Case Study – SAP

Building materials manufacturer

Real mobilization for SAP sales teams

Smart Data began working with the building materials manufacturer in 2020. The client had developed a custom SAP solution to help manage stock levels and orders for their customers’ retail locations. The client field personnel would go to customers’ stores to review actual inventory and track those observations. The client wanted this process to be more efficient as data would not be reflected in their back-end SAP system until later in the day/evening and it was easier to make errors over a number of manual steps. The client needed this mobile application to integrate with their custom SAP functionality. Due to unreliable internet connectivity at the stores, the app needed to work seamlessly even while offline.

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Technologies Used

Business Model:

Dedicated Team

Location:

Vancouver, BC

Start Date:

2020

The Problem:

The client had developed a custom SAP solution to help manage stock levels and orders for their customers’ retail locations. The client field personnel would go to customers’ stores to review actual inventory and track those observations. Once they returned to the office they would input the stock data, compare this with store POS data received by the customer, take into account specific store level requests and adjust orders as needed. The client wanted this process to be more efficient as data would not be reflected in their back end SAP system until later in the day/evening and it was easier to make errors over a number of manual steps. These delays could affect the revenue materially.

Solution:

The client wanted a solution that could be run on a mobile device but also handle little to no internet connectivity when needed. They had previously tested the path of an offline Fiori solution but found this to be problematic. We proposed a custom solution including a native iOS mobile application integrated with REST services hosted on their SAP Gateway that communicated with their back-end SAP ERP. The REST services would be designed to integrate directly with their existing custom SAP program, allowing the new field operations app to become a natural extension of the system they had already invested in. By developing a native mobile application with an “offline-first” approach, we could greatly limit the amount of time the app needed to have an internet connection. This would provide a very good experience for field personnel while also allowing data to get uploaded as soon as an internet connection is available.

Key Issues/Challenges:

  • Needed to integrate with a custom developed application in SAP
  • Needed to work seamlessly in the field without an internet connection
  • Needed to upload ordering & count data before returning to office

The Results:

The resulting solution was targeted for iPads and came in on time and within the original budget range even with a number of out of scope items being added.  Enterprise solutions have many working components and requirements. Smart Data worked with and supported the client through each aspect:

    • Original scope, estimates and wireframing
    • High definition designs of the Mobile app
    • Account setup and configuration for source control, app builds and deployments, Apple Developer and Apple Business Manager
    • Creation of REST services running in the SAP landscape (two system landscape) including required ABAP development
    • Development & testing of the Native mobile application
    • Apple app submission and approval process
    • Deployments through all environments
    • Review and effort estimates on new features

The final solution also incorporated taking advantage of the GPS capabilities of the iPad to validate store locations.

N

Good support from management: With the management support and encouragement when team had faced struggles due to limited technical knowledge and slowly client got confidence about team improvement.

N

Post deployment support: The Post deployment support as discussed above is the added advantage they got from us.

N

Successful on-time delivery: Finally, as an outcome the project succeeded to be delivered on time to their client having them happy with quality and functionalities required.