SAP is the most sought-after business information management solution in the world today. Introduced in 1972 in Germany, the acronym stands for Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing, but the term SAP is now used more as a noun itself.
This real-time ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tool consists of several functional modules, which integrate to enable important business processes to be carried out. You must be well-versed in the core SAP modules, namely, Materials Management, Sales and Distribution, Financial Accounting, and Human Resources, as these are used in every business application. In addition, there are optional modules such as Quality Management and Production Planning.
With SAP, you can handle and analyze large volumes of data, and generate reports in real time. Another benefit of having its integrated modules is the cost savings from having a single platform. Also, data is consistent across the company; any change you make to your business processes can be quickly and easily applied to the various modules. This, in turn, means minimal development and testing costs. While mainly developed for larger companies, you can learn and implement SAP in your small business, in order to gain a distinct edge over your competitors.
Configuration vs Customization
SAP is a table-driven software, so you need to configure and/or customize it before using it for your business. You need to understand the basic difference between configuring the system, and customizing it. Configuration involves selecting / modifying menus, fields, buttons and other elements. Customization involves adding / modifying the source code to implement new functionality. It is a more expensive and complicated option, so your company should stick to configuration as far as possible, in order to meet your business needs.
A transaction code is a shortcut to get to a particular system task from the User Menu screen, instead of using a lengthy navigation path. The format is one or two alphabets, denoting the type of transaction (financial, materials management, etc.), followed by a two-digit number. Any basic SAP tutorial will cover the numerical codes 01, 02 and 03, which stand for create, amend and view respectively. Taking an example, FD01 will take you to the initial screen for creating a financial customer.
The reporting feature of SAP is very useful to business owners. Simply choose the layout for the various reports you will need, and add any extra fields as required. The reports that you run using SAP can then be exported into Microsoft Excel or any other reporting software.
Go through many SAP tutorials in order to get comfortable navigating this system. This flexible and versatile tool will help you land your dream job as a business analyst or project manager, and be productive from day one.