Optimize SCM Business Processes by Implementing Digital Signatures

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • July 27, 2012
The ability to digitally sign and approve documents in an SAP system improves organizational efficiencies as well reducing the amount of paper used, thus saving money and natural resources. Digital signatures are offered in several areas of an SAP system, most notably in Production Planning for Process Industries, quality management, plant maintenance, Document Management System, and Engineering Change Management.
Key Concept
The digital signature functionality reduces the number of printed documents that need to be signed. You can define and then assign digital signatures in an SAP system during various transaction processes, such as changing the status of a document in the SAP Document Management System, completing a process instructions sheet in the production planning module, or recording results and making usage decisions in the quality management module. Digital signatures can be internal, such as an SAP user’s password, or even external devices such as fingerprint readers or card slides.

Digital signatures can confirm important decisions in the quality management (QM) module, validate the correctness of shift reports in the plant maintenance (PM) module, or simply confirm the values of process parameters in Production Planning for Process Industries (PP-PI). They do all this electronically, saving significant time and effort and eventually bringing about improvement in business processes as well as saving money.

If digital signature functionality is further integrated with SAP workflow, then the person responsible for digitally signing a particular SAP document automatically receives the relevant document information via the SAP mailbox.

The scope of this article is limited to configuring and implementing digital signatures.

Jawad Akhtar

Jawad Akhtar earned his chemical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has 17 years of professional experience, of which nine years are in SAP. He has completed eight end-to-end SAP project implementation lifecycles in the areas of PP, QM, MM, PM, and DMS in the steel, automobile, chemical, fertilizer, FMCG, and building products industries. He also has worked as an SAP integration manager and an SAP project manager. He has been proactively involved in a business development and solution architect role for seven years. He is the author of Production Planning and Control with SAP ERP, it's filled with in-depth infomation on discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing types. His profile on LinkedIn is at http://pk.linkedin.com/in/jawadakhtar. You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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