In the context of globalisation and capitalism, companies are looking to grow. The bigger a company gets, the more complex it becomes to keep an overview of its activities. Thus, they have expressed a need to have a real time visibility on all the functions that compose them. This is how the first Integrated Management Software appeared, better known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). The SAP software belongs to this family, and has been developing this technology for 49 years.
SAP is a powerful computer system composed of several modules, in which the different company departments (accounting, finance, production, procurement, marketing, human resources, quality, maintenance, etc.) are linked together to be centralized based on a client/server configuration.
For example, if a company receives an order for goods, it is possible to know in real time the consequences of this request on the production capacities, the supply needs, the personnel required to accomplish this task, the time required to satisfy this request, the financing needs, the profits generated by this operation, etc.
SAP software comes in as many versions as there are business sectors. Some are generalist and cover all the sectors, others are specialized in only one field. When they are specialised, their internal system is customised to optimise the sector concerned.
Interest of ERP
A company that operates without ERP has a software for each department. A piece of information concerning the production department, the sales department and the transport department will therefore have to be entered three times. In addition to being tedious, this mode of operation involves several risks: input errors, missing data, non-updated data, etc.
Even with the installation of interfaces that facilitate data exchange, the lack of centralization makes it difficult to correct the dysfunctions of the computer interfaces.
A company that works with an ERP, especially with SAP software, benefits from many advantages:
- Overview of the business process. It becomes easier to make decisions, identify challenges and potential opportunities.
- Consistency and uniquenessof information, which is captured in a single way, stored on a single database.
- Homogeneous processing of data greatly limiting the risk of errors, duplications or approximations.
- Piste d’audit garantie. It becomes easy to track and trace information.
- Standardized processes, greatly simplifies data entry and management for all staff, regardless of department.
All of these benefits contribute to the growth of a business, saving time and increasing productivity.
Within the SAP software, we identify 3 families of modules. We quote the main modules but there are dozens of them.
- Material Management. This module deals with the flows related to stocks and supplies: purchase management, stock movements, reception of goods, follow-up of articles and services,
- Sales & Distribution. This module helps to manage contracts, orders, deliveries and everything related to sales.
- Production Planning. Specialized in production management, this module allows to realize production planning and to calculate the needs and the costs related to it. It also performs a sales forecast.
- Quality Management. It works in conjunction with the Production Planning module. It allows to plan the quality controls while ensuring their follow-ups, and to treat the relative administrative steps which are associated with it.
- Plan Maintenance. As its name indicates, this module manages the planning, processing and execution of tasks related to maintenance.
- Financial (FI). Manages and represents all the auxiliary accounting data: general, supplier, customer, bank, travel management and fixed assets.
- Controlling (CO). It works in conjunction with the Financial module. It controls the cost accounting: overheads, costs per product, profit and loss accounts per market segment, balance sheet data, etc. There are almost twenty sub-modules.
Human Resources Module
This unique human resources management module deals with remuneration, employees, working hours, payroll, travel expenses, recruitment, career management, etc. It is carefully organized into about twenty sub-modules.
SAP software : costs
A quick point on the precautions to take when setting up the software. It takes between 4000 and 5000EUR to get the license. You will also have to invest in training sessions for your employees, given by an SAP consultant. The cost of such training is about 800EUR per day.