SAP…Not So Bad

When I’m wrong, I need to say I was wrong.  For years I have been staunch supporter of eliminating SAP.

SAP bad.  Lean Good.  That was my stance.

A few weeks ago, I went to an SAP conference to learn more about their Customer Relations Management (CRM) module.  My company is implementing this module in the next year and a half.

I learned a lot at the conference.  The most important learning I had was SAP has a lot of functionality that can be very helpful even in lean companies.

Don’t mistake this with supporting ERP/MRP systems.  I still believe that ERP/MRP systems are the opposite of lean and should not be used.  The mistake I made was equating SAP with ERP.

SAP has an ERP/MRP module that is a large part of their business, but SAP also has so much to offer.  SAP has ways to get data out and digestible.  It can give directionally correct data so you can go and see what is actually happening in order to solve the issues as an example.

I equated SAP to ERP/MRP and it isn’t.  SAP has benefits to even lean companies.  Understand what SAP has to offer and what your process needs are and try to match those needs up.  This is just true for SAP, but for any technology.

Technology can be a great thing, but only when it supports your process, not defines the process.

Posted on March 21, 2013, in Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I enjoy your comments Matt. Most of the “new” technology in sales and marketing are very balanced between what I might call a push/pull mentality. They are not just about pushing the message out but more about segmenting based on customer input to provide a more directed message. Very Lean-like.

    Two recent books, Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler of SalesForce and Revenue Disruption by Phil Fernandez of Marketo, offer good outlines of this process. Both books sell their services in them, but look past that and instead look at how they use continuous improvement to (co)create a better customer experience.

    P.S. I wonder if the people in charge of internal company communications could learn something. 😉

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