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.