The complete business and implementation guide to SAP R/3! In order to gain the maximum value from SAP R/3, you need to understand the rich business framework embedded in R/3 and know how to implement it within your unique organization. The revision of this best-selling classic does both: documenting the deep process knowledge built into R/3, helping decision-makers understand its benefits and offering start-to-finish guidance for R/3 implementers organization-wide. Newly updated to reflect R/3 Release 4.5, this book delivers: * Detailed coverage of finance, human resources, production, purchasing, sales, and service management with SAP R/3 * Key business-process scenarios, presented in common business terms * An overview of the IT infrastructure provided by SAP for e-commerce and supply chain management * Analysis of R/3 middleware transaction management and application distribution * Practical coverage of the R/3 Repository, SAP Business Framework, and R/3 Business Objecs * Updates on the latest methodologies for R/3 evaluation and the tools for R/3 implementation * A view of SAP R/3 beyond Y2K and the challenges for the next generation enterprise using the Internet You wont find
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"Business engineering is the rethinking of business processes to improve and accelerate the output of processes, materials or services."
(Philip Morris, Lausanne, Switzerland)
"It's the search for an optimal flow in a company."
(Messerli AF, Switzerland)
"It's the streamlining of business processes to have maximum effect with minimum resources in supporting company goals."
(Ernst & Young, South Africa)
"Generally, it's a customer focus. It's also the designing of new processes using new information technology to create an efficient business network that involves creative staff in the process redesign."
(Fahrzeugausrustung Berlin GmbH, Germany)
Companies from around the world are taking advantage of information technology (IT) to radically alter how they conduct business. In the past, IT was used simply to automate existing business functions, but now IT can improve or completely change how businesses operate. This approach is called Business Engineering, which has been the logical next step in the business-process reengineering revolution.
Unlike business-process reengineering (BPR), which used IT mainly to automate certain functions performed in individual organizations — such as manufacturing, finance, or production — Business Engineering (BE) utilizes IT for designing or redesigning processes, the set of connected steps or "chains" performed in a business. In this way, BE takes advantage of information technology to support the redesign of organizations. By using BE to engineer entire process chains that span functional or organizational boundaries, companies can integrate all their critical business activities. Moreover, they can do so much earlier in an IT implementation than if using the older, function-centric approach of early BPR strategies. Completing process chains rapidly and efficiently is of great added value to both the company and its customers. It makes such core processes as production and finance more efficient and can bring competitive advantages through reduced costs, faster time-to-market, and improved responsiveness to customers.
Business engineering arose out of the need created by BPR for software systems that could adequately support changing business processes. Although companies have gained a great deal from improving their business processes, many also have encountered problems with their business-process reengineering. After examining existing business processes, many companies completely dispensed with them, creating new process designs instead. Too often they miscalculated the risks and costs not only of reinventing new processes but of finding a software solution to match the new process design. After various trials and tribulations with poor software tools and systems, many companies have had to do away with their process design work simply because their information system software could not support the new design.
In Business Engineering, IT is used both to create and support new process designs. Software can describe, simulate, or model organizations. It can also show how changes made to the organizations will affect processes. BE is not limited to describing processes, however. A model or business-process diagram illustrates not only a company's tasks and organizational structure but also how the company gets things done. A company's information model usually includes descriptions of aspects such as data, function, organization, information, and communication flow. A well-integrated information system not only improves overall business operation but makes it easier for the company to identify areas for further improvement. With prefabricated models of business applications, companies can reduce their risks while taking advantage of best-business procedures for business process engineering.
As is the case in all engineering efforts, a good blueprint will map out the best strategies for implementing new designs. This book centers on a specific blueprint designed by the international software vendor SAPTM, a company that has successfully integrated IT with business engineering. In support of its R/3TM system, SAPTM provides sample business objects and business processes that reflect the best-business practices in successful companies and that can either be used either "as is" or extended and customized by a company to suit its needs. These predefined processes are supplied in a comprehensive business blueprint called the R/3TM Reference Model, which is actively linked with the R/3TM running system.
SAPTM R/3TM Business Blueprint: Understanding Enterprise Supply Chain Management is designed to function as a map of this system. Our aim is to guide the reader through the most important aspects of SAPTM 's Reference Model. All business professionals who are considering implementing or are currently using SAPTM software may benefit from this book. From the theory behind the applications to real-life business examples, this book guides the reader through the key areas of the R/3TM system. In order to help the reader better navigate through this book, the remainder of this Introduction will answer general questions about the book's subject matter as well as direct readers to places where more in-depth treatments of key terms and issues may be found. I.1
What Is SAPTM?
Founded in 1972 in Walldorf, Germany, SAPTM (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing) commands a significant share of the worldwide client/server enterprise application software market. SAPTM is the number one vendor of standard business application software and is the fourth largest independent software supplier in the world. More than 10,000 companies in over 90 countries use SAPTM software. Current SAPTM company facts include:
Leading client/server business software company
Leading vendor of standard business application software
Worldwide market share of 33%
Fourth-largest independent software supplier in the world
Availability in 14 languages
34% of customer base under $200 million
10 out of the top 10 U.S. companies with highest market value
8 of the top 10 largest U.S. corporations
8 of the top 10 highest profit U.S. companies
More than 10,000 customers in over 90 countries
For a more detailed examination of SAPTM and its history, see Chapter 1, SAPTM and Client/Server Technology.I.2
What Is R/3TM?
Initially, SAPTM made the move from mainframes to open systems in the late 1980s with R/2TM, a monolithic, mainframe legacy solution. As early as 1988, however, SAPTM chose to move toward client/server technology and began developing R/3TM. In 1992, SAPTM unveiled R/3TM just as client/server and its potential were beginning to be fully realized in the business world. R/3TM 's success is largely due to its ability to provide a highly integrated environment that can fully exploit the potential of client/server computing.
A full description of R/3TM's product architecture can be found in Part 3, Architecture, Framework, and Tools, but here we define R/3TM simply as SAPTM 's enterprise application for open-system platforms. More specifically, R/3TM is an integrated enterprise software system that runs in open-system environments. The R/3TM architecture is essentially a three-tier client/server consisting of a database server, application server, and presentation server (see Chapter 1). These dedicated, task-oriented servers are linked in communication networks, which allow them to integrate data and processes within the system. The applications are developed using SAPTM 's fourth-generation language ABAP/4 and the ABAP/4 Development Workbench (see Chapter 15).
R/3TM 's advantages lie in its flexibility, scalability, and expandability. R/3TM can be used in client/server architectures with 30 seats as in installations with 3,000 end users. This scalability ensures that R/3TM can provide support for current business operations and allows flexible adaptation to change and progress. Designed as a total system, but also suitable for modular use, R/3TM is expandable in stages, making it adaptable to the specific requirements of individual businesses. R/3TM can run on hardware platforms of leading international manufacturers and can integrate with customers' in-house applications. It is also open to allow interoperability with third-party solutions and services; it can be installed quickly and efficiently. R/3TM is so designed that such experts in scalable software as Microsoft, IBM, and Apple have all deployed SAPTM as their enterprise solution.
In the age of Internet computing, SAPTM R/3TM has emerged as a platform for electronic commerce, supply chain management, and data warehouse applications.I.3
What Is the R/3TM Reference Model?
SAPTM has packaged 25 years of best-business practices in many different industries in the form of a "blueprint" called the R/3TM Reference Model. The Reference Model, also known as SAPTM 's Business Blueprint, guides companies from the beginning phases of engineering, including evaluation and analysis, to the final stages of implementation. It is the definitive description of R/3TM, providing a comprehensive view of all the processes and business solutions available in the system. Technical details, however, are "hidden" so that the business user can focus solely on business-process issues. Thus, the Business Blueprint is written in the language of the business user.
The Business Blueprint can be the starting point for business engineering efforts. Documenting processes in R/3TM is a critical part of the "understanding equation" at customer sites. To date, few companies have been able to provide a comprehensive, process-oriented description of a business that fits into almost any industry. The Business Blueprint is a means of streamlining processes and implementing R/3TM without a business having to start from scratch.
The Business Blueprint concentrates on four key areas necessary for understanding business: events, tasks or functions, organization, and communication. These areas define who must do what, when, and how. Events are the driving force behind a business process, prompting one or more activities to take place. This model is the essence of SAPTM 's Event-Driven Process Chain (EPC) Methodology, which is discussed in Chapter 2.
In Releases 4.0, SAPTM offered more than 1,000 predefined business processes, with variants, that generally correspond to different industries and corporations — a milestone in the evolution of process management and enterprise software. These business processes are illustrated with the EPC graphical method. By connecting events and tasks, the method models and analyzes even very complex business processes. An EPC model can show where breaks in the chain of tasks and responsibilities hurt the ability of a company to optimize its processes. Graphical models help users select and understand the software, visualizing how data flow through business areas and showing how various functions interact with each other. The EPC model is the central, process-oriented view. Other models show function, process, information flow, and organization views.
The Business Blueprint can be viewed and analyzed with the help of the R/3TM Business Engineer, which is discussed in full in Chapter 16. A set of integrated tools for configuring R/3TM, the Business Engineer has graphical browsing facilities for displaying the Business Blueprint directly from the R/3TM Repository, which contains all the data definitions and structures required by ABAP/4 programs. The Business Engineer also includes customizing components that allow a user to adapt or modify the system to meet the user's own specific needs.
Benefits of the R/3TM Reference Model during R/3TM implementation include quick overviews, business engineering support, and better communication among different departments (see Chapter 3 for implementation issues). A majority of R/3TM Reference Model customers use the blueprint for business-process modeling. Some organizations, however, use modeling tools and methods in different ways to suit their specific needs. In many organizations, process modeling is used for documentation, visualization of processes, better comprehension, training, and process optimization.I.4
Who Uses R/3TM?
R/3TM is the accepted standard in key industries such as software, oil, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, and high-tech electronics. Other industries include automotive, building and heavy construction, communication services, consulting (software), financial services, furniture, healthcare and hospitals, pharmaceuticals, public sector, raw materials, retail, services, steel, tourism, transportation, and utilities.
Table I-1 is a partial list of R/3TM users.TableI-1 R/3TM Users
ITT Automotive Europe
Building and Heavy Construction
ABB Industrietechnik AG
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
ADtranz ABB Daimler-Benz
Babcock Prozess Automation GmbH
CEGELEC AEG Anlagen und
Dover Elevator International, Inc.
Dürkopp Adler AG
E. Heitkamp GmbH
Procter & Gamble
Pirelli Pneumatici S.P.A
Sasol Alpha Olefins
Schülke & Mayr
Wintershall, Wingas, Kali und Salz
Communication Services, Media
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
IPSOA Editore S.R.L.
Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.
Legend QDI Ltd.
Micro Software Group
Consumer Products: Food
Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG
Heinecken Italia S.P.A.
Consumer Products: Non-Food
Hans Schwarzkopf GmbH
Unilever Italia S.P.A.-Divisione Lever
Financial Services, Banks, Insurance
ABB Holding Ltd. (CN)
Allied Irish Banks plc (IE)
BMW Bank GmbH (DE)
BMW Finance Ltd (GB)
Banca D'Italia (IT)
Banco De Portugal Det Dep. Emissão
E Tesouraria (PT)
Banco Itau S.A. (BR)
Bank of Canada (CA)
Bank of Slovenia (SI)
Bayerische Landesbank (DE)
Bayerische Vereinsbank (DE)
Commerzbank AG (DE)
Countrywide Banking Corporation Limited (NZ)
Credit Suisse (CH)
Deutsche Bank AG (DE)
First Chicago NBD Corporation (US)
First National Building Society (IE)
Jyske Bank A/S (DK)
LGT Bank in Liechtenstein (LI)
Lloyds TSB Group plc (GB)
Mercedes Benz Finance Ltd (GB)
National Westminster Bank plc (GB)
PARIBAS BANQUE France
PT Bank Bali (ID)
PT Bank Bali (ID)
Putnam Company (US)
The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Ltd. (BM)
Thomas Curran is President of Component Software (Cambridge, MA), which produces desktop ERP applications. He worked for five years as technology strategist for SAP AG.
Andrew Ladd is Director of Communications for Component Software, Inc., for whom he was written numerous white papers and technical documents.
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