Small and big businesses all over the world use various software and management tools to make their processes work smoothly and their data secure. They apply highly complex systems to unify and protect data so they can increase their efficiency and productivity.
One of the biggest software platforms for mid to larger companies is SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products). In the following paragraphs, the focus will be on the general functionality of SAP as well as some benefits and challenges of the software.
SAP- Definition and Use
SAP stands for “Systems, Applications, and Products” in data processing. SAP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that manages the finances, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, and inventories of a company.
SAP is the general name for the software from the SAP AG company. SAP AG is the fourth largest software company in the world and it offers various SAP variations with end-to-end solutions for all sectors of a company.
The Benefits for a business
The fundamental idea of SAP is to protect and unify data and to automate business processes in order to make the operation and planning more efficient.
The idea is that accessibility and visibility are simplified. SAP access is possible from all departments and sectors of a company. As the information of a company is stored in a centralized location, it is accessible for everyone who possesses permission. This leads to better collaboration between departments and more coherent workflows. The improved collaboration goes hand in hand with better communication.
As the data is unified and utilized, details can be complete and updated. This furthermore reduces the risk of losses and failures since everything is continuously saved and the data can be tracked easily.
With SAP, the data becomes trusted information and decision making can be done with confidence. In other words: Data quality and security are guaranteed.
Two of the biggest benefits of SAP are efficiency and productivity. Processes are automated and therefore errors and costs can be reduced, and in the best case, eliminated.
SAP allows better planning and reporting about processes, growth, failures, or success.
One of the many benefits is customization. Companies have different structures, needs, and functionalities. SAP can be adjusted to the company’s situation and changes are always virtually always possible.
Challenges of SAP
As SAP is a hugely complex system, implementation is the main challenge. Lack of clarity and proper planning when implementing the software can lead to problems and lost time. There are numerous integration processes and complex data conversions that have to be prepared, adapted, and transformed. Third-party applications can cause trouble when combined with SAP.
Another necessary aspect that might take a lot of resources is SAP training because without a complete briefing, the learning curve could be enormous. Implementing SAP requires training for all nearly all staff in a company.
Another challenge is that SAP will require maintenance costs that have to be considered in the financial expenses.
The question, of whether all companies should use SAP cannot be answered universally, because every business has different needs and functionalities. Each business must individually analyze and evaluate whether they should invest in an SAP.