I am following up on my last blog on Sweet spots in Suite on HANA (SoH) with another simple example that provides additional business value for SoH customers.
This example is of relevance to business users working in the area of finance and accounts receivable. The application is called SAP working capital analytics, DSO (day sales outstanding) scope. As the name indicates, it is relevant for business users interested in and managing working capital on a daily basis. This application was announced early this year. It has been blogged here and demonstrated here. If you are already very familiar with the details, please treat this as a refresher.
Working capital by definition is the difference between current assets and current liabilities. The influencing factors for assets and liabilities are net sales, accounts receivable (AR), inventory, cost of goods sold and vendor liabilities or accounts payable (AP). The analyst responsible for DSO is primarily dealing with a lot of granular and detailed data related to sales and receivables. The source of this data comes from customer master records, payment term definitions, sales orders, line items, deliveries, invoices, accounting documents, company codes, currencies and so on. If you were to ask this analyst, what would make his/her life better (w.r.t DSO analysis), the following would not be far from the reality:
- access to “real” real-time data and not a replicated/duplicated copy of transaction data
- an intuitive tool to easily navigate, drill-down and get to the data points of interest
- quick system response (not having to take too many coffee breaks!)
This wish is granted by SAP through our HANA based application – SAP working capital analytics, DSO scope. It gets the analyst started with an intuitive graphical user interface with a snapshot of DSO across the landscape for example. Several pre-defined charts are available on the side bar as well. The analyst can also quickly get started with a new analysis for a given selection criteria by using the pre-defined analysis steps from a gallery. These analysis steps are assigned to semantic categories like country, customer, payment terms etc. When the results are presented (instantaneously!), the analyst can intuitively select/deselect values to further narrow down the result set. The analyst can also zoom-in and zoom-out in certain types of chart displays. Once the analysis is complete, you have the option to save the results or print a copy (for those that need a hard copy). These capabilities are also available for pervasive access through an iPad.
This approach to DSO and working capital analysis will definitely lead to several business benefits not to mention tremendous productivity gains as well.
SAP’s performance benchmarking shows that the following KPIs can be impacted positively:
- 25% lower DSO
- 10% lower overdue ARs
- 35% reduction in FTEs for A/R efforts
In case you wonder, why this application is any different – the answer is HANA! With HANA’s ability to store and process data completely in memory, this application is able to process and aggregate real-time data on the fly which is not possible with traditional databases. The HANA platform also supports ability to render and visually represent the data in ways that are not possible without additional software and tools. Not to mention the tremendous speeds at which calculations can be performed on a need basis.
Hope this example of SAP working capital analytics, DSO scope illustrates another great “sweet spot” available only for SoH customers who can leverage “in the moment” analytics and create incremental value for their organizations.
Suresh Ramanathan | firstname.lastname@example.org | @sapsuresh