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Reduce your TCO with migration to SRM MDM Catalog

How to optimize and to what extent? This is the need of the hour and terms that has been and will always be of interest to the CPO and CFO desk. It isn’t very difficult to conclude whether a catalog migration project is a “must do” for SRM customers, we will learn how the SAP on SAP advantage will benefit them from a TCO standpoint.In this blog I will discuss on my experience with a successful catalog migration project for a health and Beauty retailer and how it benefited the operational procurement team.

What were the typical challenges faced by the catalog management team?

Problem: Catalog managers often faced issues with Supplier data; unmanaged catalog data was inaccurate, incomplete, full of discrepancies, and led to poor business decisions. After running a data rationalization project prior to commencement of the actual migration, the final output revealed the most disturbing question from the client, “Why is the same product in my catalog represented in 2 different ways” how can I avoid this and how can I sustain the quality of data”

Solution: The answer to this was very simple, but the approach to fixing the erroneous approaches in master data load was the key.
The support and the validation parameters in the Catalog Management tool played a very key role. Adoption to SRM MDM catalog became very easy due to the fact that catalog application came with pre-delivered business content, repository schema and a plug and play configuration highly intuitive, easily configurable by the catalog management team with very less training efforts.
Problem: Data Validation at the time of import: It was difficult to handle complex scripts that are required to validate the data during import

Solution: In this case configuring the validations was made easy with the MDM workflow comprising of validation rules and an appealing Visio interface.This led to TCO reduction as lots of manual excel comparisons, matches merges and offline approvals were eradicated. The import Proforma that’s provided by the supplier was built with intelligence that reduced cumbersome data integrity checks that were earlier a key responsibility of the catalog management team.

These were two major benefits that I’ve showcased out of the many we achieved.……Now coming to the specifics on what’s the need and the corresponding business benefits to customers, let’s read further on how we can leverage over the existing investments in the SAP SRM Space

Why migrate to SRM MDM catalog?

-          SRM customers who are still using Requisite Bugs Eye catalog have to support it themselves, as SAP’s standard support for requisite has ended in 2006
-          SAP on SAP advantage: the catalog application and the Procurement application are on the SAP platform, easier integration capabilities to SAP and non-SAP systems.
-          It’s based on SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management that happens to be a focus area providing catalog customers a flavor of Mater data management.
-          The license for SRM MDM catalog is free with SRM 5.0 and greater versions.
-          Its easier to upgrade to the higher versions of SRM MDM catalog than going for a requisite upgrade
-          It brings in a lot of options to a catalog administrator to slice and dice data adding strength & flexibility into the catalog application….for people who have worked with disparate catalog management applications, some of the technical benefits mentioned below would be of interest
·        
Data modeling flexibility is unmatched and key differentiation. Modeling is intuitive and easy and can be completely user-defined with APIs to support development and cross-platform integration.
·         Data Management flexibility is equally unmatched and powerful differentiator including drag and drop management of taxonomies, import management, data cleansing and mapping with a single path for consolidation from multiple disparate sources.
·         Catalog publishing capabilities are unique to any other MDM solution with advanced parametric and multi-dimensional search features to enable quick search and comparison of products for informed buying and support requirements.
By now, customers who are already looking at a catalog migration project in near future will have some pointers to build a strong business case.

In my next blog, I will prescribe some key considerations for a successful SRM MDM catalog migration project.

Comments

Hi

Please let me know, if the customer is already having MDM server, is it possible to implement the SRM MDM catalog in the same server? If possible, what are the precautions we have to take while implementing SRM-MDM catalog.

Regards,

Chandolu Ramesh

Hi Ramesh
The customer already has an MDM server and we hooked up the MDM catalog to the main MDM server that hosts the other elements of master data like customer master, Material vendor master etc.
Yes it is possible to implement the SRM MDM catalog in the same server, however the need to have a dedicated server for MDM catalog arises only when you have a huge repository of more than a million records that could reduce the performance while sharing resources with the main MDM server, please do the SAPS (sizing) to really see if you have the need for one.
Precautions: ensure that you have a dedicated Java App server for the UI accessibility for the interfacing with SRM, if you share your App server with other applications consuming the same Java app server, the performance will drop, let me know if you need more details

Dear Tridip,

One of our client want to install SRM 7.0. However he is not implementing MDM for master management.

Does he need to install SRM MDM component to have catalogues? Is there any alternative? Please advise us.

Regards,

Ravi

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