10 Ways Microsoft Excel Can Speed Up Your SAP Processes & Improve Data Quality
Who’s this eBook for and why should you read it?
If you’re looking to find a better way to manage time-consuming manual SAP data processes, this eBook is for you. You’ll learn 10 ways you can use a tool that you’re already familiar with, Microsoft® Excel, to get work done faster, improve data quality, and make an impact on your organization.
“We save around $1.9 million per year in avoided programming, reduced data entry workload costs, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) costs. Most importantly, we have given our users a tool that enhances their productivity and the accuracy of the data in our systems.”
Business Process Manager
Speed up data creation
Entering data en masse into SAP via the GUI is a time-consuming process that introduces errors and drains morale. With Automate software, you can build Excel-based solutions to create a handful or thousands of records quickly—bypassing the SAP GUI, while respecting SAP permissions.
You can use these SAP-enabled workbooks to create both master and transactional data, leading to dramatic time savings. And you don’t need programming skills to get the job done—if you know how to create the data in SAP, you can build Excel-based solutions quickly and easily.
“Automate Studio gives us the benefits to run reports, and we can easily see what our time savings is – with our top 10 transactions alone, we saved 22,500 hours in a single quarter.”
Finance Process Improvement Specialist
Build Excel-based solutions and empower business teams to speed through mass data creation tasks—from materials and equipment to sales orders and journal entries.
Speed through mass data updates using an SAP-enabled Excel workbook built using Automate Studio.
Accelerate data updates
Use an SAP-enabled Excel workbook to speed through mass data updates—whether that’s changing hundreds of BOMs or updating thousands of sales orders. With Automate Studio software, you can build solutions that quickly extract data from SAP into an Excel workbook. You can then use the power of Excel to make your updates, validate the data according to your business rules, and post the revised data back into SAP. We call this a round trip.
You don’t need technical skills such as SQVI or ABAP to build these solutions, just a knowledge of the process you’re trying to automate and the necessary SAP permissions. You can also define how many records people can download at one time and when to help maintain system performance.
Improve data quality
Small errors in SAP data, especially SAP master data, can have big and expensive downstream consequences. Thankfully, you can take a proactive stance and build data guardrails into your SAP-enabled Excel workbooks that validate data against your live SAP system before posting.
When problems do occur, we provide error messages directly in your Excel workbook that are easy to understand so you can fix the problems quickly.
We also make it easy to fix bad data that’s already in your system with our round trip functionality.
Key data stewardship capabilities include:
- Live SAP validation
- List of predefined field values
- Field standardization
- SAP F4 lookups
- Required field designation
- Copy from reference records
Build data guardrails into your SAP-enabled Excel workbook to improve the quality of data coming into your system.
Define sophisticated workflows that route SAP-enabled Excel workbooks around your organization according to your procedures. With Automate Evolve, you can also collect and approve data using role-based web forms.
Be more compliant
Many business processes, such as onboarding new vendors, or posting journal entries, require you to follow defined procedures—or face potentially expensive compliance breaches and downstream errors.
With Automate Evolve, you can build workflow solutions that route SAP-enabled Excel workbooks to the people who need to supply or approve data according to rules you define—ensuring compliance with your procedures every time. People are notified via email when they have a task to do and you get an easy audit trail that shows who supplied or approved data, and when.
Streamline your transition to SAP S/4HANA
SAP’s deadline for discontinuing support for ECC is putting immense pressure on your already stretched SAP IT team to migrate to SAP S/4HANA. Give people in the business SAP-enabled Excel workbooks and recruit them to clean up their existing ECC data and help with the migration process. This not only improves the quality of the data going into the new system but frees up your SAP IT team for more complex migration tasks.
Business teams can also use the same automation solutions built for the migration process to streamline ongoing data management once you’re up and running in S/4HANA.
“Without Precisely Automate software, we could have never finished the data migration successfully. It really saved our S/4HANA project.”
IT Manager: SAP Applications
“It was clear from the very beginning that our data needed to be transferred bit by bit. We began migrating four pilot companies’ data with the help of migration tools, and we realized one thing right away — we needed a tool we could use ourselves that provided more flexibility.”
Imperial Logistics International
Columbia Sportswear loaded more than 5.4 million records from legacy systems into SAP with Automate Studio.
Streamline data conversions
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and the retirement of legacy systems generate ongoing data conversion projects, and with technical tools, such as SAP’s LSMW, these projects can be a time-consuming and frustrating exercise between IT and the business.
Another option is to load data from a source system into an SAP-enabled Excel workbook, either directly if the source system supports that, or via an intermediary step, such as an SQL database.
Business teams who know the data can then clean up the data in Excel according to their business rules, validate the data against SAP, and load it into SAP with a single mouse click. This greatly speeds up the data conversion process, improves the quality of data going into SAP, and frees up IT to work on other projects.
“We needed a tool that would allow us to work within the SAP framework and make manual SAP tasks go faster. We saw Automate Studio as a good fit and a great bridge between IT and the business because the team could use it at a technically advanced level to quickly turn around solutions that would solve problems for the business.”
Data Conversion Manager
Make better business decisions
To make good decisions, your business teams need to get their hands on the right SAP data in a format that’s easy for them to digest and analyze. With Automate Studio, business analysts, SAP super users, and tech-savvy business users can quickly build Excel-based reports that can extract data from multiple SAP tables—all without SQVI or other technical programming skills.
Your SAP IT team is freed up to work on more complex projects and can rest assured knowing the people can only access the data that their SAP credentials allow.
We also make it easy to fix bad data that’s already in your system with our round-trip functionality.
Build Excel-based reports that give business users the SAP information they need to make better business decisions—without the need for programming skills.
“We save around $1.9 Million per year in avoided programming, reduced data entry workload costs, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) costs. Most importantly, we have given our users a tool that enhances their productivity and the accuracy of the data in our systems.”
Business Process Manager, SAP Center of Excellence
“We’ve realized substantial savings from Precisely Automate software, and with no application performance issues. We’ve actually seen increased usage in SAP, which means higher ROI on our ERP investment.”
Free up SAP IT resources
If you’re like most organizations, your SAP IT team has a backlog of projects, many of which are data requests from the business. As you’ve read throughout this piece, with Automate Studio you can empower people in or close to the business to build and use SAP-enabled Excel workbooks— making them self-sufficient in tasks from mass data creation and updates to operational reporting.
Here are a few quotes from IT people who have experienced firsthand the impact that Precisely Automate software has made on their organizations.
“With Precisely Automate software, SAP is easy to access, and our lines of business can manage data by themselves, without specialist ERP knowledge.”
IS/IT and Business Process Manager
Alcatel Submarine Networks
Get employees up to speed faster
As you hire or move employees, it can take a while for them to learn how to use the SAP GUI for their new role. Shorten ramp time by giving them intuitive Excel workbooks to manage their SAP tasks and reduce the time that SAP super users spend teaching and supporting their new colleagues.
Whether it’s a new staff accountant, maintenance planner, customer service rep., or HR assistant, they can be more productive, faster with tasks ranging from routine data management and reporting to data migration and conversions.
“Automate Studio has empowered our end users to complete processes themselves, and the simplicity of the system allows us to understand how it works, and how to get things done.”
O&M Manager, E. ON.
Get new hires more productive faster by giving them intuitive SAP-enabled Excel workbooks to manage their SAP tasks.
Spending hours each day entering or updating SAP data via the SAP GUI drains morale and increases turnover. Giving people Excel-based solutions that eliminate these mundane tasks enables people to do what they do best—think, reason, analyze, and come up with better ways to get their job done and make an impact on their organization.
“It’s not just about saving time and achieving greater accuracy. Those are wonderful things, yes. But when people can eliminate mundane tasks and add greater value to the business, their job satisfaction increases.”
Save time, reduce errors, and improve morale
Here are just a few of the transactions automated with Automate Studio solution. The processing time and days saved are based on analyzing over 1.3 billion transactions and compared using Automate Studio software versus manual entry via the SAP GUI.
|AVG days saved|
|ME01||Maintain source list||98%||997|
|CS02||Change bill of materials||99%||185|
|FB50||Enter GL account|