SAP ERP Solutions
SAP is one the largest software companies in the world, ranking among the software giants such as Oracle and IBM. Unlike most the software giants, SAP has grown organically with very little acquisitions. According to Software Advice (2014), SAP serves thousands of customers worldwide with most clients being the small to medium size enterprises as well as large corporate bodies. SAP offers a variety of key enterprise resource planning solutions such as customer relationship management, financial management, human capital management, product life cycle management, and supply chain management among other notable business solutions. In addition to the business solutions, SAP also offers other products such as Business All-in-one, and Crystal Reports among others.
This paper seeks to explore the various applications offered by SAP, their associated models, prices, and intended purposes. Moreover, the paper will reflect on the relevance and determine whether they are worth acquiring for businesses purposes.
SAP Key ERP Solutions
SAP offers several vital enterprise resources planning solutions. The first solution is customer relationship management (CRM). This business solution has a design that suits both medium sizes to large enterprises. It includes sales automation, support for customers, management of business channels, and customer help desk. These systems can fit both within the premises and in the web. Firstly, the sales dimension enables firms to access and sustain new businesses through sales management. Secondly, the marketing dimension develops, operates, and manages marketing strategies for the firm (SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, 2014). Lastly, the service dimension allows firms to upgrade customer satisfaction through effective customer support. Other dimensions within the customer relationship management include management of web channels, creation of centers for interactions, and management of communications.
The second solution is human capital management. This system allows businesses to connect its strategies to the hiring of new workforce. It also enables the firm to manage employees for better returns (Software Advice, 2014). The various designs allow firms to manage payrolls, employee benefits, or even run full human resource management systems. Some of the key features of this solution include management of talents, capabilities, performance, development of employees, and issues of succession within the firm. This particular module allows firms to run at reduced costs, and with more efficiency created through optimal process such as hiring, and workforce management. Moreover, this module allows the human resource team to concentrate on tasks that increases the firm’s competitive edge rather than on the regular ones.
The third dimension deals with accounting or financials. This module enables companies to execute their financial management requirements. The key features include analysis of risks, and management of finances. The execution of various dimensions of accounting such as reporting, management of receivables, and other shared services become very easy. Moreover, the management of receivables enables firms to make follow-ups on delayed payments. This ready follow-up maximizes revenues, and reduces the debts outstanding (SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, 2014). The management accounting module allows the company analysts and the top managerial personnel to access the data from a centralized source similar to the accounting department, which improves the interdepartmental communications on matters of finance. In addition to the usual financial ledgers, there is the benefit of acquiring fast statements, fast closing of accounting details, and efficient valuation.
The fourth dimension is maintenance of the product life cycles. This module offers superior management of facilities and products. The system allows for the effective planning and implementation of maintenance schedules. These schedules may be planned or unplanned. However, the system enables the execution of these tasks to be at optimum, thus reducing costs considerably. This module is an indispensable asset to plant engineers, maintenance managers, and various property owners. Furthermore, there are several stages in the life cycle of any property, which this module covers (SAP Enterprise Resource Planning, 2014). These include property acquisition, management, maintenance, operations, and even subsequent disposal of the asset. Other than the product maintenance planning, this module also offers preventive options, discovery of the problem origin, and wide analysis of the identified problem.
The last dimension deals with supply chain management. With fluctuating customer demands, the supply chain management module allows the firms manage their overall supply network in real time. It enables the quick access and analyses so that meeting unexpected demands becomes possible through proper co-ordination between the various departments concerned.
Cost of SAP ERP Software
According to Software Blog (2014), several factors determine the price of SAP ERP software. These include number of users, size of the enterprise, software from the third parties, and implementation costs. The first key factor is the number of users, business size, and the access level required. Generally, any additional user costs a medium-size enterprise about $ 1, 500 to $ 4,000. It is important that businesses carry out proper considerations on their software requirements before embarking on acquisition (Software Blog, 2014). Similarly, with all the key factors considered, the acquisition of SAP ERP software may cost about $ 150,000 to $ 750,000 for small or medium size enterprises.
Most SAP ERP solution modules reduce overall operational costs in areas such accounting, human resource management, supply chain management, property maintenance, and customer relationship management. It is worth noting that these areas are the vital dimensions that offer most businesses a competitive edge in a highly competitive environment. The acquisition of these modules represents a significant step in investment requiring large sums of money, however, with proper management they eventually pay for their initial cost of acquisition since they simplify tasks.
ERP Software Blog. (2014). ‘Beyond software; how to budget the cost of ERP implementation services’. ERP Panel Papers. Retrieved from http://www.sherwood.com/downloads/files/HowtoBudgetCostofERPSoftware.pdf
SAP Enterprise Resource Planning. (2014). Solutions for enterprise resource planning. Retrieved from http://www.sap.com/pc/bp/erp/software/overview.html.
Software Advice. (2014). SAP ERP Software. Retrieved from http://erp.softwareadvice.com/sap-software-brand/.
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