Why Customers are NOW Loving FSCM

4 May 2010

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen

Former SAP S/4HANA Global Lead

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

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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.

Product Awareness

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.

System Upgrades

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.

Global Recession

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.

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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.

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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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