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The Clarkston Consulting SAP Seminar 2020 Series Recap

Last week, the Clarkston Consulting SAP Seminar 2020 Series and “booth” experience was designed to be a virtual simulation of our sponsorship of the SAP Event, SAPPHIRE, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we would have preferred to be in sunny Orlando connecting in person, the virtual booth provided the opportunity to hear client success stories from Benjamin Moore and Furst McNess, learn about the new Clarkston offered S/4 accelerators, learn about best practices in S/4, and attend a live virtual booth chat. Bull City Talent Group, a sister company to Clarkston Consulting also joined the booth to talk about one of their project successes and share with the community the importance of OCM and managing change.

Clarkston Consulting SAP Client Success Stories:
The first client success story came from Benjamin Moore, a long-time partner with Clarkston Consulting. In this session, the project team provided a high-level view of their ongoing supply chain roadmap and overall goals for the future of the company, and then did a deep dive into the first project in that roadmap that was implemented with the help of Clarkston Consulting. In this project, the team implemented a new business process and supporting technology that enables Benjamin Moore to move inventory from manufacturing to the distribution centers with greater velocity and increased accuracy. To accomplish this, the team enabled and configured HU Management and SAP WM, developed custom RF applications, and led the hardware install and site reconfiguration to support the new process. This project also standardized the distribution process, demand planning, and truck forecasting processes which are critical to the upcoming projects in their supply chain improvement process.

The next client success story came from Furst McNess, who engaged with Clarkston to implement SAP S/4 HANA. This session was specifically about how the team leveraged integrated COPA in S/4 to help the finance team improve their processes, reporting, and period closings. Prior to this project, the finance department had issues with their overall processes, reporting that was inflexible and used multiple tools, and the month, quarter, and year end close processes were filled with a large amount of manual tasks and inefficient for the business. The project team was able to change the business processes to align with the S/4 best practice, utilize the integrated COPA functionality to distribute costs consistently and in real time, and provide real time reporting and dashboards within SAP S/4. The end result of the team’s efforts was improved business decision making with real time data, improved period closings that are now around 3 days, and a solid platform to build upon going forward.

The last client success story was between US Tobacco Cooperative and Bull City Talent who implemented S/4 HANA Logistics and EWM in a small company footprint. This project was unique in the fact that US Tobacco Cooperative is a small company and did not want a system that required many full time IT specialist to maintain after the project, and the implementation team had to remain small and extremely efficient to achieve the goals and timeline of the project. This was achieved through recruiting consultants that had both a functional and technical background in SAP, and utilizing agile concepts to continuously deliver high quality updates to the system. The techno/functional consultants were able to work with the business users and understand the need, and then immediately build proof of concepts and gain acceptance from the business before moving forward. The end result was a successfully implemented project that supports the co-op and farmers while proving a solid system that can grow with the business.

Clarkston Consulting SAP S/4HANA Accelerators:
Clarkston used the virtual booth to demonstrate a set of accelerators and their success for SAP S/4 implementations for both the consumer products and life sciences industries. These accelerators cover the project from end to end starting in the blueprint phase with tools to help facilitate the business process discussions and understand the new best practices with SAP S/4. For the build phase the accelerators cover configuration for every SAP module, pre-developed WRICEF objects, functional and technical specifications, URS, FRS, trace matrix, and many others. It’s important to understand that these prebuilt accelerators are still highly customizable to support any business. The benefit to starting with the accelerators is an estimated 30% to 40% savings and smaller timeline for implementation.

Cell Therapy Orchestration Platform (CTOP):
The Clarkston team discussed and demonstrated their Cell and Gene Therapy Orchestration Platform (CTOP) that leverages S/4 HANA and can be implemented to assist life sciences companies in chain of identity, chain of custody, and planning for individual cell and gene therapies. This platform can be used by the clinics collecting samples, the distribution team, the manufacturing process, and others to provide clear visibility into the process of the individualized treatments.

Organizational Change Management
Kyle Montgomery, from Bull City Talent Group, talked about the importance of Organizational Change Management (OCM) and the advantage it can provide for projects and long-term organizational goals. Kyle talked about the main areas for OCM, how it can impact projects and organizations when there is low organizational health, and how a healthy organization is an untapped competitive advantage with excerpts and learnings from “The Advantage”, written by Patrick Lencioni.

The virtual Clarkston Consulting SAP Seminar and booth chats were successful with engaging presentations by clients, partners, and attendees that sparked great question and answer segments and lively conversations about the topics at hand. We would like to thank all that attended the sessions, our clients Benjamin Moore and Furst McNess for taking the time to share their story, and Bull City Talent Group for sharing their perspectives.

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Co-author Zach Madel.

Tags: Event Recap, SAP, SAP S/4HANA
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