PAFnow and dab: A data-powerhouse for SAP users
In the digital age, with its fast business transactions, it is more important than ever you to keep your business organized and up to date. So it is crucial to know if and how things are not going as they’re supposed to.
To do so, you need to be able to manage and analyze large quantities of data and to bring data from different departments together. Collection, organization and management become much easier with enterprise resource planning software, so it’s not surprising that it is commonly used nowadays, with SAP leading the market.
But how can you analyze these huge amounts of data? That’s where data extraction, pre-processing, transformation and automated data analysis software and experts come into play. And in this field the combination of powerful extraction and transformation tools with Process Mining tools stands out from the crowd.
The combination of software and expertise by dab and PAF is a powerhouse for SAP users as it brings together the best of both worlds. In addition, both companies share the passion of making Process Mining in SAP an easy and comfortable out-of-the-box solution for users.
How does it work?
When you’re using SAP ECC (R/3) and/or SAP S/4HANA, you already have all the data that you need for a comprehensive analysis. In fact, you have a lot of data to work with, which makes SAP systems a perfect base to automatically generate process knowledge from data. What you need is a way to present and analyze this complex system of connected data in an easy to understand and simple to use manner.
Process Mining tools are designed to do exactly that. Process Mining combines technologies and methods from the broader areas of process management, analytics and BI . The main advantage of using Process Mining to look at business processes, is that it shows business processes as they actually happen.
Process Mining tools use data to create an easy to understand process flow which is completely objective. It takes a fraction of the time, compared to traditional approaches, to create the process flow. Long project runtimes of weeks or months are reduced to days until the first results are available. The process flow is then used as a base for further analysis and can also be updated frequently to keep up to date with your as-is process.
The main challenge is to get your data out of your SAP system and into the Process Mining tool.
For SAP data that’s normally a rather complicated and tedious process that takes a lot of time and effort but in the case of dab and PAF the whole ETL-process is automated. This makes it very easy to get your data, leverage custom developments (Z tables), link them together, and prepare the data for the Process Mining tool.
What’s more, the core components dab:Exporter and PAFnow with its content packs for P2P and O2C and other SAP-centric processes contain the concentrated expertise of PAF and dab. That means knowledge from more than ten years and hundreds of projects of improving processes, pooled together in ready-to-use content packs. SAP users gain an incredibly useful and ready-to-use tool to get the most out of their data. Predefined dashboards, functional PPI (Process Performance Indicator) reports and data models simplify the analysis, shorten time and lower efforts for every Process Mining project, and add value to any managing and planning strategy.
For every SAP user, the combination of PAFnow and DAB software provides an incredibly useful tool to get the most out of their SAP data. The combined expertise of PAF and DAB is pooled into their software tools and adds to each other perfectly.
The key elements dab:Exporter and PAFnow Enterprise with its content packs for P2P and O2C processes offer a comprehensive and easy to use solution for the visualization and analysis of SAP data and act as project accelerators for both operational excellence (process improvement) and Internal Audit (Compliance & Governance).
The dab:Exporter works for all SAP applications and is SAP certified. The intelligent tool automatically performs the pseudonymization of data loads, which makes it much easier to meet approval and release requirements. Plus, it automatically identifies and indicates Z Tables and Z Fields and lets you choose which of them you want to include in your analysis. Added to that is the expertise of dab in the broader area of data analysis.
PAFnow provides state-of-the-art Process Mining capabilities and offers content packs for O2C and P2P and many more SAP-based processes. These content packs contain the expertise of more than 300 consulting projects since 2008. Their high level of maturity speeds up the time it takes to receive results.
The necessary data, is automatically preprocessed, transformed and processed. There is no manual work required so getting started is very easy.
On top of that, predefined reports on various dashboards provide insights into all important aspects of a process analysis, including, for example, compliance issues, benchmarking, monitoring, and a root cause analysis.
For users and customers the combination of dab and PAFnow software for the analysis of SAP data comes with a series of advantages combining SAP and the Microsoft Office 365 environment in one powerful enterprise structure.
It runs in both R/3 and S/4HANA and provides an extremely good integration into the SAP landscape. Since the functional control of the processes in the departments lies with the end users, it is a great advantage that PAFnow Process Mining is integrated into the digital workplace Office 365. The opportunities for digital working and collaborating in Power BI and Office 365 are unparalleled on the market. That means it is very easy to identify, correct and eliminate process problems right where they arise.
Added to that are Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities. Examples for that include Quick Insights in Power BI and the PAFnow Root Cause Analyzer.
Quick Insights is an intelligent analysis feature that provides automatic indications for analyses and evaluations by finding suspicious data points. For example, Quick Insights can tell you if there is a purchasing process that takes way longer than the average.
The PAFnow Root Cause Analyzer automatically finds the causes of rework and waste in your process. For instance, it can tell you the causes behind long lead times. So you can even gain value from Process Mining without having a clear question or a concrete improvement project in mind.
The open data model of PAFnow allows users to easily expand the software when and how they need it. It is also easier to process Z Tables from customized SAP systems.
So what are examples of the benefits and application areas? In Purchase-to-Pay processes the tool is used to analyze and improve , among others, tax and treasury, internal audit, and master data management processes.
In general, it can be said that the short implementation time and ready-to-use dashboards can reduce project times by up to 90 percent. But of course, there are other advantages than just the shortened project duration. One example is the experience of Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (HBM).
In a joint project with HBM, we were able to increase the delivery reliability to 95% by the customer’s requested date by using Process Mining to uncover bottlenecks and automation potential. HBM’s target was achieved and Process Mining was used with a clear objective in mind.
So you can use Process Mining to define and implement targeted optimization measures. But you can also work in two phases if you are not sure where optimization potential is hidden.
Phase one is the general analysis of your process to uncover hidden areas of improvement. There are many areas in both P2P and O2C processes where Process Mining can uncover rework, waste and optimization potential. In P2P processes examples include the manual approval of workflows, maverick buying, or short credit periods. In O2C processes examples are differing payment methods and conditions, problems with delivery reliability and delivery security, or invoices that are not issued on time.
Phase two is then focused on solving a specific problem or optimizing a specific area, such as delivery reliability.
Regardless of the analysis process, the combination of dab and PAFnow software offers a powerful solution that combines the concentrated expertise of dab and PAF. The entry into data analysis with Process Mining is simplified significantly by automated ETL processes and ready-made report pages.