Practical takeaways from SAP Business ByDesign implementation projects

In this post I want to share some of my experiences with past ByDesign implementation projects. This is not meant to be implementation guide but more of just takeaways and thoughts how the implementation works, what to remember when doing a project to be successful with it etc.

  • First tenant

When you order Your system from SAP or from Your partner it will come as blank as it gets. There is no data, no activated processes, no users. You will get first technical user and then need to create project users and confirm some configuration elements. Then you will be able to go to the next step.

  • Scoping & questions

Every new SAP ByDesign project starts with scoping and questions. This is where you choose which processes to activate and how exactly are you doing to use these processes. There are many of these scoping elements and even more questions. Good thing is that they are quite intuitive and have explanations written to them. For example you have Supply planning -> Material Planning under scoping.

When you select this element you get the process and you can configure it in the question section:

Going through the scoping and questions takes quite long time the first couple of projects since you need to read all the descriptions and understand it. It gets quicker with experience like everything. You can always activate new functionalities after first scoping the project but you cannot always deactivate everything so be careful with that.

  • Fine tuning

Fine tuning is more like master data entry. This is where you create new payment terms, chart of accounts, account determination etc. Its something between system configuration and master data entry. First thing to do is set up the organization structure. This needs to be scalable and done correctly, it will cause huge problems later if not done correctly.

  • Legacy Data Migration

Legacy Data Migration is done using SAP standard Excel formats. There is Excel for all the data You need to migrate. Migration tool works quite well and its possible to upload huge amount of data. We have migrated around 200k materials, BOMs and Production models. It will take time since You need to to it in batches but its doable. Doing data migration You will encounter some strange errors and need to do additional configurations in system what You forgot but its still quite good.

  • Mass data update

There is built in tools to update mass data inside SAP. You can update materials, suppliers, customers etc using the tool. For example You can use this tool to open new organizational views on existing materials or change Supply planning groups. The tool works with batches of around 200 entries. If you need to do larger updates then use excel based tool that is also available. The tools allows you to download existing data from SAP in correct format, edit the data and upload it and all from excel.

Built in tool:

 

Excel based tool for large sets:

  • Printouts

ByDesign comes with standard printouts for all business processes and they are fully customizable. Adding new fields or deleting some fields can be done from inside SAP using the easy editor.

EasyEditor:

However if You need to do complex changes to printouts, translate them, add business logic etc then You need to use Adobe Livecycle Editor. This is complex software and takes time to master. However much can be done there. You can use Javascript to program the printouts which is nice.

Some limitations regarding the printouts.

You cannot modify the standard print program which feeds the data. This means doing some aggregations are more difficult.

If you have multi language printouts then You need to create as many versions of lets say customer invoice as You have languages. It will make harder to maintain the printouts since when You are making a change to a layout You need to to it in 1+n places.

  • Remote implementation

Doing remote project implementation using Skype or something else is quite doable. We have done it many times and it works great. Since doing ByDesign implementation is much less time consuming then doing ECC or some other large ERP project doing it remotely gives the project good agility. We are usually having a Skype call with customer, getting their feedback, doing changes and presenting again. This means that we can make changes and show them even few times a day. In our experience doing projects remotely works quite well in ByDesign context.

  • Project implementation time

Project implementation time largely depends on the business process complexity, number of processes and many other various factors. Good thing with ByDesign is that users can start using it immediately. Since there is no infra setup and system scoping is also fast compared to ECC You can have Your system ready for log in in matter of days after making the purchase order to SAP. This gives the ability for users to start testing and giving feedback etc.

In my experience project takes minimum of 12 weeks to go live. In this 12 weeks You could implement full finance, purchasing, warehouse and project modules with 2 consultant working on this together with customer team. This includes workshops with customer, system setup and configuration, doing some custom developments and printout changes, testing etc. Larger and more complex projects will take more time. I have had project with heavy manufacturing that took one full year to complete.

  • System fit and scalability

ByDesign standard processes are quite comprehensive and cover most of the needs for a small-medium business. It works out of the box for many business processes – here’s a list of them in SAP homepage.

In my experience it does fit quite good for most cases and no modification to standard is required. There are cases where businesses need to rethink how they do things to fit into ByDesign but its not a bad thing. Sometimes additional development is needed. Sometimes this additional development is just and extension field to Sales Order and the system is ready to go.

ByDesign will scale easily as its meant for thousands of users and You can setup complex business organizations within the system. You can have many business residences or companies around the world and manage them with one ByDesign system.

  • Integration and extensions

There is SDK available for ByDesign and most standard business processes and be extended to fit the need. Starting from extra fields to standard business objects to adding complex price calculation logic to sales invoice it can be done. Since the SDK is not using any commonly known technologies but its own programming languages then finding developers for ByDesign is difficult as there are just not that many available.

Its possible to also integrate from and to ByDesign. There are hundreds of SOAP based web services available for almost all business processes. If some business object is not exposed as web service You can create this service yourself in SDK. ByDesign itself can also consume either SOAP or REST based services.

  • Building portals/addons

If some business logic heavy addon needs to be made to ByDesign then its sometimes better to do it outside of ByDesign. For example doing VAT reporting or doing mass manufacturing execution is better to do outside ByDesign. In this case You can use the services provided by ByDesign and build a new product. We have done this to meet customer needs and it works very well. This means querying data from ByDesign, applying business logic to the data and then posting it back to the ByDesign.

 

Hope you have enjoyed the reading and found something useful.

If you need help with ByDesign implementation then don’t hesitate to contact me.

Business ByDesign 1808 Release highlights

New version 1808 is here and here’s the most recent updates worth mentioning in my opinion

  • Order of pricing tables in an Access sequence can be modified
  • Personalization of Gantt Chart
  • Work center overview pages migrated to card design
  • Key User Adaptation of Work Center Overview Pages
  • Add Missing Standard Fields to datasources in reporting
  • Review OData Result with Button “Build OData Query”

You can read more about the updates here:

https://blogs.sap.com/2018/07/27/business-bydesign-release-highlights-1808/

[Guest Post]Packaged Solutions – A New Direction for SAP Business ByDesign

Packaged Solutions – A New Direction for SAP Business ByDesign

Small and mid sized businesses are the life blood of most economies. According to one report, midsize businesses in the UK grew faster and generated more growth in the last five years than the nation’s large and small companies put together.

At the same time, advances in digital and cloud technology have made it possible for such companies to take advantage of automation previously only available to the biggest spenders. By automating and standardising the most common business processes small companies are overcoming barriers to growth.

However, for many companies taking the first steps into digital, the leap towards full scale business automation can be daunting. A large ERP system – even when accessed via the cloud – can seem like too much.

Step forward SAP who have given their vibrant and creative partner ecosystem the freedom to create a new generation of fixed-scope packaged solutions at predictable prices.

 

“The main goal of the new strategy is to offer customers a wider set of solutions to meet their individual requirements within an affordable price range,” said Karl Fahrbach, head of Global Channels, SAP. “As the SAP solution portfolio has grown with the addition of line-of-business solutions and is increasingly focused on the cloud, there is a need for a broader approach to solution packaging that is not only focused on enterprise resource planning software or limited to on-premise solutions.”

The solutions are designed to give customers a fast return on investment at high-quality standards.

At In Cloud Solutions, a UK SAP Partner based in the south of England, we have run with this idea and are creating packages based on SAP Business ByDesign which include something a bit extra to appeal to certain lines of business. For example CUB, (short for Contract Utilities Billing) which is a clever piece of software developed in-house which can handle complex billing scenarios. It allows Telcos, for example, to offer creative deals based on different call rates or other bundled deals where you might need to revert to a greater charge once the initial offer has run out. By packaging SAP Business ByDesign with CUB we can offer Telcos, Utility Companies and even Security Firms something that is not on the market anywhere else.

An additional attraction is the idea of providing a solution which is fixed in scope and has a fixed price. By limiting complexity you can attract customers who are nervous about committing to a big ERP project. So much advice out there on digital transformation suggests that those who are nervous should dip a toe in the water rather than leaving everything until it is too late. That is where Only Finance comes in, an In Cloud Solutions packaged offer that allows companies to take first steps towards a digital offering by tackling finance first. So many financial functions are predictable, it is an ideal start to automation. Companies who want to leave it there get the benefit of streamlined financials, while those who get a taste for it can look at the other modules SAP Business ByDesign has to offer.

You can find out more about the In Cloud Solutions offers for Utilities, Telcos and Security here and there are hundreds more imaginative packages to choose from a wide variety of other partner on the SAP Package Finder directory. Happy browsing!

Lucy Thorpe is head of content creation and social media at UK SAP partner In Cloud Solutions – the only UK Partner to specialise exclusively in SAP Business ByDesign.

Twitter @incloudsolns

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/company/in-cloud-solutions/

External MES addon for SAP ByDesign

Here’s a quick overview of a external appication that we have developed for confirming production tasks in SAP ByDesign. This solution is tailor made for customer needs where they want to collect production data first from production line to excel sheet and then upload the data to SAP. The product is developed using ReactJS and NodeJS and connected to ByDesign via multiple SOAP web services.

Features include:

  • Query open and in process production tasks from SAP
  • Display production related data
  • Process pasted text from excel into HTML table and check for logical errors and notify the user
  • Create and activate new identified stock (batch) in SAP before posting
  • Post input and output products of the production task into SAP
  • Collect all errors back from SAP and display them to user
  • Handle both normal identified stock and also specified stock with batch numbers
  • Can handle hundreds or thousands of entries at once

Video showing how the solution works:

 

If you need similar tool to be built and connected to ByDesign don’t hesitate to contact me.

Actual Cost of Sales for purchased goods

Finding out Actual Cost for Sales Order

In this post I will show how to find out actual cost for materials sold to customer. It will be for process where we purchase the goods that we sell and these goods are valuated with moving average price.

The business flow will be the following:

  1. Sales order creation for externally purchased material.
  2. Creating Purchase Order towards vendor
  3. Goods receipt for the Purchase Order
  4. Invoice Receipt for the Purchase order
  5. Posting Delivery Cost towards Customer Sales order
  6. Delivery creation towards Customer
  7. Invoice towards Customer
  8. Checking the actual Cost of Sales for the sales order created

Creating the sales order

I have created a customer sales order with material R1000. This material we will have to purchase from a vendor in order to sell it as we hold no stock at the moment.

The material:

The material is set up with Moving Average price which is 75 at the moment.

In the sales order we have list price of 120 per 1 PC and Cost of 75 (the moving average from the material master). Therefore that leaves us with Profit Margin 37,5% at the moment. At this point we don’t know the actual cost or the actual margin for this sales order, this is just the planned margin.

Purchase order towards the vendor

I have now run the MRP and released the purchase proposal and can create the order towards the

vendor.

In the purchase order I put price of 82 per 1 PC and send it off to the vendor.

Goods & Invoice receipt for the Purchase Order

Now that we have the order created we can receive it, post the goods into the warehouse and also post the invoice from the vendor.

This is straight forward:

Goods receipt:

Invoice receipt:

And here we can see the responding journal entries for those postings:

Now that the goods are in the warehouse and invoice is received we will enter one more vendor invoice for transportation costs.

Invoice for transportation costs

To be able to post transportation invoice for Sales Order can use the Post Invoice Without Purchase Order reference and assign the cost to a sales order using the cost distribution option:

Here we assigned G/L account and Sales order/item. Note that this same option allows us to assign the cost to project, service order, cost center etc.

Now that’s done we can go ahead and create delivery and invoice the customer.

Delivery & invoicing the customer

Nothing interesting in the delivery & goods issue.

Invoicing is pretty straightforward also. Notice we get the same pricing/cost elements as we had in the sales order.

Now that we have issued the goods to the customer and also invoiced them we can find out the real costs and contribution margins for this sales order.

Actual costs on the sales order

To find out the actual costs and contribution margin for this sales order we can use the work center Cost and Revenue.

We will find out Sales Order here and we can use reports to find out details about the order:

Lets select report named Profit Detail by Contribution Margin Scheme for Sales Order Item:

And here we are. This is the Invoiced Profit which we’ve seen before. Total Cost of Sales were 375.

This here is the earned profit. This will take into account the actual payment to vendor and also the extra 50 we posted against the sales order for the transportation. This gives us total cost of 460. This comes from 82 per 5 pc-s and 50 for the transportation: 82 x 5+50 = 460.

Of course as with all reports we can add more details, for example we can add Journal Entries to see exactly where each amount is coming from.

This is it, hope you have enjoyed the reading.

If you want to read about produced(standard cost control) items when you can read it from here – https://allbyd.com/actual-costs-sap-business-bydesign-price-control-standard/

Free training on SAP BYD financials

There is currently ongoing free online training by SAP @ https://open.sap.com/courses/byd3/items/1AmQcfJ1RHVJptxP1fK6Pj

This course is on SAP BYD accounting and it has very good content. More then 4000 thousand people have subscribed and you will get a free access to SAP BYD system from the course.

Course Content
Week 1: Introduction to SAP Business ByDesign
Week 2: Goods and Services Value Chain
Week 3: Monetary Value Chain (Part 1)
Week 4: Monetary Value Chain (Part 2)
Week 5: Period-End Closing
Week 6: Final Exam

Duration: 5 weeks (3-4 hours per week)

So go ahead and get started in ByDesign by joining that course.

Why BYD is best fit for growing startup as their ERP solution?

business bydesign startup

At some point (the sooner, the better) you will realise that your startup could benefit from a good ERP system. ERP will help your startup become organized, keep records of the books, manufacture your products and track the costs, drive your projects and sales.

  • You will need something that will scale as your company grows
  • You will need something that is flexible with licensing
  • You will need something that has all the basics as accounting, CRM, projects but also much more as you grow
  • You will need something that is easily accessable via API’s from outside systems
  • You will need something that just works since maintaining ERP is not your company’s business
  • You will need all the data and analytics you can get

SAP BYD is a good fit because:

  • Its kind of a start up itself. It is being actively developed even as you read this, SAP BYD will receive new feature updates every four months.
  • SAP BYD has installations from 7 users to 1000+ users.
  • You can buy starter package for licenses and add more as your user base is growing.
  • SAP BYD has lots of features, starting from CRM to accounting and manufacturing. It has 35 end-to-end processes. Read more from here: https://allbyd.com/what-is-sap-byd-all-about/
  • SAP BYD has has more then 200+ API’s and web services available out of box. You can find the link to full list from here https://allbyd.com/11-things-great-sap-business-bydesign/
  • Its hosted in Germany by SAP and is guaranteed with 99% SLA. Also it has free 24x7x365 support for the subscribers.
  • BYD has built in analytic tools to get insights for business. Its in real time powered by HANA technology.
  • Its used by startups such as Skullcandy:

11 things that are great about SAP Business ByDesign

Built in analytics

SAP BYD comes with built in business analytics powered by Hana. Usually with ERP products you need to buy separate product for analytics.

 

Built with using SAP ECC experience

This on is kind of hard to explain but after a while you start to feel that same people have built it who has built ECC. This means that there are many similarities but they have also taken the experience and made BYD better and more convenient.

 

Workflows

BYD comes with good built in workflow automation. You can assign tasks to other people and configure the system so everyone receives work assigments automatically. If you create a service order the service worker will get notification on their screen and know what to do.

 

Sourcing process

Sourcing process is by far the best I have seen in BYD. You want to buy something, you ask suppliers for quotes, compare the quotes, ask for new quotes, accept the quote etc. Everything works well and is easy to use.

 

API’s and web services

There are 231 Web services available in version 1611. This means that almost everything in BYD is accessable from outside BYD and you can also send back data or call out BYD functions.

 

Integration scenarios

There are 70 integration scenarios available in version 1611. They include scenarios for integration SAP BYD with third party applications, on-premise applications etc. For example you can integrate SAP BYD out-of-box with payroll system, e-commerce solutions, point-of-sale applications, engineering applications etc. Read more here.

 

Excel integration

All the reports and analytics in SAP BYD can be opened in Excel as well with SAP BYD free excell plugin. You can query the data straight from BYD system very easily.

 

Updates 4 times a year

SAP BYD receives technology and feature updates every quarter.

 

Idea forum

SAP BYD has idea forum for all the users where they can post their wishes and then the community can up-vote the idea and if it has enough supporters, SAP will consider developing the idea.

 

Document flow

One things thats adopted from ECC is the document flow. This is something that is extremely useful. You will see from you quotation till your G/L postings in accounting and everything in between what has happened with you documents. No need to query and search for order related information from different views.

 

Its a complete solution

SAP BYD basically is: ECC, BW, CRM, SRM, SCM. You will get all the business applications you will need with only one software.

Read more about SAP BYD from here: https://allbyd.com/what-is-sap-byd-all-about/