Tips for projects aimed at improving an ERP data feed

Tips for projects aimed at improving an ERP data feed

CCM have successfully delivered a project to help one of our clients improve the accuracy of the feed of SAP ERP data into their CRM platform. This was achieved by reconfiguring an SAP ERP data feed and associated holding tables. Although the focus of the project was on the complex technical work, the end result had real business benefit for the firm.

As well as improving accuracy and confidence in the CRM data, the project also reduced manual checking time for operations staff.

Here are some pointers for organisations embarking on similar work:

Start quickly or nail down the scope

The project did not carry out a requirements gathering exercise. Instead scope was defined from a high level analysis of the defects. This was a pragmatic approach to starting quickly but did open up a weakness in the lack of scope definition – which needed careful management.

Cut corners – but not with SAP documentation

There’s always pressure to complete as quickly as possible, however, there is value in investing time in the plan in getting SAP changes and analysis documented. All SAP projects have a level of complexity and if documentation isn’t sufficiently detailed it can lead to difficulties and inefficiencies with diagnosis and solution decision-making.

Avoid repeating the project in two years time

All decisions need to consider long-term stability and fixes that tackle the root cause and not just the output data.

Focused action days

Bring any vendor consultants on site for full days of activity with the project team. Much of the project work requires end-to-end workflow analysis – which, in turn, requires numerous technical resources feeding in at different points. Book out project focused days in people’s diaries and drive progress on these days.

Improve the support model / improve the product

Often it’s failures in the support process that leads to long-term issues with the product. Identify which team owns, investigates and resolves issues. Defining a viable future operating model improves the service for users as well as the data.

Full re-write or fix the problem areas

It is worth considering in early planning whether to invest in multiple data feed fixes or to rewrite the feed from scratch. In this instance the early project decision was to focus on the fixes, which proved to be the right call. A third, hybrid option is also possible – to add additional development to targeted areas of the data feed – a partial re-write.

Thanks to a lot of good work from an experienced internal team, a capable vendor and adherence to CCM project process, the project was delivered successfully for the client.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about improving data accuracy in your CRM system, please get in touch.

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