In many commercial enterprises in operation today, a large amount of acquisitions done are not of the material variety, but rather the focus is on services. Service provision is essential in a number of different industries since it provides a way for companies to reduce their overhead by downsizing to keep only their most essential personnel operational while outsourcing companies that have been specifically designed and streamlined to do certain tasks. For a company running SAP, there are a number of benefits to be garnered by utilizing service purchasing in the SAP framework.
Some Overhead and Bookkeeping Required
SAP’s strength can also be its largest weakness. SAP is adaptable and open enough so that any company can employ it to meet the needs they have. When it comes to material acquisition, there is no better software for use in an enterprise framework than SAP. However, the issue arises when acquiring services that SAP isn’t properly designed to deal with, especially regarding this aspect of long term business relationships. With a little know-how and a few work-arounds, the SAP system can be adapted to function with a number of different provisioning documents. For larger companies, the option of employing an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for interfacing documents with a contractor in a standardized format can be explored. For smaller companies that can’t afford a dedicated EDI, SAP allows for manual input of document details.
Simplification of Digital Documents
One of the major benefits that SAP brings to the table from an acquisitions perspective is the removal of paper from the paper trail. Digitized documents can be scanned or manually entered into the system to ensure that SAP is kept updated with the current status of service delivery. This does require a proper estimation of completion, but that is a simple task for a skilled engineer. The added bonus of digital documents is that they can be easily shared and transferred across multiple points, allowing for easy distribution of necessary information.
Online Collaboration Support
SAP, especially the SAP HANA variant, allows for collaboration online, allowing a company a lot wider reach in scope. With the proper procedures set up through SAP, a company can open their web collaboration platform to a provider so that the provider’s particulars can be entered from their end. This removes redundancy of data across multiple locations and allows for a much faster, simpler method of service delivery. Online collaboration reduces the cost of the transactions significantly, and allows for local compliances to be met while increasing the transparency of the entire operation.
No Replicated Sensitive Data
Online collaboration, as mentioned above, is one of the most effective benefits that SAP offers to companies acquiring services. Additionally, online collaboration enables providers and companies looking to purchase to save details of acquisition and services in a single secure server through SAP. The result is a simplified system that utilizes SAP’s security to ensure that the data doesn’t exist in multiple places, that the data is always current, and that the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The paradigm for limited distribution of sensitive information is a good practice to follow, and across different entities having a centralized data store for collaboration increases the security and accountability for both parties.
Service Purchasing with Accountability
Because of SAP’s methodology, all transactions are recorded as well as each change to any internal forms and who effected those changes. This creates a digital paper trail that both companies can follow if they suspect something may be wrong with the purchasing criteria. Additionally, if the parent company is utilizing SAP to purchase services to fulfil a contract, these can be itemized via SAP and added to the final quotation, removing room for error between quotes and actual figures.