Once upon a time, there was a world without computers, internet, even fax machines—and yet somehow businesses managed to keep track of all the papers they needed, from production how-tos to historical sales documents.
They were able to do this by engaging in the practice known as document management, defined as the organized collection, storage, and retrieval of business documentation. For some businesses (particularly in the past), this could range from something as simple as a folder with copies of all documents included between its covers, to an elaborate system of filing cabinets with information stored in relevant hanging files.
With the proliferation of computers in the second half of the 20th century, the advent of business software in the late 1990s, and the increased complexity of business operations for firms during the same time period, it became possible—desired, even—to store this information virtually.
Why Use a Document Management System?
The easiest path to virtual document management would be to purchase a scanner and import copies of physical documents into a folder on your computer. But this can lead to more headaches than it’s worth: after a while, the folder becomes bloated with hundreds of scanned documents, and if you didn’t do the legwork to give each an easily identifiable name as you added them, you’re stuck with files with names like “Scan 270001.” Not helpful.
It would make sense, then, to spend the time to set up a system that defines how to handle the importation of documents and where to store them so people can easily find them, and allows them to be shared via printout or digital copy.
For companies running SAP as their ERP solution, there’s a sometimes-overlooked functionality included in your license that can help you do just that. It’s called Document Management System (DMS)—if you use SAP for product lifecycle management, you know about its capabilities. But if you haven’t heard of DMS, read on.
With DMS, companies can utilize a number of different tools to help them organize their file structures. These include:
- SAP Easy Document Management: a way to create folders, subfolders, and documents when needed, similar to Windows Explorer or a Mac’s Finder feature.
- WebDocuments: a web-based version of all DMS functionality.
- Generic Object Services: a way to link documents, maintain notes, and link web addresses to SAP objects.
- SAP Business Client: a user interface that provides a single point of entry to SAP applications.
Furthermore, DMS allows for collaboration among business partners that sit outside of your organization. This can be accomplished by utilizing tools such as SAP Document Center, SAP Intelligent Product Design, and SAP Engineering Control Center.
The Document Management with SAP S/4HANA Book
Does DMS sound like something you’d want to use in your SAP S/4HANA system? As mentioned above, the functionality is already available to you—and with the help of our book Document Management with SAP S/4HANA, you can set it up in no time and learn how to make the most of it.
Begin with a look at the technical foundation of DMS. Understand how it stores, structures, and classifies your data. And then see how to implement DMS in SAP S/4HANA. This includes step-by-step instructions for everything from following the SAP Activate methodology to defining the relevant master data to understanding different servers. Learn how to create document information records and controls, define templates, connect with SAP Document Center, map tags, and more. Then dive into the ways you can structure and distribute data.
Once you’re set up with the basics, examine the functionality at your fingertips. See what a digital signature is and how to utilize one to bypass traditional pen-and-paper approvals. Discover what engineering change management can do for updating master data. Dig into authorizations to see who can access what files and keep others out as needed. Tour the document information record, and see how to use it to easily search for documents and report on things when asked to by management. And get a primer on the cloud-based tools available to use with DMS for SAP S/4HANA.
Who Is This Book For?
This book will be helpful for those involved in different areas of business: finance, legal, sales, supply chain and its sub-processes (procurement, production, maintenance, quality control, etc.), human resources, and more. Project and program managers will also benefit from the information provided in this book.
If we had to boil it down to a single sentence, we’d say this: anyone working with business documents in SAP should have a well-designed and user-friendly DMS system, and this book shows you exactly how to do that from implementation instructions to storage best practices.
About the Author
Jawad Akhtar is an SAP logistics and supply chain management expert with a focus on business sales and delivery. He earned his chemical engineering degree from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in the United States. He has more than 20 years of professional experience, 16 of which have been spent working with SAP systems. He has experience working on several large-scale, end-to-end SAP implementation project lifecycles, including rollouts. He works with SAP clients to help them identify the root causes of business issues and address those issues with the appropriate SAP products and change management strategies. He now focuses on next-generation SAP products such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP Integrated Business Planning, SAP Ariba, and SAP Customer Experience.
Jawad is also a technical advisor to SAPexperts, an ASUG speaker, and a contributor to SearchSAP, where his “Ask the Expert” column shares real-life lessons and best practices gleaned from SAP implementations, discusses ways to avoid common project pitfalls, and features various SAP products that solve key business issues.
How to Purchase
If you’re interested in purchasing Document Management with SAP S/4HANA, follow this link and choose the format that works best for you: e-book, print edition, or bundle (both e-book and print).
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