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Global Bike Incorporated (GBI)

This past year, I have had the great opportunity to help develop a fictional bike company working directly with SAP at Grand Valley State University. A small team of Grand Valley’s interns, including myself, were given a basic story on how the Global Bike Company (GBI) would run, but the rest was left up to us. The purpose of GBI is to provide a basic, but realistic, learning environment for students to use across the world. In the future, GBI will also be used during SAP’s Integration of Business Processes (TERP 10) certification.

Before configuring our SAP system, we had to research the processes a bike company uses and find realistic data to fit our company. Having the freedom to pick the materials, customers, vendors, and all other forms of Master Data, gave me a great understanding of why companies need to use a large ERP system such as SAP. Once we had come up with some of the necessary master data, it was time to start implementing our research into the system. Not too long into our implementation, I learned the value of SDN and other online resources to help solve the many error messages we ran into. As a fairly new user to SAP implementing GBI was (and continues to be) a daunting and challenging task, but now more than ever, my excitement and passion towards working with SAP has been solidified.

After struggling through some of the basic financial accounting and procurement processes, it became clear that this experience has taught us an incredible amount of technical and business process information very quickly. This new knowledge soon carried over into my collegiate studies allowing me to see the ‘big picture’ within my marketing, accounting, finance, management and many other classes. These courses not only focus on their individual contributions to the business field, but they offer a connection to one another as well as showing the importance of SAP. My experience in the classroom at Grand Valley can be best described by Confucius, who said “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Yes, it is important to hear facts and information and to learn through our professors, and even better if we are able to see these ideas in action, but through Grand Valley’s unique opportunity to create GBI, I’ve been able to put the ‘do’ in action and through this I understand the usefulness of SAP in the business world. 

 

Currently within SAP, we have completed some basic processes in FI, CO, MM, PP, WM, SD, EAM, HCM, and CS modules. This has been an outstanding experience for me and at Grand Valley State University, we are continuously trying to improve and develop GBI into an excellent source of learning for SAP across the globe.

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6 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan
    Hello Kevin, and thank you for sharing your story with us.  We don’t hear much from people involved in University Alliance, so I am sure this is very welcome.  It sounds as though you are going thru the same pains that I went thru a long time ago – but also finding the same rewards that I did. 
    Let me know when you are ready to workflow-enable your processes, OK ?
    Regards,
    Sue
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    1. Kevin Coolman Post author
      Thank you Susan! It’s great to hear that someone went through the same learning experience that I’m going through. I appreciate the feedback!

      It’s funny you mention Workflow, this week at my internship I was asked to get familiar with SAP Workflow. I will definitely let you know if I need some help with it!

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        1. Kevin Coolman Post author
          Hey Sue,

          Where should I begin…  Workflow is MUCH more complex than what I thought when I started researching it.   I didn’t realize it touches some many processes within SAP.  Last week I successfully completed the ‘approving a notification of absence’ tutorial on SAP’s help website : )  That was exciting because I was able to see the “Workflow Builder” and experiment with some (very little) of its functionality.

          This week I have been busy working on other projects but I would still like to continue learning Workflow.  Do you have any advice as I begin learning such a powerful tool?
          Thanks for checking in!

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  2. Michelle Crapo
    It’s good to hear that you are working on something practical.   When I left ABAP training back… back…  back a while.  1998.  I found out that actually doing it for real was a lot different than the exercises in the book.

    I like that schools are making it a more than just the book work.

    Welcome!

    Michelle

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    1. Kevin Coolman Post author
      Thank you for the comment Michelle.

      Our bicycle company (GBI), has shown me a small glimpse of some of the issue/problems that I will face in the “real world”.  I believe that working through these problems has equipped me with some knowledge and tools on how to solve issues in the future.  I know things will become much more complicated, but hopefully now I will at least know how to start resolving them.

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