Enhancing SAP Lean Order Management for SAP Retail Part 3: Enhancement Framework

Creating Custom Views, Events, and Controlling the Visibility of Data Elements

In my previous two posts in this series, I discussed how to control field level help information and how to influence the look, feel and flow of the end user experience. In this entry, I will discuss some of the LOM capabilities for controlling what happens behind the scenes to manage technical events as well as screen content. For example, during transaction processing the system locks table entries to prevent other users from updating data while you are processing it. As in many technical endeavors, good housekeeping and cleaning up after yourself is always appreciated. To quote Roger Manifold, “Good manners don’t cost nothing”.

The enhancement framework concept is used to create custom views, handling of those custom views and dynamically controlling the visibility of different elements within Lean Order Management.

The FPM (Floor Plan Manager) with the Web Dynpro application interface provides you with methods to allow the application to participate in all FPM events that happen during the entire lifetime of the application.

Within the package ERP_SLS_LO_OIF, the main Web Dynpro component is LO_OIF_MAIN_COMP. Open this Web Dynpro application using transaction code SE80. The first step is to create an enhancement by clicking the enhance button or CTRL+F4 key. [Read more...]

Enhancing SAP Lean Order Management for SAP Retail Part 2: Configuring LOM

In the previous blog post, I discussed how to tailor the contents of field level help dropdown lists.  This kind of customizing is very specific, detailed and should always be thought through carefully.  In this post I discuss a higher level of customization of Lean Order Management, namely the look, feel and flow of the end user transaction screens.  This in turn influences the process flow and can be used to ensure the end user actions occur in the required sequence.

SAP often gets a bad rap for their GUI design, whereas other companies (can you think of a crisp, golden delicious fruit?) are lauded for their GUI design.  This doesn’t happen by accident and it isn’t easy.  “Intuitive” designs can be anything but intuitive and understanding your end user audience, their skills, expectations and willingness to learn is imperative when designing with LOM functionality.

In this regard, a recurring theme with LOM is to think it through before acting: LOM is a powerful tool and, to paraphrase, with that power comes responsibility.  Ideally, any LOM development work is preceded by detailed whiteboard sessions to map out the screen flow, the required buttons and actions, pop-up windows and possible responses, otherwise it is easy to end up doing basic design on the fly – and that rarely ends well.

Anyway, enough of the preamble – how do we make this magic happen in SAP? [Read more...]

Enhancing SAP Lean Order Management for SAP Retail Part 1

The objective of this series is to provide quick reference which may be used as a guide while enhancing Lean Order Management built with Web Dynpro and based on Floorplan Manager.

This is the first of three blog posts that discuss SAP LOM functionality. The first provides a high level introduction to LOM and how to modify the SAP table value help process to display available values. These are the value lists usually accessible using the F4 key in the SAP GUI.

The second post discusses how to configure LOM, and the third posting discusses the enhancement framework that allows you to build custom views and dynamically control screen content.

Enhancements in Lean Order Management

Before we start a discussion the technical aspects of SAP’s Lean Order Management (LOM) we need to understand the goal of order management itself.

Wider Goals of Order Management

  • To ensure or create coherence between tasks, organizations, functions and information systems (both manual and electronic) in the customer order flow
  • To ensure or create awareness of time consumption, bottlenecks, changes of responsibility and costs in the administration and at the shop floor
  • To remove non value-adding activities and non-value-adding information by reorganizing structures, tasks and systems towards lean principles

With order management is the necessity to simplify and streamline the process for taking an order from a customer. In my opinion, many companies spend more time (man-hours & lead-time) on order processes than production.

In many companies more time (man-hours & lead time) are spent on order processing than on production. [Read more...]

How DataXstream and SAP Retail can Improve your Business

Retail Business owners, have you ever wondered how SAP Retail can help your business? Let our partners at SAP show you what we can do for you.

At DataXstream, we create tailored solutions for SAP Retail that give retailers tools which allow them to capitalize on the retail revolution and achieve success in today’s business environment.  Our dedicated team of Retail-focused SAP experts, with specialties ranging from technical and functional implementation to custom configuration and strategic project management, enables our customers to realize the full potential of SAP Retail’s highly flexible, configurable, and powerful solution toolset.  Whether you are a food, hardline, or softline retailer, Dataxstream can help you achieve operational and supply chain excellence with your SAP Retail system.

 

Lessons Learned for Decision Makers and Leads from a Successful SAP Retail Project Part 2 – Client Resources

My first post of the SAP Retail Lessons Learned series, I provided some background information on the SAP Retail implementation project that will be used as the primary reference for the lessons learned. I also listed a few over-arching themes for the entire series as well as major Lessons Learned categories that will be featured in upcoming posts.

In continuing my series of lessons learned with SAP Retail I would like to cover the topic of Client Resources and Planning. Again, in general many of these lesson I have learned could be applied to any project and I can easily draw parallels from other SAP industry solution implementations that I have led in the past. I will do my best to highlight where I think there are specific retail differences.

There Are Never Enough Client Resources

This is the case on almost any large-scale project, not just SAP projects. It impacts smaller organizations and it impacts retail businesses more because they tend to run leaner IT organizations. So you might be saying to yourself, “big deal; what project not funded by the government doesn’t have enough resources?” This one point however might be the most important one I make in this series.

[Read more...]

Role Call – NRF Annual Convention and Expo

DataXstream will be present at Retail’s Big Show later this month (Jan 15-17) to talk all things SAP Retail. Will you be in attendance? Send us a message below to connect with us in New York later this month.

DataXstream: A Proven Expert in SAP Retail

Since a great number of SAP shops exist these days, you might ask yourselves why, as a retailer, you would choose DataXstream to implement SAP for Retail for your business.  It is a good question, and we have a great answer.

First and foremost, we at DataXstream are proven experts in SAP, having worked in the SAP world for more than 15 years and having established an excellent reputation.  Simply speaking, we understand SAP extremely well.  You can absolutely trust us with any SAP project.

Secondly, we have a proven track record when it comes to the specifics of SAP for Retail. With us on your team, you can expect to implement SAP for Retail 50% faster; have all the unique configurations of the system you need to best reach your business goals, and even have your system customized to improve upon SAP’s already excellent functionality.

Thirdly, we are experts in virtualization, as well, which means we give you the unique opportunity to virtualize your SAP environment if you so choose.  Many cost-savings and other benefits (including flexibility and increased responsiveness to business growth) can result from a virtualized environment.  For more details on the benefits of virtualization, read here.

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Lessons Learned for Decision Makers and Leads from a Successful SAP Retail Project

I have spent the last 2 years working on an SAP Retail implementation.  An SAP Retail project is the last place I could have ever imagined myself working.  I have always been drawn more to SAP manufacturing, distribution, and A&D projects.  Being a manufacturing engineer by trade, I am always a little more comfortable with a manufacturing line or warehouse near by.  Even the facility that we ran the SAP project out of had a manufacturing line in it and a warehouse, so it helped to ease my inner engineer.  It also broke my 12 year streak of not having a project in the state I live in.

I have been working with SAP for over 15 years.  This was my first SAP Retail project and once again SAP has proved to me that it can be successfully leveraged and become a competitive advantage for those companies that implement it.  Each time I start a new project in a new industry I think about the vast differences in how the new company will need to leverage SAP and the challenges that unique business will create for the SAP application.  Time and time again a reasonable solution path is achieved and SAP becomes a solid foundation from which the business operates.  The diversity of my own personal experience working with successful SAP customers demonstrates this point.  There are not a lot of similarities in how A Flooring Retailer, Rocket Manufacturer, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer operate, yet they are all very successful at leveraging SAP.

[Read more...]