Sap Erp - the Great Equalizer

by : Ron Victor

Manufacturing is a much simpler process than the convoluted melange of hardware and software choices that confront manufacturers today.

By giving unique commodity product, available in limited locations, a buyer should pay high costs to the shipping and long trip traveling. But increasing mobility changed the situation some what.

Before introduction of advertisement in the market unusual products are difficult to find in the market. A person might see a product carried out by the foreigner and he wants to inquire the origin of the maker to order a similar product. But he could not contact the particular person because of unlimited resources. Due to the unlimited resources it will take long time to fulfill the buyer needs. So to eliminate that problem temporarily the "supply chain" began with obtaining an address for the manufacturer, sending a letter of order and waiting for a response.

After innovation of computers the small companies they started using that to giants in their industries by giving them the great equalizer. To blame it on information the computers made lot of mistakes so much easier and faster. Finally they raised the question, what did we do without them? The question is no longer, where can I get the information I need? The question is now, what do I do with all the information I have? To overcome the above problem SAP ERP has given some solution.


Finally we got the solution but the solution is much more complex than the problem. First we should separate the information form the delivery mechanism and data. But data does nothing but fill computer drives until it is presented in an intelligent form to people. Then it becomes information.

Levels of SAP ERP Information

Nowadays varieties of programs are designed for the purpose of company's suits. They will convert the data into the information, usually for a specific purpose or function. For example Shop floor workers need one level of information, in real-time, about the process or production; executives need a different view of that data for long-range planning and short-term deployment.

In many situations, data are available but in uncollected format. To correct that data we need lot of stuff, by doing manual entry, bar code scanning or sensor monitoring. Data mining and data warehousing applications involve this aspect of information development but the databases are becoming larger and larger as companies find more and more data to store. But all those bytes are still just a data only.

To answering the above difficulties the software developers have looked for ways to bring many divergent requirements under a single, if huge, umbrella program called SAP enterprise resource planning or SAP ERP. What SAP ERP strives to do is to combine the needed functions of every application a company requires to do its job and integrate them all together.

"SAP ERP allows the organizations to balance customer demands impacted by multiple interrelated items and multiple plant locations."

SAP ERP is a very hot trend in manufacturing/information technology circles right now, and all developments indicating that it getting even hotter and hotter. Advanced Manufacturing Research (AMR) estimates that the worldwide SAP ERP software market grew in a short period of time, from $7.2 billion in 1996 to $9.6 billion in 1997. "The Growth of the SAP ERP market moves towards the increasingly global business".

The entire forests have facing/addressing the problems of process control but what about the problem of information control? Columbia Contech (Vancouver, Wash.), a manufacturer of electric equipment, control systems and regulators, was confronted with same problem, and he got solution in an SAP ERP system provided by Data Works (San Diego, Calif.), a leading vendor of SAP ERP software and solutions.

"Before us getting our ERP system from Data Works, we manually costed our SAP jobs when they were completed". Now days the overall control of the information has gotten much better through the system.

SAP ERP makes difference at the shipping and distribution end of a company. Our SAP ERP system should overcome the duplications, delays and mistakes on delivery times, and manufacturing has become more flexible. Shipments can go direct so need to stock materials or finished goods.