Monthly Archives: November 2017

SAP Direct Store Delivery – What is it?

Direct Store Delivery or DSD is a strategy for distribution, which offers an alternate option to the centralized distribution strategy. Direct Store Delivery allows for retailers to reduce operations costs by circumventing the retailer’s own distribution center. The goods travel directly from the supplier to the retail store instead. This saves a lot of time and money for the retailer. Also, sidestepping the distribution center and having direct lines of communication with the supplier gives retailers better control over the contents of their inventory, and that can help drive the growth in sales.

The DSD system represents a commitment to stay flexible and highly responsive. They adjust their deliveries in order to cater to the changing needs of customers. The Direct Store Delivery system is best applicable to the food  and beverage industry when seen in the context of the consumer product ecosystem where reducing the supply chain time to accommodate maximum freshness takes utmost precedence.

The suppliers do not have just one huge storage warehouse. More often, they tend to rely on a network of distribution centers that serve as hubs for regional distribution. Some distribution centers like Commercial Warehousing also provide value-added services like repacking in order to prepare the products for sales promotions at the Point Of Sale (POS).

DSD also covers the planning and managing of the customer delivery with drivers being responsible for presales, sales, delivery or mixed delivery to the customers. Direct Store Delivery is one of the integral parts of the Logistics Execution System and integrates into the following areas:

  • Customer Master data
  • Material Master data
  • Equipment Master data
  • Transportation planning
  • Inventory management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Mobilizing Direct Store Delivery

Adopting the DSD distribution model can benefit those retailers and their supply chains greatly who have certain characteristics:

  • If your product and supply chain require control of deliveries then it is an important factor. For example, the delivery windows are very tight or limited to certain times of the day.
  • If a large portion of your customer base consists of small retailers like small convenience stores where they have a lack of huge storage space. They cannot store excessive amounts of inventory and need to get resupplied on a regular basis.
  • Drivers should be good when it comes to people skills because direct contact with retailers is a key element of customer satisfaction. This means that the drivers will be the ones brokering your relationship with the retailers.
  • Security and theft is always an issue, especially when it comes to high value goods like alcohol and tobacco.

How SAP Mobility is Reinventing Business Processes and the User Experience

As part of its user experience mantra of “new, renew and enable”, SAP has been dedicated to providing a user-level experience to employees across the enterprise. SAP recognizes that the ultimate goal of its software is to help users achieve their business tasks and goals; so the tools must be as functional and accessible as possible.

Whether an enterprise is looking for SAP Mobility Solutions that will aid in discovery and evaluation, purchasing or configuration and installation, each business process offers various opportunities for simplification.

The Move Away From Laptops and Desktops

While home users have been quick to adopt mobile platforms as their primary method for communication, research and shopping; at the enterprise level the change has been slower to come. Therefore new SAP Mobility tools are designed to work seamlessly across multiple platforms, whether employees are using their desktops, tablets or phones — they can expect the same functionality and information at hand.

Business Process Improvements that Benefit Users

While technology has helped simplify many aspects of enterprise management, it has also added extra layers of complexity to many functions. Now increasing management and user competencies are required to adequately monitor and process new systems and data requirements in place.

When mobility first came to the enterprise, it was often only available in a very constrained fashion — either tools were made specific to one device or operating system or a consistent online connection was needed to accommodate the architecture and application requirements. Today, workforces demand an intuitive, convenient user experience that translates to any platform or device.

SAP allows developers to deliver on business process improvements which provide: Complete enterprise management, better control over processes, the ability to assign accountability for corrective and preventative maintenance procedures, real-time data online and offline all with the better more intuitive user experience.  Developers can make use of tools such as push notifications, GPS and scanning to alert users to potential areas of concern, provide detailed location-specific information and real-time imaging, and on-site documentation.

Improving Client Interactions

SAP Mobility tools provide a supporting function to your business’s core competencies. Businesses may be busy investing heavily in capital resources to fuel greater growth but if software interfaces are causing delays and errors then the user can easily become frustrated.

This is especially true for customer-facing employees such as call centre representatives and salespeople, an unsuitable interface can make it difficult to access relevant customer data, product information and it will make it impossible to make changes to design and project requirements on the fly. The result is lost sales and orders.

The user interface advancements engendered by SAP Mobility allow customer-facing personnel to access retrieve analytics and detailed customer information from any mobile device in real-time. A better interface means that these tools are designed for better visibility and functionality too. A more intuitive design also means that your business doesn’t need to spend as much on training and development.

Best Practices for Using SAP Fiori 2.0

With SAP Fiori 2.0, SAP has taken its commitment to the user experience to the next level. It has been providing employees with the opportunity to make use of simple, personalized and responsive business tools that can function equally well across all devices.

Amongst the new applications offered as part of the Fiori 2.0 suite are:

  • Transaction apps that allow users to perform functions such as creating administrative requests, and confirming approvals, on desktop or mobile.
  • Highly detailed fact sheets that provide on-to-go details about vital business elements, also allowing users the ability to examine related information.
  • Analytical apps that allow users to delve into in-depth performance indices and other metrics that measure the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes.

While these, complex technological innovations certainly have the ability to optimize your business their effectiveness is based entirely on how your employees are able to make use of them. Here are some best practices for getting the most utility out of SAP Fiori 2.0.

Get Familiar with SAP Fiori Design Guidelines

A large part of the success of Fiori is built on its consistent design principles. In order to make best use of the different application types it’s important that you aware of these.

  • SAP has separated the different transactions that were once bundled together, offering each individual transaction in a different interactive application. That only presents the most relevant information to users.
  • Because Fiori is built on the underlying SAP HANA platform, applications respond more quickly than ever before.
  • SAP has also simplified the interface to make it even easier for users by restricting each use case to 1 user across 3 screens.
  • All Fiori apps are provided in the same language to ensure a seamless experience across all devices; it is also designed to integrate with ECC 6.0 in order to ease deployment on existing SAP systems.

Make Sure You’ve Read the SAP Notes before Implementation

Without reading the notes you may find yourself constantly troubleshooting, trying to identify the reason why your apps aren’t working. While notes may take a week for your system admin to install, it will save you 2-3 weeks in time spent troubleshooting. You can speed up the process by checking with a Fiori consultant that should be able to guide you towards the right notes to install. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then don’t be afraid to make use of Google to locate bug fix notes.

Learn Some Basic Web Development Skills

In order to better understand the underlying behavior of custom-built Fiori applications it’s important that you have a working knowledge of basic coding. Resources such as Codeacademy, and Codeschool provide a good series of developmental courses that can help you better identify and manipulate the language and syntax of these apps.

Learn How to Use Browser Debuggers

For those of you who’ve spent time with SAP’S ABAP debugger, it’s important to get to know the web debuggers available. While most of you will be making use of Chrome dev tools, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with other tools such as Firebug for Firefox, and Safari Developer Tools.