Is SAP Receivables Management more attractive to a client that already has a Shared Service Centre?

22 December 2011

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

SAP Receivables Management is the new name for the traditional core part of SAP FSCM, Credit, Collections and Dispute Management with Biller Direct. The name has nearly gone full circle as one of the best ways to view the traditional core is to see it as an add-on to the basic Finance Accounts Receivables process. I was recently discussing this with a college who posed a very interesting question:

"Is SAP Receivables Management more attractive to a client that already has its own Shared Service Centre in place?"

Shared Service

This is a great question and got me thinking. My first view is that Receivables Management is ideal for a Shared Service Centre structure. So you may have a global company with 100 plus Company Codes for different products and brands across the world. Having individual teams to support these legal entities would be very costly and it would be hard to ensure common systems as well as processes were in place.  One of the main benefits of Receivables Management is the ability to provide a template or best practice process for an Accounts Receivables team and roll that out.

By having the ability to Segment and Group customers the customers can be differentiated across region or product or size but the process that the team follows is the same. This leads to real benefits where there is a high turnover of Collections Specialists within the Shared Service Centre, or a client who buys in extra resource to tackle seasonal changes in the volume of Receivables to be collected and chased.

Local entity

Turning this around I have also seen clients benefit significantly where they have a small local team of Collections Specialist chasing debt for a single or few Company Codes. When we start to engage with these customers the pain points in the main are very common. Poor visibility of performance of team members, offline processing and a feeling that core SAP is not being used properly. What these clients are after is the ability to change the current ad-hoc processes into a common process that can be seen as best practice. Without wishing to generalise most clients choose to contact customers with the largest debt first and work down the list leading to a number of smaller accounts never being contacted. This might be the "to-be" process as well however we try to open clients' eyes to the ability of the other Collection Rules and the benefits this can provide. For example, it could be more important to focus on customers that have a high risk Credit rating or customers with failed promises to pay.

Summary

I think what makes the Receivables Management tool attractive is that this could be used by a large global brand who may have a team of 50 plus people chasing customer debt as well as smaller clients who have a single Company Code and a team of less than 10. The problems that the two sets of clients are both the same. The challenges within the core SAP Accounts Receivables solution still exist. One of the most important messages I try to stress to new and existing clients is that the new solution will not fix everything. Receivables Management encourages positive behaviours to challenge and change existing business processes for the good. In turn the types benefits clients realise will be the same for the large multi-national to the smaller local entity.

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About the author

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

Mark tells it straight - as an ex-boxer, what else would you expect?  Both his knowledge and experience of SAP products allow him to cut to the chase dispelling myths and hearsay.

As a result of working closely with various SAP Finance Product Management teams on product development, Mark understands these products inside out. This depth of understanding has led to him become a ‘thought leader’ in his field; after all, it is not often SAP consultants have helped shape and develop the very product they are selling.

Having such a strong relationship with SAP alongside being an SAP Mentor and Moderator means that Mark has an extensive network within SAP. For clients, this relationship proves to be a huge advantage and leads to configuration issues being resolved rapidly.

Mark has worked on short proof of concepts through to year-long multi-million pound global roll-outs. However, no matter how large or small the project, the true value Mark brings to his work is in the guidance he provides to senior stakeholders. In essence, he assists them to implement more effective processes and drive better behaviours within their finance teams.

Helping organisations transform their business with SAP S/4HANA is Mark’s current focus. The benefits of S/4HANA are numerous, including the simplification of tasks, embedded analytics and improved user engagement. Whilst the eventual move from SAP Business Suite into S/4HANA is inevitable, the journey to it is not always clear. Mark’s ability to understand an organisation’s needs coupled with his deep understanding of S/4HANA provides clarity and eases their transition.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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