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User interfaces have become smarter in the latest software and have adopted new ways to help even a newbie to easily deal with software. Typically the software used to looks at the spell check to smartly filling the whole word and sometime the whole sentence. It is quite evident in google search it makes it easy for user to just select the whole sentence while typing few character.

While the internet application or social networking were moving quickly into adapting such intelligent tips and trying to utilize the data gathered from various users and intelligently placing in front of user to ease the usage of tools enterprise software have stabilized with the traditional default or configurations.

Auto form filling and smart recommendation to ease the overall usage of software is the new trend. As much as it is well known in internet world less of much is used in enterprise software. That probably is due to multiple reasons such as:-

–          Enterprise software was build much before these concepts and the cost is high to redesign.

–          Enterprise software is complex business process.

–          Software has stabilized in customer system and end users have got used to traditional usage. So the need have never been felt.

–          and many more…

In this blog I would like to uncover a simple potential usage of such concept which would help in enterprise application such as GTM (Global Trade Management) to provide business user with smart recommendation while utilizing the past data or actual data or Trading Contract data. The example I have taken to showcase the difference in the usability is in creating the trail or actual trading contract. And this can be achieved with minor adjustment to our existing software.

Benefit of doing this:

–          Business gets benefitted since the software provides more effective calculations of margins with ease.

–          New businesse users will be delighted as they get much more help from system at the right spot/screen.

–          Software is adaptable with actual history data without any added efforts in future configuration or updates.

Global Trade Management is the software which is mainly built for traders. The backbone of Global Trade management is Trading Contract Management.  It integrates the sales and purchase side ERP system to facilitate traders with trading. It also helps traders with profit analysis in each deal. It has basic feature of monitoring the trade contract and actual of sales side and purchase side is captured in the GTM system. Overall GTM has four main components such as Trading Contracts, Expense Management,  Logistics Execution & Data Association.

Various Accidental Costs can be incurred during Trade Process. We have categorized these Accidental Costs as following:-

–          Planned Expenses

–          Planned Expenses with Settlement

–          Unplanned Cost

In the current GTM system user can enter each of the Expenses manually one by one. Trader need to have complete information before adding the entire expenses one at a time. The current process is slow and very manual and requires good experience in expenses while processing Trading Contract.

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This is understood that system was build with configuration and expense setting with default values and user can pick those. Once the system is live at customer end and within few months of usage customer creates a good history of data.  In this case Traders will execute the Trading Contract and will record the actual expenses inside the Trading Contract of GTM.

Once the system has the history of trading contract with various vendors and materials, system should actually start recommending Expenses for the new trading contract matching the last experience with the same vendor and same materials.

This will not only simplify the screen but create a much smarter and precise Expense structure for any new trading contract and reduce the uncertainties or inflation effect or price changes on costing/expenses etc…

This will also provide the other benefit mentioned above for smart system such as ease of use, i.e. even a newbie can get more precise information with the help of the system recommending from past experience. The better and precise cost /expense estimate would help Trade to find much accurate margins with the deals.

In the new approach the existing screen of GTM can be modified with recommendation of cost / expenses wherever applicable (cases where vendor and material/item level match happens) and can be created as the screen shot shown below: (This is not the actual screen of GTM it is a mock screen to visualize the concept – courtesy by Rahaman Mostafizur from SAP Labs, GTM team).

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This does not require big changes to existing system, with minor changes we can get benefited with enhanced functionality and makes things much more flexible.

With this blog I request you to provide your feedback in specific with the GTM Cost / Expense recommendation case and overall about applying and utilizing the actual data for intelligent recommendation in our existing enterprise software approach.

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2 Comments

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  1. Allison Sevencows

    Hello Sudhir

    This suggestion looks very interesting – however currently is there no way to automate the whole process of expense entry without the trader’s having to enter the trading expenses.

    What I mean by this if a trade is being done for a purchase of material with certain known constants such as freight vendor, type of expense and the route is it not possible to automatically default these values in some manner and generate the vendor billing document when the logistics movement done?

    Therefore can this not be automated directly into the trade contract?

    Why is there any necessity for the trader to add these manually if it can be automated using these constants.

    Currently is there anyway for the trading contract to automatically add the freight vendor, expense class, expense group etc etc given certain entries on the contract – can this be done via a badi etc – The reason I ask is quite often traders are very reticent about doing data entry as you suggest in your blog and wondered if there was already an automated way of entry trading expenses into a contract.

    For example on shipment costing freight vendors, cost types, values etc can be automated without having user input. All the detail of the logistics move are used to create the freight cost automatically.

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    1. Mostafizur Rahaman

      Allison,

      Currently the automatic entry of the expenses inside Trading Contract screen can be done by implementing the BADI ‘WB2_EXPENSE_ENHANCE’  method ‘GET_DEFAULTS_FOR_CONDITION’ for defaulting a single expense. If you want to default multiple expenses please implement ‘WB2_EXPENSE_ENHANCE’  method ‘GET_DEFAULTS_FOR_CONDITIONS’.

      Regards,

      Mostafizur Rahaman

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