SAP SE is a leading provider of enterprise software that allows companies to more efficiently manage business operations, maintain customer relationships, and configure critical business processes to meet the needs of individual employees and the organization as a whole.

Read on to learn more about SAP processes and how to leverage each one to get the most out of your SAP investment.

What are SAP Business Processes?

A business process within the SAP software involves a set of tasks that must be performed to complete a business scenario from start to finish. SAP business processes can run across systems, like those of your human resources (HR) and finance departments, and can help your teams leverage more productive data and business process intelligence insights to complete business scenarios more efficiently.

There are three main business process groups located within the SAP API Business Hub.

Source to Pay

Source-to-Pay business processes are built to keep track of end-to-end sourcing and procurement processes and maximize your company’s SAP investment. By using machine learning functions, core data insights, and predictive analytics to provide continuous improvement to the functionality of your sourcing and procurement systems, your team can ensure the right suppliers are chosen for direct and indirect materials and services.

SAP Source-to-Pay scenarios enable users to:

  • Build relationships with reliable suppliers (Buyers)
  • Create intelligent connections with profitable customers (Suppliers)
  • Manage sales cycle and maintain continuous cash flow (Suppliers)
  • Leverage strategic sourcing and procurement capabilities to improve system efficiency
  • Seamlessly connect SAP Ariba and the SAP S/4HANA Cloud to provide a streamlined procurement experience across your organization

There are two main solution variants for Source-to-Pay scenarios in SAP. The cloud-based Source-to-Pay variant involves strategic and operational procurement processes, including sourcing, procuring, and receiving goods and services. The Source-to-Pay with Central Procurement solution variant offers a more centralized process for procurement and built-in integrations that allow users to exchange business documents and other important data between systems from a centralized location.

Lead to Cash

Lead-to-Cash business processes help your team drive and increase revenue throughout the entire service delivery experience. SAP Lead-to-Cash gives offers a scenario that gives users the opportunity to manage all phases of your service delivery process from end to end. The Lead-to-Cash template is based on requirements like type of industry or sales channel, and can be customized to meet your specific requirements.

The Lead-to-Cash process flow in SAP involves a few main sub-processes to maximize overall system efficiency and effectiveness:

Contact to Lead

The main goal of this step of the process is to identify customers as potential leads. First, your marketing team will attract the attention of potential new customers through emails, personalized web content, and other marketing campaigns.

The contact to lead phase starts by creating a campaign based on a new offer. After a customer registers and gives consent, customer interactions are gathered and scored within the SAP Marketing Cloud. Leads are then created based on the customers’ abilities to reach and exceed a certain “lead threshold” within SAP.

Lead to Opportunity

In this sub-process, SAP users can leverage advanced analytics to identify the potential and feasibility of the lead and re-target customers if needed.

The lead to opportunity process helps teams re-target leads, transfer feasible leads from marketing to sales, convert leads to opportunities within SAP Sales Cloud, and more.

Opportunity to Quote

The opportunity to quote process helps salespeople assess the readiness of an opportunity to receive a quote. In this step, a salesperson can create a quote for a customer, or the customer can create their own quote through the online store.

This sub-process helps assign salespeople to high-scoring opportunities, guide customers to create or request a quote in the SAP Commerce Cloud, and promote specific products through recommendations in the cloud. With this solution, customers can visit a company’s website through the Sales Cloud and request a quote in the Commerce Cloud, and salespeople can create and negotiate quotes within the SAP Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution.

Quote to Order

In this sub-process, quotes are converted to orders within your SAP systems. The quote is first presented to the customer through the SAP Commerce Cloud, and the quote is negotiated until an agreement between the customer and salesperson is met. Once an agreement is met and the customer accepts the quote, the quote will be converted to an order within SAP.

The quote to order process involves integrations between SAP CPQ, SAP Qualtrics, and the SAP Commerce Cloud to provide the best sales order creation and management experiences for customers and employees.

Order to Cash

In the order to cash sub-process, a sales order gets separated into three categories based on product type: subscription, physical, and service orders. These specific orders are then processed and filled within their respective back-end systems (i.e., SAP S/4HANA and SAP Subscription Billing). Service orders require the creation and assignment of service calls within the SAP Field Service Management solution to keep up with necessary information as the services are completed.

Once product orders have been categorized and fulfilled, the customer will confirm the delivery, installation, or provisioning of the product based on the previously outlined product type. Invoices are then generated by back-office billing systems, and customer payment is received and recorded in your financials system.

Recruit to Retire

The Recruit-to-Retire SAP business process is one of the widely-used tools used by customers, regardless of their industry, location, or size. With a solution like this, companies are able to properly attract, hire, train, assign, pay, and retain high quality employees. SAP offers workforce management solutions that help employees, managers, and company executives understand, manage, and improve business objectives and operations to maximize workforce satisfaction, reduce risk, and increase revenue.

Recruit-to-Retire has a few main solution variants to improve customization and functionality. Travel to reimburse is a tool used to keep track of business travels and ensure employees are reimbursed for their use of personal funds. Hire to retire is a cloud or hybrid solution variant used to track and support internal employees throughout their entire employee lifecycle. The external workforce variant is only available as a cloud solution, and it manages the entire lifecycle of an external workforce.

Business Process Management in SAP

The SAP Business Process Management (BPM) solution allows for improved collaboration between employees and IT professionals by leveraging standard notations and a streamlined production environment. The BPM solution also gives users the opportunity to update their business processes as organizational needs evolve and change.

BPM enables SAP users to:

  • Promote collaboration between business and IT teams
  • Offer innovative and intuitive interfaces for users
  • Use Java process engines to create and maintain centralized business processes
  • Seamlessly integrate business rules into day-to-day processes
  • Use documentation structures to keep track of tasks and address the targeted employee groups

Business Process Customization in SAP

The thought of customized business processes is nice…until you have to consider all the activities involved in outlining the process, building a development team, configuring the right solution for your needs, and keeping everyone on the same page throughout planning, deployment, and training.

Fortunately, we’ve provided a brief overview of the business process customization process in SAP, and we have a team of techno-functional SAP consultants that is here to help you every step of the way. Here are the five main steps of building custom business processes:

  1. Understand business needs: The first phase involves defining organizational needs, communicating such needs to key stakeholders, gathering critical information to understand the need properly, building a plan for how to solve each issue, and having stakeholders sign off the plan.
  2. SAP modeling and process design: On one hand, modeling allows users to transfer the data collected in the initial phase to a visual representation that is more easily understood by stakeholders and users. On the other, process design requires collaboration between lines of business and key users to build a detailed plan to show decision-makers how to use the system and its key applications to improve organizational efficiency.
  3. Process construction: In this step, your technical development team will need to build business logic, write code, and manage integrations to keep your SAP modules operating at maximum efficiency and accuracy. During this phase, it’s important to consider that your customized business processes meet the outlined specifications and integrates properly with your SAP software.
  4. Testing: The next (and arguably the most important) step requires the new business process to be tested to determine the best way to deliver, use, and update it. Testing allows your team to catch bugs and potential issues earlier, leading to greater functionality and less down time in the long run.
  5. Deployment: Once your process design has been constructed, approved, and tested, you’re ready to deploy the new process. From deploying the solution to training employees, investigating the further details of any process issues, and finding ways to improve the solution in the future, customized business processes give users control of their own experiences.

Getting Started with Us

Whether you need help building customized business processes and applications within your SAP system, an extra hand in SAP business process integration with other third party systems, additional support in optimizing your current SAP business processes, or anything in between, Surety Systems can help.

Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the right skills, experience, and resources you need to complete any SAP project, regardless of its size, duration, or complexity.

Contact us today to learn more or get started with one of our expert SAP consultants.