Financial Supply Chain Management as a product has been around for over 5 years now. However the initial uptake of the product has been slow. I believe this is down to three key reasons:
Knowledge of the product
Old versions of ERP
Lack of cash to implement new ERP projects - Global recession
It is fair to say that the obstacles listed above have slowly ebbed away for more and more customers. Add into this the impact of the recent global recession and it becomes clearer why more and more customers are treating this as a must have product in ERP.
So let's go back in time and review what the issues were and how things have now changed.
Obviously if you don't know about something you can't want it. That is not to say that Customers did not need it. The previous versions of ERP had a big gap with regard to Collections and Dispute Management. Companies had to either create their own systems in SAP, or use a 3rd party to provide the required business processes. The functionality available is FSCM is now well documented and therefore I will not go into this in this article.
Now consider that to fully benefit from the full functionality of FSCM a customer needs to be utilising ERP 6, it becomes clearer why the uptake of the product has been slow. Over the past 2 years there has been a significant move for customers to upgrade or re-implement to ERP 6. The majority of upgrades have been technical only, and new functionality has been implemented after this. By having more customers on ERP 6; the scope of the customers who could utilise the product has therefore increased.
Lastly the Global recession reduced the available spend for all customers to invest into SAP products. Many projects were put on hold or scrapped all together due to the impact on their cash flow. As we slowly exit the global recession the timing to implement could not be better. More and more emphasis is being put on a Group's cash flow and a SAP product that can maximise cash flow is now seen as very attractive. Customers who have recently upgraded to ERP 6 can benefit from all of the latest functionality that is being released via the enhancement packages. At the same time customers are now reviewing their accounts receivable business processes to ensure they meet the current requirements rather than the requirements at the time of the initial implementation.
So in summary we are now in a position where the product is stable, the amount of customers who can fully utilise the product has risen and the business appetite has significantly grown. Each time the functionality is released for Enhancement Packages I review to see the latest benefits for FSCM. I have been informed there will be more functionality being released in Enhancement Package 5. If you considered FSCM a few years back it could be worth reviewing the product both in terms of functionality and business requirements for your Organisation.