6 Ways to Automate SAP Systems with Robotic Process Automation
The key to digital transformation across many industries, from manufacturing to retail to finance, is developing efficient methods to interact, store, and analyze massive amounts of data for business innovation. For many enterprises, making valuable technological advancements is a challenge that needs to be addressed.
What is SAP?
Systems, Applications and Products, or SAP, is widely used in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. It helps companies customize and create management systems for business departments such as human resources, finance and accounting, logistics and transportation, marketing and sales, manufacturing, procurement, warehousing, and inventory management.
SAP is a data-based resource management system that helps businesses analyze and manage data and make production, organization, and operation decisions.
Although SAP can assist a company in business processes and provide convenient enterprise automation to a large extent, operating SAP still requires manual labor. Manual operation is time-consuming, laborious, and inevitably error-prone due to human negligence or carelessness.
Integrating RPA with SAP
Robotic process automation or RPA is a popular technology suitable for clearly defined, repetitive, deterministic processes, such as those that adhere to many established, logical rules.
SAP and RPA complement each other well. When managing SAP, employees must engage in many tedious tasks. Tasks that are repetitive and operate under predefined rules, in particular, are the perfect candidates to be performed through RPA.
RPA has flexible scalability and is non-invasive. A company can seamlessly integrate the automation software with its existing SAP system. By simulating people's operational behaviors between different computer systems, RPA robots can automatically perform routine and time-consuming tasks in the SAP system to improve data quality and automation. This process helps businesses save full-time equivalents (FTEs) and reduce labor costs.
RPA Applications in the SAP System
1. Interface Monitoring
Most enterprise SAP systems come as a suite. Cross-system integration requires interfaces, but interface failures are inevitable. In most cases, users are not aware of interface failures. When users cannot complete a particular operation, they often rely on the SAP support team to identify and repair the problem.
With RPA, the support team can use robots to monitor all interfaces, check the middleware's interface status, and oversee the business status in the non-SAP system. Then, the robots can generate reports to notify users in time. This way, the support team can focus on troubleshooting before users raise issues.
2. Workflow Monitoring
Implementation using SAP requires an approval process. These workflows are usually complex and need to be customized according to the business's unique needs. Inevitably, workflow failures will occur during daily business operations, which may halt important business processes at critical moments.
RPA can be applied to workflow management by regular monitoring, which helps notify the user and identify the problem when a failure occurs. If RPA robots detect a fault that requires changing the source code, they can inform the workflow consultant to repair it in time.
3. Supplier Evaluation
Tracking supplier performance is essential for companies. RPA robots can regularly obtain supplier price, delivery time, product quality, after-sales service information, and other information from the SAP system.
They can then compare, analyze, and evaluate data before generating comprehensive evaluation reports. These reports can help the company's purchasing department negotiate the best price and ensure the timely delivery of goods and services.
4. Following up on Purchase Orders
After a purchase order is sent to a supplier, the purchasing department must follow up on the order status to ensure that goods and services are delivered on time.
RPA robots can automatically obtain relevant reports and transaction information from SAP, follow up on order status, and generate daily reports on open purchase orders so that employees can dedicate their time and energy to processing orders.
5. SAP S/4HANA Migration
Migrating to SAP S/4HANA is a tedious and costly project. RPA can automatically perform migration preparation and data verification tasks, reducing costs and migration risks while facilitating the migration process.
6. Data Consistency Check
Inconsistent data can interrupt or hinder business processes in a real-time production environment.
For example, business processes may grind to a halt if any of the following happens:
1) If the material master data has not been extended to the correct organizational structure
2) If the purchase information record has not been updated
3) If the purchase contract in SAP ECC or SAP Ariba has expired
In the absence of automation, employees must run multiple reports, import the data to Excel, and compare data to find missing content. RPA can automatically perform data consistency checks regularly and send reports to all stakeholders.
Get the most out of your SAP system by integrating it with RPA. With Intelligent Automation (IA), your company can operate efficiently at higher productivity levels. Here at Laiye, we offer Laiye RPA as part of our integrated suite of solutions. Laiye RPA is an AI-powered automation product that can help you realize your SAP system's potential. Chat with our friendly team about how we can help you get started today.