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First…

Our consultancy was working on a large scale project that involved a ride-sharing company its vehicle leasing venture. I know it’s not Uber, but hear me out: while this was a project that we were excited about, it turned out to be just as gruelling for us as development progressed.

 

Our journey

We faced many challenges while seeing through the development of the components required for the management system. In a perfect world, cars that we leased out would not require GPS tracking or maintenance, but alas this was a problem. Eventually, we turned to small IoT devices that would monitor the location via GPS and mobile networks as well as track the miles travelled for preventitive maintenance.

Where SAP can help us

At the time, we were not familiar with SAP and the suite of products offered in transportation industries. We needed a system to track vehicles, manage leases and to notify users when their vehicles were to have routine maintenance. With SAP, this would have been simple — there are multiple products that would’ve assisted us. In this part, Vehicle Insights and Predictive Maintenance would’ve saved us weeks in time, which would’ve resulted in a speedier product delivery time to the client.

Everything else

After we finished the development process for the IoT sensors, we needed to design the interface that would handle the vehicle leasing component, financial data synchronization with third party account software, a dashboard for users as well as an area that allowed staff to aggregate and analyze sensor data. Interestingly enough, this was actually the _easy_ part! We were able to easily complete the majority of this within a month, and just when we thought development could start slowing down, the client calls… We needed to generate compliant American tax documents, and no extensions could be made.

Now this might not sound difficult to you if you’re American, but hear us out: we were not familiar with tax laws in the United States as our organization is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Especially as US tax laws are very stringent, the system needed to be within the law and was to keep errors at a minimum. Our saving grace was that our company’s usual tax lawyer was able to explain and verify our system as he had practiced in the US for some time. While we didn’t go over budget, it certainly wasn’t the cheapest thing to hire a tax lawyer. In retrospect, all of this hassle could’ve been avoided once more with SAP’s very own accounting system (See more about S/4HANA)

Final thoughts

Quite frankly, there were many parts of the process that could’ve been streamlined. Especially with SAP’s line of IoT products in mind, the next time we face these challenges, we’ll be able to optimize and do what matters instead of reinventing the wheel for something that has already been skillfully done.

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