Currently I read a german book about modern management and important methods. It covers methods like benchmarking, total quality management, target costing and also about business engineering.
You can find thousands of books about business process engineering. But at the end it’s all about getting back to the roots of a company, concentrating at the core competences and most critical factors of success. Customers and customer satisfaction is for all companies the core of business. Only customers create revenue, not products, not the management, as one of the greatest leaders and former CEO said.
To satisfy customers, you have to improve your business everyday and try to get better. To stay number one, learn to think how number two thinks. There are several methods to improve quality, e.g.TQM and others. But quality influences costs and customers not always want the high quality and high tech product for every day use. Price of the product and image of the company may also be important for a customer when he decides to buy a product or not. Companies run very fast into the magic triangle of “Get better, “Get leaner” and “Get faster” with respect to competitors as you can see in the picture below.
Because of all these aspects it’s worth for a company to examine their processes steadily and learn from the best of breed. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is only one method to improve core processes. Goal of BPR is to improve one special process, maybe sales order processing. But as you know sales order processing has effects on many other processes. If you decide to improve this one, you run into Business Reengineering (BR). At the heart of BR are the whole company and its processes. Managers have to think, why do we do this or why do we do that, what we do? The core idea of BR is to structure companies by processes not by functions. Its intense is to restructure the whole company from the viewpoint of an information-oriented management. The market for software tools supporting Reengineering projects has steadily evolved over the years. The requirements for these tools are very high. Typical requirements are:
1. Business Process Analysis
3. Business Process simulation
4. Project management
5. Human resources planning
6. Documentation of improvements
7. Acitivity-based costing
8. Job or functional evaluation
9. Lead time investigations
Here comes SAP Netweaver platform in the picture.
Let me go through all of this requirements and how SAP Netweaver platform supports the different requirements.
That’s part of eSOA methodology. Available tools Enterprise Service workplace, SAP Netweaver Developer Studio, WebDynpro for ABAP/JAVA. Here you can design your new business processes.
2.) Process flowchart
It’s similar to 1.) You can also use Guided Procedures or Visual Composer for graphical display.
3.) BP Simulation
For this you can use Business Intelligence and Integrated Planning functions together with your developed webservices and Guided Procedures from requirements 1.) and 2.). You may need special developments for setting up the simulation and getting results.
4.) Project management
That’s classical done with either CO-PS or cProjects in your ECC. Bring the data to BI. Create Queries, display and drill-down the data and finally publish it in a portal environment.
5.) Human Resources Planning
This can be done with ECC HR standard functionality. Loading up data to BI and use it within Integrated Planning. Publish it into portal.
You can solve it with Knowledge Management functionality within portal.
7.) Activity-based costing:
You can use ECC standard CO functionality. Results can be loaded into your BI, analysed and results published in the portal.
8.) Job or functional evaluation
This I see as part of ECC Human Resources functionality, published in portal.
9.) Lead time investigations
Lead times are saved in ECC. Upload data into your BI for further investigations. Here you can measure “performance” of your new processes or compare it to lead times of best of breed companies.
All described functionality does not come out of the box. You have to do development work. But I see this as big advantage in comparison to other software tools. You can adapt the SAP Netweaver “fridge” to your company’s needs and requirements. If you have good tools, there is no need to replace it. Use SAP Netweaver for these parts of the project where you get the big benefits.