What new functionality should SAP look to implement in the future?

1 June 2010

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

This is the last of my 4 blogs which focus on FSCM.

  1. Blog 1 - Why customers are NOW loving FSCM
  2. Blog 2 - Agile or waterfall, what works best for FSCM?
  3. Blog 3 - How to truly maximise the benefit of your FSCM implementation

The best way to end the series is to look forward and within this blog I intend to focus on where SAP could look to improve FSCM in future enhancement packages or releases of ERP.

Before I delve straight into my ideas it is clear to see that the FSCM suite has evolved over the last 5 or so years. The version delivered in ERP 6 enabled better integration between modules, and in the last 4 Enhancement Packages, all of them have had new functionality relating to FSCM.

Without going into too much detail about how the product has evolved the key concept that I can see amongst the majority of the enhancements is integration.

This can be broken down into two different areas:

  1. Integration into the way the various FSCM modules work together
  2. Integration with other SAP modules and other stand alone systems

Examples of current integration in FSCM

Within Collections Management - you can include in your collection strategy credit management information that will influence it, as well as Dispute Management. This enables your worklists in Collections Management to be influenced by the customer's dispute behaviour and treating the two processes as one. The further benefit is the ability to see if there is a credit issue with an individual customer, and not wait for invoices to full due. The three core FSCM processes of credit management, dispute management and collections management blending and inter-acting together providing benefit to the implementer.

Within Dispute Management - disputes can be raised to create claims to integrate back to the TPM module in CRM. Disputes can be raised during Finance clearing of payments, or via Collection Management when a collection management engages with the customer.

Example of potential new integration in FSCM

Within Dispute Management there is the ability for a lot of automation. Automation of the creation of disputes when an invoice is part paid or not paid. There is however a gap the standard SAP process is for customer invoices to come from Billing in SD. In Dispute Management the finance document is disputes and there is no direct link to the billing document. Within SD customer invoices come from sales orders, which in turn can come from a contract. To fully resolve a dispute you need to go back to the source of the issue and not just tackle the finance issues as they will keep coming back.

If a contract is entered in SAP incorrectly, it will in turn have the wrong price on the sales order and also the billing document which will feed into Finance. It could be a few weeks until the customer raises the initial dispute. They will dispute the invoices they are in receipt of however there could be some sales orders that have not been billed, or the customer has not received yet.

My suggestion is that in dispute management you could go to the original contract (from the invoice in the dispute)- change it and use the standard document flow to see which sales orders and billing documents are wrong and then add them to the dispute. This will stop the customer raising a further dispute. Further to this within Dispute Management you could have the ability to raise a SD credit note that is linked to the Dispute and then update the status of the Dispute.

Currently Collections Management can take data from Credit Management to rank the customers on their worklists.  However the credit score currently cannot as standard utilise some of the factors from Collections Management. To manage the credit risk of a customer, monitoring issues around collections and disputes is beneficial. They are all tied and linked together. If a customer is raising disputes and failing promise to pay's the credit score should increase. If SAP were to look at integrating this into credit management it would close of some of the areas that are not currently fully integrated.

Summary

In summary there is still plenty of scope that could be enhanced within the full FSCM suite of products. A new enhancement package is due out this Summer and I am sure there will be some more functionality being added to FSCM.  It is clear that SAP has focused a great deal of attention to improve and grow the product and I hope they continue to do this, not only for product development but most importantly for the benefit of the customers that are using FSCM.

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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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