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How can SAP S/4HANA processes be reproduced quickly?

MAX4SAP makes it easier for companies to map their processes in the new SAP S/4HANA system. This saves time and, in turn, costs.

June 10 2024Héctor G. Ambiado

Business process framework reflects differences

Standardize as much as possible: that’s what many companies want for their SAP process framework and system. After all, standardized frameworks, models, and processes mean less work and lower costs. Then again, unique procedures set a company apart from its competitors. But what activity should take precedence when switching to SAP S/4HANA? With the MAX4SAP template, companies can flexibly replicate both standard and individual processes.

Dive into the world of SAP S/4HANA

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MAX4SAP is a preconfigured template that takes account of standardized, industry-related processes with schematic procedures, pre-assembled master data,  authorization concepts, extensive process documentation, and various test scenarios. Depending on the customer’s preference, processes can be displayed in the desktop-based graphical user interface (SAP GUI) or the SAP Fiori web interface.

What makes MAX4SAP software unique is its modular design. Customers can choose whether to replicate process steps or a whole series of procedures. In each case, T-Systems is on hand in an advisory capacity, concentrating on customer requirements and deriving maximum value from the SAP S/4HANA implementation.

In focus: manufacturing and automotive

At present, MAX4SAP consists more than 40 E2E processes and over 150 modular processes. These include procedures such as Order-to-Cash, Purchase-to-Pay, and Plan-to-Inventory, which are typical for the manufacturing and automotive industry. Classic SAP system modules such as Finance (FI), Controlling (CO), Production Planning (PP), Procurement and Inventory Management (MM), Sales and Distribution (SD), or Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) are represented as well. MAX4SAP is available in German and English. It can also factor in compliance guidelines and currencies for specific countries. For example, T-Systems has included Swiss Francs for intercompany processes.

Key stages of the SAP S/4HANA transformation

During the transition to SAP S/4HANA, MAX4SAP mainly supports the transformation project’s “Explore” and “Design” stages. By way of background, transformation projects generally start with an Explore stage. This stage involves analyzing the company’s current SAP landscape to determine which systems must be updated with release updates or patches to support SAP S/4HANA in the future. At the same time, the business processes and requirements must be examined to determine which functions should be replicated in SAP S/4HANA.

A fit-to-standard analysis is generally conducted during the Explore stage. The method helps companies determine whether a specific business requirement can be covered by the standard functions and processes of SAP S/4HANA or whether it’s so specific that the SAP has to be adapted accordingly.

Create a detailed plan with a fit-to-standard analysis

During a transformation, companies often want to go “back to standard,” especially when they have developed and built their system over many years. A clean system  frees them of baggage that can lead to compatibility problems, hinder the installation of new patches or releases, and complicate the SAP lifecycle. The content in MAX4SAP supports the transformation. 

The goal in the Design stage is to use the results of the fit-to-standard analysis to develop a detailed strategy and plan for the transition. Organizations also determine their technical and functional requirements during this stage, their plans for data migration, and the integration of other processes.

In practice, T-Systems makes a copy of the MAX4SAP template available exclusively to the customer within 14 days. Inside, SAP experts from T-Systems present standard end-to-end processes relevant to the client organization. One advantage is that MAX4SAP technology enables enterprises to spend up to 30 percent less time than usual on the Explore and Design stages – a good starting point for a successful migration to SAP S/4HANA.

Differences from standard SAP best practices

Although SAP does provide a process framework for SAP S/4HANA migration with SAP best practices, MAX4SAP offers far more possibilities. Companies can make flexible use of MAX4SAP process templates, for example, as a sandbox solution or a starting point for a SAP development system.

Processes involving warehouse management provide a good illustration of the flexibility of MAX4SAP. The solution as a whole covers a range of warehouse management modules, such as SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Inventory Management (MM-IM), and Stock Room Management (StRM). EWM is especially suitable for central locations and large plants but not for small factories and less complex storage sites. However, T-Systems can tailor the process templates to smaller locations and offer versions consisting solely of StRM, for example.

What’s next for MAX4SAP?

The T-Systems team market-leading team for SAP services has ambitious plans. Over 50 SAP consultants and business process management experts worldwide are working to ensure that new business processes are continually integrated into the template. Last year, for instance, the Enterprise Asset Management and Embedded Analytics modules were added. In addition, the experts mapped a MAX4SAP template for SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) in parallel, and a switch to SAP S/4HANA Release 2023 including all new functionalities took place.

For this year, the following new topics are planned in the MAX4SAP Template: SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), SAP Digital Manufacturing (DM) and SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (CALM) are planned.

About the author
Héctor G. Ambiado

Héctor G. Ambiado

Head of Chapter SAP Intralogistics, T-Systems International GmbH

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