Gründerszene.de from 03. July 2019: Many founders don’t risk implementing SAP. However, if the right methods are applied, the advantages of the business software outweigh the disadvantages. An expert explains.
With SAP software, the complete business processes of company can be mapped. Companies that want to work with SAP in order to give their credit management a fresh new look have complicated process ahead of them. Before the programme can do its work, companies have to communicate their individual needs and master the actual software implementation. For this purpose, they not only have to analyse all of their business processes, they may also have to change them, if it emerges that they are not set up optimally.
A complicated changeover process like this is vulnerable to errors, and many companies simply don’t have the expertise to cope with the implementation. This, however, does not diminish the benefits that that they can gain from working with SAP software. The solution: the implementation and IT structure should be handed over to experts in the context of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). nexnet offers these kinds of all-round solutions for everything concerning subscription management, credit management, as well as rating and billing. Lars Heucke, the managing director talked with us about reasons why SAP can ensure successful credit management.
You haven’t yet had the courage to try out SAP? Business process outsourcing could be the ideal solution! Find out today about nexnet’s services and you’ll soon be profiting from a reliable credit management!
Mr Heucke, what changes for companies in concrete terms when they work with SAP? What is the software capable of?
"Not only are the purely credit processes in the finance area mappable, the partner handling can be made visible for each individual transaction. Generally, with SAP the whole process logic in the finance process can be mapped, whether its B2C, B2B, or for the payment service provider controlling. That brings security. Before the work with appropriate software, payments of the PSP couldn’t exactly be matched with an individual transaction. After the SAP implementation, for each individual transaction, the purchase and the payment and also the tax and the receipt in the account are visible.
This is accompanied by a higher processing quality in billing, which takes places more quickly and with fewer errors. The customer doesn’t have to worry any more about the financial processes and can instead focus again on the sales and on the product. Because SAP is the only system that’s high-performance, runs stably and at the same time is suitable for high volumes. Apart from that, it meets all of the requirements of an audit, so it’s audit-proof. For start-ups in particular, however, it’s important that the software scalable and customisable. SAP can also meet these demands. A lot of companies have misgivings, though: extremely high costs during the implementation, long delays, a heavy demand on internal resources or high licensing costs.”
Are these misgivings justified, in your view?
“These concerns can be avoided for the most part. Through the use of a BPO service provider, companies only use the advantages of SAP, because the extremely difficult, time-consuming and costly implementation process is done away with. At nexnet we have just under 20 years of experience in credit management with SAP, without directly selling the product, which is something many other corporate consultants do. Instead, customers can use our SAP landscape, without having to carry out their own software installation.”
Nevertheless, you often read that there can be major complications in the implementation. What are they and why is that?“There can be many reasons for this, for example, an absence of SAP know-how together with a lack of knowledge of the sector and no experience in the implementation of SAP projects. It can also simply involve wrong advice or a misjudgement of one’s own expertise and resources. An SAP implementation is extremely complex and shouldn’t be underestimated. There are many steps in the implementation where mistakes can be made: the installation and set-up, the user management, the process implementation, and so on.
Apart from these kinds of technical sources of errors, company-internal reasons can also lead to complications. For example, if the demands on the software are constantly changing during the implementation phase, this can disrupt the whole process. Many companies also want too much all at once, instead of only concentrating on the core aspects at first. You can’t build a house in one day, after all. You begin with the foundation; you don’t install the electrics straight away. With BPO service providers like us, the house is already standing, and it’s only a matter of allocating the rooms. This has the advantage that there’s only a minimal need for coordination and installation. The company only has to move into its new house, so to speak.”
What can companies do then, to ensure that their credit management runs smoothly?
“Outsource their processes! For a successful SAP implementation, you need expertise above all. The selection of the right service provider with the relevant experience in the necessary areas is thus crucial for companies. If you use BPO, you don’t have to acquire any licenses, carry out any installation, and you don’t have to handle the set-up yourself. This not only saves time and money, but also a huge amount of stress. 80 percent of the work is taken over by the service provider, only the remaining 20 percent has to be done jointly – this mainly affects the customising of the software.
A further advantage of BPO service providers is the good collaboration of the SAP experts – they know each other. There are no time-consuming disagreements, there is no getting-to-know-you phase. The time pressure shouldn’t be too great anyway.”
So by and large, SAP has more advantages than disadvantages for credit management?
“Yes. SAP is scalable, suitable for high volumes and with that is reliable and audit-proof. The auditor doesn’t have anything to complain about. The many disadvantages normally come about during the extremely difficult, time consuming, and expensive implementation. So, the disadvantages always weigh the heaviest when the company tries to do everything itself, without having gained sufficient experience in the area of SAP-implementation or can’t be adequately supplemented with the know-how from the areas of finance, development and project management. But this process ceases to apply when companies use reliable BPO service providers.”