Case Study: Global SAP Support & AMS for a food company
The client for this case study is a further processor of poultry with corporate headquarters in the upper Midwest of the United States. The company has annual revenue of approximately $1B, and has a total of two manufacturing plants, and one distribution center.
- SAP ERP 6.0
- VMware Servers – Hosted On-site
- Database Server (Microsoft SQL Server)
- Application Server
- 300 SAP Users
- Implemented Modules
- Finance (FI)
- Controlling (CO)
- Sales & Distribution (SD)
- Production Planning (PP)
- Discrete Manufacturing
- Materials Management (MM)
- Plant Maintenance (PM)
- Quality Management (QM)
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
- Warehouse Management (WM)
This client had significant problems with their previous SAP support/consulting partner. The stability of the SAP system was negatively affected by improper execution of projects. There had been several instances where the production system was down, requiring a shut down of all operations until the problem was resolved.
On several occasions, the company was also unable to run payroll, due to a problem caused by a functional configuration deployed to the production system without proper testing in the quality assurance system.
One particular functional configuration in the Production Planning (PP), and Controlling (CO) modules led to severe problems with profitability analysis. This functional configuration was made directly in the production system, and as a result the system was no longer calculating production order cost elements.
The client also complained of poor response time for support tickets that were entered into the ticketing system. Several tickets had been open for as long six months without any resolution.
Due to the problems with many “mission critical” business processes, this client decided to award Mygo Consulting 100% of the global SAP support, and Application Management Support (AMS).
Transferring 24/7 global SAP support to a new partner is never an easy task. The key challenges were:
- All existing tickets with the previous support partner were closed and transferred to Mygo Consulting. Our team had to pick up the tickets in progress and complete them. Finishing another consultant’s job is never an easy task, and it requires experience to prevent exacerbating the situation.
- Several configuration mistakes had been made in the live production environment, which had to be rolled back.
- Many departments and subject matter experts had to be involved in validating the corrections our team made.
- Several of the projects in progress affected multiple modules, and our team had to ensure that this integration got properly tested, and all possible side effects were ruled out.
- The department heads and subject matter experts at the client sites had lost faith in support partners, and our team had to work hard to build trust and respect.
Immediately after Mygo Consulting was awarded 100% of the Global SAP Support and AMS business, we had a meeting with the client’s IT team, as well as all department heads.
First order of business was to familiarize the client’s team with our quality assurance process that has been designed to prevent the problems they have faced in the past with their old support partner. Explaining this process went a long way to putting their minds at ease, as they realized that this was going to be a positive change.
The following is a short synopsis of the support and development process at Mygo Consulting:
- Prioritize the ticket/project based on urgency, and escalate accordingly.
- Assign oversight of the ticket to an account manager, or engagement manager who will be responsible for ensuring that our team delivers what the client asked for.
- Documentation with instructions and screenshots will be provided as the technical or functional consultants come up with the solutions.
- Once the development or functional work is completed in DEV, the changes will be transported into the QAS system. The engagement manager will review the project documentation, and will be responsible for testing the development or functional configuration prior to client review and testing in QAS.
- The client SME is provided with all documentation for the project/ticket, and is asked to test the development or functional configurations in QAS.
- The Director of IT will need to sign off on every transport request before the development or configuration is transported into the PRD system.
Following this process will prevent changes from being transported into the production system before thorough testing has been completed. The presence of an engagement manager creates a central easily accessible point of contact and accurate and timely flow of information between Mygo Consulting and the client.
By working together closely with client department heads, and SME’s, our team was able to resolve tickets that had been in progress for as long as 6 months with the previous support partner in just a matter of a few weeks. Mygo Consulting quickly gained the support and trust of all department heads, and subject matter experts.
Within two months of signing the support agreement with the client, our team was no longer fighting the pre-existing fires, and we had moved on to improving the system, leveraging new functionality, and developing new custom transactions and reports. The client no longer has to be reactive, but can be proactive in planning for the future of their ERP platform.