinent information amidst a vast sea of available content, ensuring that users can quickly find solutions to their pressing issues. The positive feedback received from current clients underscores the effectiveness of this initiative in meeting the evolving needs of businesses navigating the complexities of SAP implementation and optimization.

As Rowan highlights, “This educational content platform features video demos tackling common SAP-related business challenges. Covering topics like multi-sourcing management, customer allocation, ATP functionality, production planning, and capacity evaluation, to name a few.  Our focus is on answering and showing business teams practical options in SAP when they are faced with real-world questions. These bite-sized videos, similar to YouTube shorts, are readily accessible to users online. Upon searching for specific issues, users are directed to Reveal TV, a recently launched service providing a wide range of videos tailored to SAP-related problems. Available to both individuals and companies, this library includes content for ECC andSAP S/4HANA. By meeting users where they search, such as Google, we offer timely and relevant assistance. Feedback from clients highlights satisfaction with our approach, supported by AI-driven recommendations matching users’ needs. This ensures easy access to pertinent content within our extensive video library.”

Additionally, Reveal has introduced a service called ‘Performance Assurance,’ aimed at ensuring ongoing performance for companies. While Reveal supports organizations in achieving their desired outcomes, it also focuses on preventing a regression to previous practices. Through this offering, companies can opt for a monthly subscription model where Reveal proactively monitors their systems, metrics, and operations, providing them with actionable business advice based on data analysis to maintain performance standards.

Building Capability and Trust – Case Study

Loparex, a leading solutions provider for engineered materials, embarked on an ambitious journey towards a singular SAP S/4HANA platform spanning their entire operations, aiming for seamless integration and enhanced efficiency. However, Loparex’s SAP S/4HANA rollout became a source of frustration and skepticism among users due to data management issues, obsolete reporting structures, and lack of user training. With mounting pressure to meet competitive demands, the need for improved On-Time-In-Full (OTIF) performance became imperative for safeguarding market share.

Over a few months, working with Reveal, Loparex undertook a supply chain transformation to address functionality misalignment, optimize master data, address data housekeeping, and empower users through targeted education and application workshops that built capability and trust in their SAP S/4HANA System. Through an integrated and collaborative effort, business teams were educated in available functionality that was immediately applied providing learnings that quickly yielded results. This led to improved outcomes, building trust in the system and users feeling empowered and confident in the work they were doing. The transformation has achieved both tangible value and cost savings along with intangible value including process efficiency gains, improved data accuracy, reduced human struggle hours, and proactive exception management.

Rowan summarizes, “Loparex implemented SAP S/4HANA and faced significant challenges in effectively leveraging some of its advanced tools. Their customer service levels, and manufacturing schedule attainment were both struggling. However, we were able to restore their operations to their previous levels and even surpass them, solely by utilizing existing tools. They did not need to invest in any additional software. The solution primarily involved rectifying data issues, providing training to employees, and implementing a few key functionalities and features. It is worth noting that a considerable amount of change management was necessary, as dealing with people always involves navigating through changes.”

Loparex’s partnership with Reveal enabled the company to achieve a 39% reduction in inventory, without a negative impact on service levels; 19% improvement in OTIF as a result of improved Available-to-Promise capabilities aligned with viable supply planning capabilities supported by reliable exception monitoring; 96% improvement in supply chain process through action-orientated plans to address exceptions; and improved job satisfaction and productivity.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders

Recognize and unlock SAP’s potential: Organizations should challenge the assumption that custom-built solutions are always necessary to solve business problems. By gaining a deeper understanding of SAP’s capabilities, businesses may realize that SAP can effectively address their needs without the complexity of additional tools or systems.

View SAP as a strategic asset: It is crucial to shift the perception of SAP from merely a software tool to a strategic asset integral to the functioning of the business. Like a nervous system, SAP serves as the backbone of operations, facilitating numerous critical functions. Understanding its significance at a leadership level encourages investment in its maintenance and optimization, ultimately ensuring the long-term health and efficiency of the organization’s operations.

Empower your employees: Understand the importance of reducing the burden on employees within supply chain and operational roles. By streamlining processes and automating repetitive tasks through SAP, organizations can empower their teams to focus on strategic decision-making and problem-solving rather than being bogged down by manual work and constant firefighting.

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