A company’s time is as vital to its success as money, resources, and materials — to the extent that on average, employee time contributes directly and indirectly to 60% of operational expenditures.
The advent of SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning systems in the 1990s revolutionized the way people managed, tracked, and ran their businesses. Today, the majority of Fortune 500 companies have come to rely on some form of ERP implementation to keep operations running as smoothly as possible. Still, in the decades following, SAP ERP has failed to adapt to the level of innovation, accessibility, flexibility, and ease-ofuse businesses have come to expect of their systems. Additionally, the time and effort it costs just to maintain the system continues to increase.
With PSA, HRIS, CRM, and a variety of other solutions employed to help fill the gaps left by a clunky and outdated ERP, companies need to take a serious look at the ways these patchwork solutions are fragmenting and isolating their time data, and ultimately turning their enterprise time management into a Frankenstein monster.
A company’s time is as vital to its success as money, resources, and materials — to the extent that on average, employee time contributes directly and indirectly to 60% of operational expenditures. A 500-employee organization has one million aggregate hours at its disposal each year to use or waste, and finding a way to circumvent the fragmentation of time data is a critical step in optimizing these hours and gaining a competitive advantage.
In this modern era, companies looking to optimize the way they track, manage, and use their time need and deserve better from their ERP.
The Reality Of ERP Today
Evolving business needs aren’t met
Business processes need to evolve over time, but current SAP implementations lack the flexibility and scalability to do so. Remote and mobile employees are increasingly a commonplace occurrence in the modern workplace, and yet legacy SAP systems simply aren’t built to accommodate these types of employees. Cloud software is becoming a ubiquitous staple of the modern workplace, and yet SAP’s cloud roadmap is years down the road and not clearly defined. As the workplace continues to evolve, businesses should expect legacy ERP systems to fall further and further behind.
Business processes need to evolve over time, but current SAP implementations lack the flexibility and scalability to do so.
The cost of change is steep
SAP ERP software has spent the past several decades evolving into what it is now, and customers should expect that any additional enhancements and improvements in functionality will be incremental and expensive. The workforce today has changed — its needs are diverse, mobile, and technologically-advanced — but ERP software fails to accommodate this, and doesn’t appear to be changing that anytime soon. In fact, the only change long-time legacy ERP users have come to expect is the costly and disruptive upgrade treadmill — which they often feel forced into, to maintain their support contract. Seeking improvements through these upgrades or even custom builds typically means making exorbitant seven- or eightfigure investments, with the ultimate ROI still lacking.
Customization is expensive and inelastic
Most SAP customers have introduced a variety of necessary customizations into their ERP to optimize their business processes, but these projects tend to require a substantial amount of time, money, and dedicated resources. Often these become so specific, that any change in requirements, which happen more often than you’d think, cannot be sufficiently handled within the system, and people resort back to using spreadsheets and manual processes. The customization often ends up being used by only a few specific individuals, and doesn’t gain widespread adoption within the company. Adding insult to injury, the ERP support mantra for custom code is “you break it, you fix it.” When things go wrong, your IT team is left to clean up the mess without support, taking another chunk out of your overall IT budget.
Disruptions to the SAP backend are inevitable
Whether businesses choose to upgrade or undertake a custom project, there will typically be disruptions to the SAP backend. This means that they will inevitably experience some downtime and will have to potentially go through a lengthy support process, ultimately not being able to run their business as usual.
Band-aid solutions create data silos
ERP investments can date back 15 years or more, and the further back the initial investment, the more convoluted and difficult it becomes to maintain. Change management becomes a vicious cycle with companies seeking disruptive and expensive band-aid solutions to bridge gaps in their SAP ERP. Companies employ CRM, HRIS, PSA, and additional solutions to fill gaps in their original ERP solution, but in doing so isolate the information held in these systems to each separate system. These data silos make it challenging and time-consuming for executives and managers to get a holistic view of time data and other metrics across their enterprise. It also often requires significant administrative overheads and manual intervention to even get close to a centralized view.
Localization needs go unaddressed
To ERP vendors, time is just another feature with one general, catch-all use case. However, for the geographically-spread, multi-location businesses of the world, there’s not so much one use case, but thousands. The more a business grows and expands past its initial headquarters, the more difficult it becomes to continue to fit their own business-specific reality — complete with different localization needs — into their ERP’s plain-vanilla use case for time management.
Businesses lack a single source for collection, which makes harnessing and managing the time data a tedious process that ultimately costs businesses significant overhead.
The bottom line: All of this hinders effective time management across your enterprise.
Legacy SAP implementations and patchwork solutions have left enterprise time data fragmented in multiple systems – in ERP, CRM, HCM, BI, and even Excel. Businesses lack a single source for collection, which makes harnessing and managing the time data a tedious process that ultimately costs businesses significant overhead. This lack of visibility and control over enterprise time data then spills over into payroll, client billing, and shared services and can result in continuous errors, correction overhead cycles, and payroll and revenue leakage.
Bridge The Gaps In Your Legacy SAP
Replicon’s Enterprise Time Management solution is built on our Time Intelligence® Platform and empowers businesses to manage their enterprise-wide needs and use cases for time with advanced configurability.
The Time Intelligence® Platform offers:
Non-intrusive data capture: Our platform takes advantage of modern artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to reduce the need for manual time inputs, and instead automatically harvests time data from your business’ ecosystem. This in turn reduces a significant amount of the errors and administrative overheads caused by manual input and intervention.
Advanced interfaces and mobile: Our modern user interface and native mobile applications support your diverse employee types, your unique, business-specific use cases, and any localization needs, and are accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Enterprise-ready product: Our platform is not just another feature in your ERP. Replicon enables businesses with an enterprise-grade, product that supports global governance and local administration, and has the scalability and configurability to meet any organization’s diverse needs. We support comprehensive end-to-end workflows, including global time and labor with compliance, time off, billing, invoicing, shared services, and more.
Agile system: We offer an antidote to the data silos created by legacy ERP implementations and the patchwork solutions that accompany them. Our platform can seamlessly plug into your ecosystem of ERP, HR, payroll and other apps, and ensure your system of record has the data it needs without changing your ERP system. It replaces your current overwhelmed ERP time feature with a purpose-built product without having to replace your entire SAP ERP.
Maximum ROI: Ultimately, our platform helps you extend the life of your ERP at a fraction of the cost and insulates your employees from changes to the backend systems and processes. You’ll stay up-to-date with our continuous delivery of enhancements, take advantage of our scriptable framework to make adjustments to suit your business needs (without the need for long customization projects), and will be up and running in a matter of weeks with the help of our experienced and award-winning implementation and support teams.
Businesses will get:
Centralized visibility and control on enterprise time data
Reduction in errors and administrative overhead in managing employee time and work information
Quick ROI and agile scalability
Leverage and maximize your existing ERP investment
Join the ranks of thousands of our customers who have modernized their ERP implementation with the help of our Time Intelligence® Platform.
Siemens Rail Automation
“Over a period of five months, we worked closely with the Replicon team to configure a fully-featured mobile application, which could be used by our office-based and mobile workforce alike, enabling real-time inputs to be provided. By avoiding the need to modify any of our backend systems, we were able to develop a mobile, employee-friendly, front-end solution, without having to make any changes to, or incur any down time on, our other systems.
Implementation was quick, and the integration with ERP has been seamless, providing all the necessary information that we require for further processing.
As a result, we have streamlined processes and delivered a paperless, fast and efficient time management, pay and overtime system, which features an intuitive interface and simple mobile access. Adoption of the system has been easy and straightforward and has already led to a noticeable improvement in the accuracy of data – most significantly from our site workers. Following the implementation of this new management system, we are now able to capture critical time information and feed it into other operational metrics, with our processes now also being more streamlined. The system is also futureproof, with further modules already under development.”
— Olcay Yilmaz, SRA Finance Director
We have streamlined processes and delivered a paperless, fast and efficient time management, pay and overtime system, which features an intuitive interface and simple mobile access.
Dominant European Energy Service Company
“We use SAP for our payroll and needed an easy way to share the timesheet data along with the pay rule information to eliminate the need for double-entry. Replicon’s integrations allow us to share the information with SAP streamlining the entire process.
Replicon was able to model our unique business processes and capture the specific information we needed. We’re using a single system across a very diverse workforce with a high variance in requirements, but Replicon’s enhanced flexibility allowed us to set this up easily and without costly professional services or implementation fees.
We needed a solution that could not only scale for the number of workers we needed to support, but one that was capable of easily meeting and fitting our global requirements. The flexibility of their solution was unique as they committed & delivered in working with us for the best roll out for our organization rather than forcing us to fit into the limitations of any other system.”
— Director of HR Transformation
IMI Critical Engineering
For IMI, Replicon captures time spent and hours worked against specific projects, and then integrates this information into their ERP to manage chargebacks.
“Replicon’s solution has empowered us as a team to use concrete, detailed information to overhaul our chargeback process, improve internal relationships, and ultimately grow as a shared services provider. Our company deals in cutting-edge technology and solutions, so we wanted not just our external work, but our internal processes as well to support this mission as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Since bringing on Replicon, the time it takes to populate and process our monthly billing reports has been reduced dramatically — from five days to just one. This is a substantial amount of employee time that can now be redirected into more productive channels.
Being able to draw on granular data to inform itemized billing has been an incredible shift for us as a shared services operation. Now, not only are we able to justify what we’re billing for, but we can use this collated data to enhance our resource allocation, and better plan for the future.”
— Rahul Adapa, Head of Shared Services
It is highly likely that your ERP implementation isn’t designed to meet your organization’s unique needs, continuously requires disruptive and expensive bandaids to bridge gaps and attempt to keep up with your fast-paced business processes, doesn’t have mobile or cloud capabilities for your mobile or remote workforce, and is ultimately stuck in an outdated version. All of this is severely limiting your business’s ability to properly and efficiently manage your enterprise time. Fast-paced, modern businesses deserve a streamlined, modern product to bring their antiquated ERP into the next century, and start managing their enterprise time like the incredible asset it is.