Change management is one of the most important tasks we face on a daily basis across all industries. The larger the company, and as the processes become more complex, this becomes even more important. Between R&D, finance, QA, and production, we can easily have 5 people or more who are directly involved in the approval process. Engineering change management is not a new concept, however, efficiently handling this process within SAP, without installing a whole new module is not that simple. Installing the PLM module is of course an option, however, it is a costly one that adds overhead due to the maintenance requirements. Installing MyECM is a low cost alternative that is easy to manage, and maintain.
As many of you are painfully aware, SAP does not allow making changes to the Material Master, Bill of Materials, or Routing without directly affecting the live environment. As a result, we are forced to record potential changes outside of the system and coordinate our efforts via spreadsheets, e-mail, text documents, etc., which is not a reliable platform for managing those changes. As a result, specifics can get lost in the noise, and the change management process suffers.
Where there is a need, someone will strive to come up with a solution, and that is what MyECM is all about. This product has been developed specifically for the purpose of effective change management. MyECM allows you to use transactions similar to those you are already used to in your existing system. However, the critical difference is that MyECM will allow you to make those changes within a simulated environment. The changes get stored in an intermediate table along with full annotation of what changes where made, and for what reason.
All changes are associated with an engineering change request (ECR) number, and are tied in to an approval process that involves all of the required departments and people. Once the change request has gone through all the proper channels, the changes can then be imported into the live environment. This allows you to manage the process from the beginning, have an accurate history, accountability, and only have to make the changes one time.
Properly managing a process in this fashion is bound to dramatically reduce errors, and makes life easier for all parties involved. During the next audit, you will be able to demonstrate that you take change management seriously, and you can back that up by showing them the revision history in SAP.