Five Case Studies to Help You Design SAP APO with Long-Term Support in Mind

  • by Rajesh Ray, Senior Managing Consultant and SCM Product Lead, IBM Global Business Services
  • May 23, 2011
Numerous SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization users face difficulty in maintaining the application post go-live as a few things were not done right during the implementation. While meeting business requirements is crucial for the implementation team doing the process and system design, it’s equally important to keep long-term supportability in mind. Here are five supportability tips to use when you are designing the system.

Design for support is a common concept in the manufacturing world that you can extend to the SAP environment. The SAP system takes care of the design aspects of the generic software functionality, but the implementation partner plays a big role in the way the software is configured and developed to suit a particular company’s needs. Company-specific configuration and development must be supported by the company using it or by a support vendor engaged by the company. Therefore, it’s important that long-term supportability is kept in mind during such configuration/development.

Up to this point it seems logical, correct? However, there are hundreds of cases when months after implementing an SAP solution, companies discover that basic supportability issues were not kept in mind when the solution was designed. Below are five examples of companies that faced issues years after implementing SAP solutions because design-for-support factors were not considered. Here the scope of the SAP application is limited to SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization (SAP APO) applications.

Rajesh Ray

Rajesh Ray currently leads the SAP SCM product area at IBM Global Business Services. He has worked with SAP SE and SAP India prior to joining IBM. He is the author of two books on ERP and retail supply chain published by McGraw-Hill, and has contributed more than 52 articles in 16 international journals. Rajesh is a frequent speaker at different SCM forums and is an honorary member of the CII Logistics Council, APICS India chapter and the SCOR Society. 

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