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The Problem:

Material Data Requisitioners:

  • Offline material creation forms required a high degree of manual administration and wider knowledge of the enterprise as a whole . 
  • Offline material creation forms were largely not reflective, nor frequently revised based on current SAP system/supply chain status. 
  • Misalignment and lack of process transparency following material form creation submission often resulted in fragmented stakeholder collaboration and ad-hoc communication across lines of business.   

Global Material Data Stewards:

  • Complex supply chain and distribution network required master data to be both maintained and replicated across numerous organisational units. 
  • Business standards were not embedded within SAP ERP system and therefore required both a high degree of administration efforts, communication and pre-requisite system knowledge.  
  • Offline duplicate searching, review, escalation and rejection was difficult/onerous to “police”. 
  • FMCG industry sector, SKU proliferation exacerbated material master data challenges. SKUs often become redundant on a regular basis, driven by promotional and/or seasonal cycles.

The Scenario:

A new traded product is required across our supply chain network. 
princes case study workflow

What Problems did this solve?  

  • Forms are now presented to business users in the context of the material creation scenario, removing redundant data parameters and simplifying the overall material creation process across all lines of business. 
  • Business user transparency and alignment throughout material master data request lifecycle.
  • Embedded data integrity measures improved both data accuracy and completion rates through the introduction of pre-defined business rule sets. Examples included;
    • Pre-defined relationships and interdependencies between supply chain organisational units.  
    • Pre-defined material valuation parameters in all valuation areas.
    • Correct barcoding & UOM group integrity checks for inventory, purchasing & sales.
    • Correct MRP profiling of materials based on APO significance/relevance.
    • Pre-defined class assignment for 3PL integration. 
    • Pre-defined regulatory batch settings and material inspection set-up parameters. 
  • Internal focus has now shifted away from BAU data management into data governance, rule management and remediation programmes in other key business units. 

 The Results:

  • Data replication in 9 organisation units through the administration of 1 material change request.
  • Removal of over 100 manual keystroke entries per material creation, previously required as part of manual data creation and replication across supply chain organisational units. 
  • Post go-live, 95% of new material requests have been created within defined SLA’s, reducing overall time to market for new products. 
  • Creation of over 70 business rules to ensure both the accuracy and completeness of material master data.
  • Concept of a “data quality firewall” has resulted in numerous escalation, review and rejection workflow functions, all of which continually contribute to ensuring that data is fit for operational purposes and that business rule are ongoingly maintained in accordance. 
  • Active data governance is now perceived by stakeholders as “everybody’s responsibility” in ensuring desired business outcomes. System driven measures now limit data manifestations into both direct and indirect costs in operations, compliance and BI.   
  • Enhanced request audit and metadata logs are now available for future master data related queries.

Maextro Deployment Key principles:

  • SAP ECC add-on for managing SAP enterprise data objects.
  • Out of the box, scalable framework for SAP ECC data lifecycle management. 
  • Data is processed in Maextro staging tables and only transferred for operational usage following pre-defined business approval measures. 
  • Task actions used for processing data have pre-defined role and responsibilities     (e.g. requests and approvals for changing key fields).
  • Workflow tasks are driven via Microsoft Outlook integration.
  • Business rules can be enforced to reduce the error incidence rate and need for manual data entry and replication. 

Maextro high level architecture:

maextro architechture

Material Lifecycle Process Coverage:

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 09.13.21

Maextro; RDS Material Data Model:

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 09.20.42

Maextro; Project Methodology:

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 09.23.56

Maextro; Design to Build Phase:

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 09.25.07

  1. The manufacturing data challenges faced by organisations today

Up until the introduction of Maextro, the majority of enterprises running SAP software will have a mixture of semi-automated & manual processes with the latter using offline applications & forms for their SAP manufacturing data.

As well as the layer of MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) data on the production shop floor, there is rarely one system of record even though data is critical to the manufacturing process.

Often these offline forms for managing data would be attributed to manual processes & de-centralised workflows with few default entries and/or business rules, with sometimes invalid optional entries.

Continue reading “Maextro – BOM & Routings Master data management”

As part of our mission at Bluestonex, we aim to embrace and explore to the fullest the cutting edge technologies of SAP UX. We believe the user experience when interacting with an SAP system should be an exciting one and its interface should be delightful to look at.

With this goal in mind, we have designed a set of rapid deployment Apps that work out of the box with your company’s Maextro solution.

Fiori Master Data

These Apps are developed following the award-winning SAP Fiori Design guidelines and were crafted with the end-user in mind. They offer a fast and beautiful unified experience across all mobile devices and all modern desktop browsers.

Built on the market-tested SAPUI5 framework, the Maextro Fiori Apps adhere to Web Standards and comply with all SAP product standards including security, globalisation, accessibility and performance.

Our team of Design Thinkers and Innovators have collected feedback and user testimonies from Maextro’s customers and thoroughly analysed them to envision a pleasant humanised experience as the front face for our innovative Data Governance technology.

Adopt the Maextro way powered by SAP Fiori. Great technology deserves a great user experience.

Our Journey into Product Development – Introducing Maextro

We’re Bluestonex and we love to craft new ideas and innovative solutions….Yes we do the ‘blue sky’ thinking and then (dependant on how crazy we get) we add a touch of pragmatism.  Well I guess that’s my approach as I like to challenge ideas occasionally as I am always trying to understand the consumer or end user of the service or product we start talking about and designing for.

The point is; we love working with people using Design Thinking approaches for innovation / problem solving and this story is a brief blog on how we created one of our first products called ‘Maextro’.

Continue reading “Our Journey into Product Development –
Introducing Maextro”