How to truly maximise the benefit of your FSCM implementation

21 May 2010

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

OK - so we have decided to now is the correct time to implement FSCM, we have decided the correct methodology - the next area to focus on is how to maximise the benefit of your implementation.

One of the main objectives customers have by implementing FSCM is to improve their cash flow and working capital. The FSCM solution focuses on the key business process of "cash collection". The process in the main needs to be implemented by a cash collection team and therefore the true way to maximise your benefit is by ensuring the design meets the business requirements and the team implementing the processes are skilled to ensure a satisfactory outcome. The FSCM solution by itself will not provide the best results, later on in this article I will introduce to the key factors to consider.  A simple analogy is, a race car. You can build a great race car, but to maximise the benefit you need to ensure the driver is skilled to drive it and that the car is tailored to the drivers requirements.

As mentioned in my earlier blogs the FSCM product can be configured in a very simple way. SAP have delivered a number of key BAPI's (specific areas where custom code can be added) to aid the personalisation of the solution for the customer.  The key to ensuring this is done correctly is to learn how the customer currently implements the business process of collecting cash as well as providing them ideas to enhance the current processes.

This could be performed by simply reviewing the current processes and systems with the current team to work out what works and what does not work. When business users are using a system day in day out the simple changes to provide benefits can easily be missed or ignored. 

2 Key FSCM processes

1) Dispute Management

The key to dispute management is to record the dispute the customer has and to resolve the dispute in a timely manner. Disputes can be raised manually or automatically - a well designed solution can control the automation of dispute creation, however a good workforce is required to ensure manual disputes are raised correctly.  If the dispute is not created correctly the resolution time increases and reduces the benefit to the customer. When designing a solution for dispute management KPI's need to be determined to control the resolution time of disputes as well as the volume of disputes that are being raised. Within Dispute Management various business users could be involved in resolving a dispute, the various different scenarios need to be defined to ensure the correct business user is chosen for the correct even. This could be controlled via some form of workflow to send disputes to different business users depending on plant, dispute reason code or customer. This means that the design of the workflow will be critical to the success of the implementation

2) Collections Management

Within Collections Management the critical business process is to ensure prioritised customers are called to maximise the volume of cash that is collected. The key to the design is to make sure the critical customers are on top of the collections worklists so the collections team can call them in a timely manner. This could be the customer with the highest credit risk, the customer with the highest outstanding balance, or the customer who has had failed promises to pay.

The design of the collection strategy is a critical success factor for the implementation. To ensure the design is correct for the individual customer the implementing team need to look at the current pain points for effective cash collection. Customer may need to be grouped, and the customers that the cash collection team currently manage may need to be reviewed so that they can be distributed in a different way.

Summary

To summarise the key to a successful FSCM implementation can be split into three areas:

  1. Personalised business processes for the individual customer
  2. Personalised customising to meet the new business processes
  3. A good cash collections team that are bought into the new solution

When planning your FSCM implementation please consider these factors and ensure sufficient time is allocated to them.  The FSCM product by itself may provide some business benefit, however defining and implementing a personalised solution and business process will dramatically increase the success of your implementation leading to greater financial improvement.

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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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