SAP TPM is a great tool and it can be made even better with value adding bespoke functionalities which also deliver a better user experience. In this blog I will describe one of the enhancements we have done for maintaining base prices in SAP TPM to add value to the role of an Account Manager.
Price is key element of any sale and identifying the right price is always important for achieving optimum results. Premium price gets more profitability but can affect sales volume, whilst reduced pricing may get more sales volume but can affect profitability.
Prudent businesses will price customers differently mainly based on their market share, aka sales volume, or based on any other long term strategies.
SAP TPM is an effective tool for achieving short-term or long-term goals i.e. more retailer shelf space, market share, and so on. In other words, it can be used to vary price as required for a fixed period differently to different retailers to achieve the desired results. These are offered in the form of invoice discounts, lump sums for (aisle) displays, rebates and retros.
If this variation in pricing needs to be done at base price (the 'regular' price in the absence of a promotion) it is essential to keep good retailer relations and achieve long term gains through increasing and sustaining base volumes. If you do this then reduced price just becomes another permanent promotion.
SAP EEC Vs SAP TPM?
Typically SAP base prices are maintained in SAP ECC directly, promotions are created in SAP TPM and their conditions sent to SAP ECC for use in sales orders.
Maintaining base prices in SAP ECC is not a user friendly experience due to the old user interface and the lack of details that are considered in base price determination i.e. past, current and potential future volumes of retailers etc. This analysis is therefore done externally using tools like excel or other reporting tools like SAP BI. Consequentially, this means toggling between different screens making it far more time consuming and not as accurate.
Account managers also need to login into different systems to maintain base prices and create promotions.
A few setbacks of doing this in SAP ECC
Maintaining - Maintaining and viewing base prices in SAP ECC is a separate task and can be frustrating since users need to refer to different details likes past, current and future volumes of customers and price accordingly. Account Managers who use a SAP TPM system regularly have to login to SAP ECC every time to view and change details. The SAP CRM Transaction Launcher may help here but this is still not the best solution.
Revisiting - Later when base prices are reviewed the system can't show the rationale behind the value.
Approvals - Another crucial, but slightly painful step, is approving them. Automating approvals of these details in SAP ECC is not easy from a technical perspective and is not user friendly due to the limitations of the UI.
Advantages of doing it in SAP TPM
Enabling base prices maintenance in a more user friendly SAP TPM system that integrates crucial details like forecasted volumes from BPS is ideal for Account managers. We completed such an enhancement on a recent project where users could maintain, change and delist prices in SAP TPM by leveraging the standard SAP CRM UI framework. The benefits of this integrated approach are:
Integrated maintenance of base prices in SAP CRM without logging into SAP ECC
Integrated Demand Planning details to make a more informed decision
More user friendly WebUI TPM component which account managers are familiar with
Easy and user friendly workflow approvals
Easier authorisations and restrictions for viewing and maintaining
Control and empowerment to account managers in managing them.
So how did we do it?
We designed and implemented a bespoke solution for the customer. A new promotion template was created for base price creation, change and delisting - each option is a separate objective under a promotion type. A separate link was provided to access it - on a navigation bar in the Web UI. In the backend standard condition generation was adopted to create, change and delist based on promotion objective, unlike standard functionality which only creates and deletes conditions every time.
Creating - A record is created for a product and retailer combination from any date to till end of time as base prices are not time bound, by saying that still these can be changed or withdrawn in future at any point in time. Base prices can be created for any number of products and a retailer in a single document, and still maintaining separate prices for each product in the BPS layout. All new prices are sent to SAP ECC through middleware.
Changing - Base prices can be changed whenever required, from a specific date to till end of time. It fetches all previous records for editing and any updates made will be replicated in SAP ECC.
Delisting - If products are changed or rebranded or no longer manufactured, their prices can be delisted by limiting them to certain date, and from that date onwards base prices will not be picked up.
In the end by taking standard SAP TPM a step further with use of additional bespoke functionality, Account Managers were provided with a far better user experience, less maintenance and lower support overheads for the business. The tool is what you make it.