This is Part 11 of 12 the Global Bicycle Inc. (GBI 2.0) story, as related by an intern. The full series begins with Global Bicycle Inc.: An Intern Adventure.
The Future of GBI
Global Bicycle Inc. does not stop here however. It continues to grow and to get bigger and better. The great SAP interns at Grand Valley State University are currently in the middle of several projects to move GBI far into the future.
The last project I oversaw as an intern at Grand Valley is about on par for importance with the entire GBI project. We took all of our configuration documents, master data spreadsheets, and notes, and complied them into a new, concise set of documents. This set of documents will allow a student, through a semester long course, to have the experience of configuring the entire GBI company within the SAP ERP system. They will get basically the same experience us interns had with the GBI project, just in a more structured form and with possibly a few less headaches.
Students will not configure all of the various processes that GBI 2.0 has, but merely the most important ones (Procurement, Fulfillment, Production, MRP, Financial Account and basic Controlling, and Warehouse Management).
Our finished product was completed in about 3 weeks (near record time) and contained 7 documents, 16 appendices, an LSMW file, 2 eCATT scripts, Master Data spreadsheet, instructions for running the LSMW file and eCATT scripts, as well as the word template and style set. A massive thank you goes out to Mike Martin, Morgan Hickman, and Sandell Wall who completed the brunt of the work. On December 24, 2010 I gave the information its final revision, and emailed it off to Dr. Magal, who sent it out to a few professors in California to be tested in the classroom. The finished product was slightly lacking, as it did not include any steps to test the configuration that was completed. In the interest of time, an executive decision was made not to include these in this version. The next rollout will include them I am sure. I look forward to feedback on this project and potential improvements that could be made.
Steve Merritt, one of the interns here at Grand Valley is also in the process of making demo videos of all of the business processes. These videos walk through each of the exercises we created. The videos will be distributed along with the book Dr. Simha Magal and Dr. Jeff Word have written to compliment the GBI training environment (view the Facebook page of the book here). These demos will allow professors to show how the various business processes work in the SAP system, minus the potential headaches of them giving a live demonstration.
GBI is currently set up as a Single Company Code (SCC) environment rather than a Multi Company Code (MCC) environment. What exactly does this mean? In the current GBI training environment, there is one company code US00, and each student has their own version of all of the materials, customers, and vendors, with the last three digits of the item in SAP as their own personal identifier number. For example, if a student’s identifier number is -001, as they move through the exercises they will only use materials, customers, and vendors that end in the number 001. Since it is SCC though, they will all use the same General Ledger, Chart of Accounts, and the same three plants. Since those universities hosting the clients would like to get as many users as possible in one client, and all have a three digit identifier, this necessitates that there be 1000 versions of all materials, customers, and vendors.
Now take the MCC. In this training environment, each user will have their own individual company. Instead of each user working under US00, there will be a US01, US02, etc. Each user will also then have their own version of the materials, customers, and vendors, ending in their identifier, as well as their own General Ledger, Chart of Accounts, and Cost Centers. This will make it much easier for students when searching for their individual items within the system, as well as make it a slightly more realistic experience.
In addition to this, the exercises for SCC and MCC have a fundamental difference. The SCC client and exercises are meant for beginners. As such, all of the master data is created for the students, saving those who have little experience with the SAP system a potential big headache. As master data is still important and should not be disregarded, in Part 1 of the exercises, the students view, rather than create, the master data.
The MCC version is meant for those in an advanced class, who already have some exposure to the SAP system. As they have a bit more knowledge, in Part 1 of the exercises, they create their own master data rather than just view data that has been created for them. This adds a level of complexity, as not only do they have to complete the business process correctly; they also have to make sure they enter the master data correctly, so they can complete the business process. Something that sounds easy, but in reality, it is just a little bit more difficult.