My name is Kartik Sundar and I had the opportunity to join SAP America as an Associate Supply Chain Management (SCM) Functional Consultant in 2011. I’ve had an awesome time at SAP – being exposed to areas such as Materials Management, Warehouse Management, and Advanced Planner and Optimizer. Over the course of the last two years I’ve been on multiple projects and it has been a rewarding experience which I would like to share here.
My first SAP project was at a major US automotive company:
The goal of this project was to transform the client’s system landscape which had numerous disintegrated, ancient IT systems into a robust IT landscape with a central SAP ERP system, which would greatly enhance the reporting and manufacturing capabilities. This project was a particularly great learning experience for me as I got the opportunity to be part of two different teams. I started in the Advanced Planner & Optimizer (APO) team, where I focused on the Production Planning & Detailed Scheduling (PPDS) area. Here I primarily helped the team in developing configuration documentation for the business processes implemented, such as Materials Resource Planning (MRP), Model Mix Planning (MMP), Rapid Planning Matrix (RPM), etc. I found Model Mix Planning to be especially interesting as it enabled the client to define conditions and restrictions such as color, model, etc. in the system. The MMP engine would then take these inputs and optimize the sequencing of finished products during manufacturing and calculate the demand of components using the Rapid Planning Matrix (RPM). I was also able to help implement complex production processes with serial algorithms that were built into MRP processes. After working with the APO team for three months, I had the opportunity to transition into the Warehouse Management (WM) team. During this time, the project was going “live” with SAP, i.e. they were transitioning the business process from their existing systems onto SAP. This was great as I was assisting in troubleshooting issues that were occurring physically on the shop floor. Being on the warehouse floor and seeing how the SAP solutions are actually being executed was quite a rewarding sight to watch.
Following this I was at a retail company that manufactured and sold Firearms and Ammunition:
In this project I had another opportunity to be part of the APO team, but my area of focus was on Demand Planning (DP). As the client already had basic DP functionality implemented, my role was to train demand planners on the more advanced statistical forecasting models APO DP has to offer. I was able to understand the business requirements which among others things, also involved taking promotions and seasonal demand into consideration. I taught the demand planners how they could incorporate these variables so they could develop more complex forecasting techniques that would plan demand more accurately.
My SAP Rapid Deployment Project for a Chinese customer:
My most recent project was another automotive company with the SAP implementation taking place in two manufacturing plants in China, and would serve as a global template for other client locations. This project was a Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS), which when compared to a standard SAP implementation is a much faster paced project, with a limited scope and budget. As I was part of the Material Logistics (MTL) team, this project yet again presented a unique experience. While I was at the project, the entire team of SAP consultants, including me, was working remotely. My tasks involved developing unit test scripts and business process descriptions, and showcasing the work performed via playback sessions to the client. Due to the nature of a fast-paced RDS, we had team meetings every morning through teleconference. It was interesting to interact with a truly global team – with members from US, China, India, France, and Hungary. Given the fact that there were members across many time zones, it was quite a challenge to pick a comfortable time-zone. This translated to 6 AM meetings for me, which was still better compared to the team lead, who had them at 5 AM every day! During these meetings we would review the agenda, what needed to be accomplished and at the end of the day we would hand off tasks to individuals at the other end of the global. This ensured that our team worked seamlessly around the clock, was on-track with the objectives, and able to meeting the goals on time.
Over the course of these three projects, I have found working for SAP very exciting as it helped me to look at projects from different perspectives and has been a continuous learning experience. As these projects involved clients to implement state-of-the-art SAP solutions, I feel tremendous pride that I’m part of a company that enables its customers to excel in the marketplace by using the latest technology to drive efficiency and innovation.