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Hello folks, I had got some really great feedback on by first Introducing an SRM Consultant to terms like Sustainability and Carbon Footprint – part 1 on this topic, what made be really work towards articulating the second Blog is purely your participation and as promised in the previous Blog, this time let’s go a step into our spaces understanding the “Very simple…but outrageous thoughts on how Procurement is already contributing and how can we extend beyond what SRM is doing today towards sustainability”

We know that the SAP Product “SAP Carbon Impact has those specific metrics to actually capture Procurement’s Carbon footprint, but the way we consultants must look at it is Business object and Business process classified.

What that means is, let’s take one business object and the various business processes associated with it that contributes to Carbon footprint, then let’s see how we can minimize and streamline the usage of the object and the process to reduce the carbon footprint. I want to make this as interactive as possible, so that I can get all your minds and ideas together to make it more realistic from the Procurement and SRM world.

We would also touch upon how SAAS, On-demand versions of the software help in Carbon footprint reduction by “Virtualization of the Server landscape”etc.

B2B Order Collaboration, Paperless procurement, emission free ordering, bundled FTL orders, De-centralized processes etc.

Business objects we would consider in scope

¨      Shopping Cart

¨      Purchase Order

¨      Goods Receipt

¨      Service Confirmation (Time-sheets for temporary Staffing)

¨      RFx / Bid Invitation

¨      RFx Response / Bid

¨      Auction

¨      Contract

¨      Project (Category Management)

¨      Invoice

This blog’s focus is on the Primary and the most important business object that SAP SRM supports, Shopping Cart Business Object BUS2121.

Definition of a Shopping Cart used in SAP SRM

A Shopping cart in SRM is similar to a Shopping cart that you roll on the floors of any grocery retailer, but in electronic form, just like the way you pick items from the shelf and drop it into your Shopping trolley, you perform a similar act electronically, by simply clicking on the “Add to Shopping Cart” button and check-out the cart when completed to perform follow-on activities.

The difference between the Enterprise world and the real-world is that the enterprise pays for you and you pay for your purchase, this is the simplest way to articulate the definition of a shopping cart used in SAP SRM.

Today, we will discuss, all aspects around Shopping Cart

With SAP SRM 7.0, there are really awesome touch-points

Some really bad practices that people could attribute with Shopping Cart Ordering and approval processes. These might look medieval, but some businesses still resort to it.

–          Print the Shopping Cart and submit manually for approval.

–          Print the images of the item that’s required burning cartridge ink further to confirm the item that they want, trust me this is no exaggeration, I have seen folks do this.

–          Create paper requisition and attach the requirement, so that procurement centrally can order this item, this is a big blow to sustainable process and also defeats compliant processes.

–          Submit 3-4 copies of the shopping cart for approval, since the typical workflow could have 3-4 approvals before converting to PO.

Please be aware that with high-end process and technologies available, these traditional methods need to be cut off completely to “Go Green” and when creating a business blue print for implementing the process involving shopping carts, identify and eliminate such wasteful, carbon foot-print contributing processes.

Procurement has really gone a long way in being on the finger tip, example being mobile apps on the BB or iPhone or even tablets, which help you, achieve the processes on the go, then why resort to wasteful non-sustainable processes.

Charity begins at home and Genentech has proven that Sustainable approach with exemplary accomplishments in Mobile Sustainable processes space by bench-marking the G-Approve App developed by them to approve their shopping carts on the iPhone.

They have developed lot many apps that have helped accelerate the process and at the same time, reduce carbon footprints by using the Cloud as a platform for development of such applications

Since this is procurement oriented Blog feature, we will try and understand from a procurement perspective, how we can reduce carbon-foot print by using such apps.

iPhone App: GApprove

Use: Approve SAP SRM shopping carts on the fly on the iPhone

Developed by: GENENTECH

To read more on their accomplishment, read the article by Jane Pyle, user experience Designer

There could be more interesting follow on discussions on shopping carts contributing to the carbon footprint, but the enterprise has come a long way to automate this process to make it as sustainable as possible, so let’s see if the same degree of sustainable effort is showcased in the other SAP Procurement business objects.

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  1. Former Member
    Hi Tridip
    Good thinking on carbon foot print on procurement perspective..
    I do see every BUYER work place still occupies with budle of files and still they believe on Hard copies of purchase order(s) / Contract(s) for their backup and some quick reference.
    I believe shopping cart need not print obviously but Contract / Purchase orders needs to be printed / and needs to be preserved hard copy for auditing purpose and etc for future reference.


    1. Former Member Post author
      Hi Muthu,
      Gone are the days when Paper formats of Contracts or Requisitions or even Purchase orders are audited, these days the Auditors have an ERP Audit, where they come with pre-defined criteria to audit you inside your system and they have built this intelligence over the last few years.
      I seldom see any contracts or PO’s in the paper form, but i still get to see Shopping Carts, Paper indent requisitions etc being practiced, I am trying to get to the bottom of “why this is still happening”, there could be corporate policies, but one needs to educate the target audience”.

      Thanks for your feedback, cheers Tridip

      1. Former Member Post author
        Forgot to add that, in the forthcoming blogs, we will discuss more on the Contracts, PO’s and Sourcing related business objects, since thats where I see that, we need to question the holy cows on redundant inefficient processes that contribute largely to carbon footprint, the chances are higher with these business objects…lets see what the community thinks about it.
        Lets keep this discussion active, as the entire Procurement platform needs to be revisited in terms of process, to reduce “Carbon Footprint”, cheers Tridip
  2. Former Member
    I like the approach of what business process can be enabled to reduce impact particularly to carbon footprint.  Remember anytime we use devices or mechanism we introduce a new element to the life cycle analysis (LCA) impacts and we need to account for those.  For example those smart phones technically contribute to the footprint of the process (and not just the phone but the data centers and cloud centers which serve the information on the phone). Only through comparing options across business processes using LCA approaches can we really look at the full carbon impact of different alternatives.
    1. Former Member Post author
      Hi William,
      I completely agree, as Cloud is also powered with a farm of servers that require energy to run them to actually compliment Sustainable approaches to Carbon Footprints
      The bigger challenge for these big Cloud enterprises is to run these gigantic farms with alternate Sustainable energy resources, ex Windmills
      Facebook and Google are in that regime already and Apple being one of the biggest providers of Cloud services will have their foot there in a big way too, but yes, as consultants we are already on the drive of having that thought prevailing in the back of our minds whilst implementing Business solutions like SAP in our space.
      Cheers, Tridip

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