At SAP NetWeaver Magazine, we have seen many companies gain significant competitive advantage by jumping out on the bleeding edge of SAP technology. They adopted it early, mastered the learning curve, committed the appropriate resources to do things that previously had been impossible, and made others in their industry envious.
Two of our case studies this month show that you don’t have to push the technology (and your own resources) to find success with the SAP platform. In fact, circumstances often dictate a keep-it-simple approach.
BI Technologies is a 50-year-old electronics manufacturing company that had been running on technology that, in some cases, was 25 years old. After switching to SAP in 2003, the company decided to implement SAP NetWeaver Portal for its distributors.
The company could have created an application that took advantage of all the SAP NetWeaver Portal bells and whistles, creating a complete order-entry, tracking, and fulfillment system. Instead, BI Technologies built a more focused application based on two guiding principles: It would deliver only what its distributors wanted in a portal, and it would not break anything that already worked.
Now, the company’s distributors find BI Technologies much easier to do business with, and this is translating to more business.
Power Well had a much different scenario. Spun out of Halliburton, the company had to build a financial system from scratch — and fast. Complicating the mission was the company’s plan to grow quickly through acquisition. To meet these demands, Power Well made a simple choice: It would do an out-of-the-box implementation of SAP with minimal customization.
That project was completed in just 60 days, but the keep-it-simple approach stayed in place through five acquisitions. It paid off again when Power Well was itself acquired by Expro International, which adopted Power Well’s SAP system.
Sometimes you need to push the envelope with your SAP system to reach a desired result or remain competitive. Our case studies this month show that with forethought and careful planning, many companies can realize benefits without testing the limits.