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Seal systems a white paper


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Seal systems a white paper

  1. 1. SEAL Systems presents:Simplifying the distribution ofdocuments and attachments forSAP R/3™ Enterprise
  2. 2. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsIn today’s competitive markets, all companies are striving to automate as many of thebusiness processes as possible. New technology is being introduced at such a rapid ratethat companies hardly have time to implement one technology before the next one isintroduced and they are being pulled or pushed towards it. The pundits shout that thecompany must deploy this new technology or be left for the sharks as other smarter andfaster moving companies embrace the newest thing. Sometimes what companies fail tosee, because of pressures to compete, are some simple things that they can do to savemoney, reduce manpower, become more efficient and effective.This paper addresses one of those areas and can be stated simply, “are you sure that youare getting the right documents to the right people each and every time”? This is a simplequestion but think of the risks of not doing this.SAP Process Printing – examplesLet us look at some examples. Using standard SAP you just generated a ProductionOrder that requires a number of CAD drawings to be sent with the order. Someone has togo and manually print the CAD drawings. Ever think about what happens if the wrongdrawing is sent with a Production Order. How about an outdated drawing, a drawing thatmay be out of production, or maybe a drawing that has not yet been released and isactually “work in progress”? Want to manufacture thousands of wrong parts?The same problems exist for Plant Maintenance Work Orders. How many times do youneed to attach other documents to a Work Order? Maybe a checklist? Maybe additionalinstructions and drawings that are not part of the standard SAP generated output. What isthe cost to the business if the maintenance worker, for examples, calibrates a machineincorrectly or uses the wrong tool and damages a part only because someone did notprovide him the right instructions? We even propose a simpler example; a maintenanceforeman grabs a number of shop orders (printed packets of paper) to work on and heaccidentally drops them on the shop floor. Can he easily put the many work orders backtogether in the correct sequence?Another method highly used today is the automatic generation and fax submission ofPurchase Orders. The attachments need to be printed and then faxed separately makingthe process cumbersome and prone to errors.Or what if someone has an important RFQ to send out that contains many supportingdocuments including drawings, pictures, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and thelike. They print the RFQ and then print all of the supporting documents separately,collate all the documents by hand, package the RFQ, and put in the mail, although theywould have preferred to do this all electronically.There are common threads that run through all of the examples especially the impact ofmistakes costing a company time and money which should make most companies cringe. Page 2 of 8 11/15/2005
  3. 3. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsSAP Process Printing – the incomplete solutionWhy does this problem exist? Basically SAP does not provide a solution for processprinting with document attachments. The Print buttons for all process transactions do anice job of printing the related SAP forms but printing any attached documents is left as auser exercise. And what an exercise! Some companies have gallantly taken on thechallenge and enlisted a cadre of ABAP programmers, given them a stack of notespublished by SAP, and then left them to their own devices to design and implement amethod for producing process printing solution. Okay, exactly what kinds of challengesdo these courageous technicians face?SAP Process Printing – the requirementsLet us start by defining a set of requirements for two areas that are equally important:document storage and printing.Document Requirement:It is required to have the correct documents included in a work order packet.Printing Requirements:The print function within the R/3 transactions should allow the user to print SAP papersand attached documents: • In the correct sequence • Bundled together • To any printer in the network or selected output media including email, portal, archive, CD, etc. • As one print job • Dynamically stamped and labelled for security and document controlRegardless of: • The format of the documents • Where the documents are storedIf we meet these requirements for printing and documents, we can eliminate many of thepotential problems faced today and insure that we are getting the right documents to theright people each and every time. Page 3 of 8 11/15/2005
  4. 4. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsDocumentsFirst we will address “having the right document”. How can we be sure that we aresending the right documents with an order?To have the right document, the document must be saved in a secure and controlledenvironment, easily accessible to SAP processes. One important component thatcompanies have that they may not know they have is the R/3 document managementsolution (DMS). You have R/3 and R/3 has a document management system. You canlink documents in R/3 DMS to business objects in R/3.There are 3 crucial points to understand about the R/3 document management solutionwhich differ from using other document management solutions like Documentum,FileNet or Humming Bird.First, metadata (doc name, path, version, date, creator, etc.) is stored in the documentregistry – not outside of the R3 system. You can use this metadata to your advantage asadditional stamps, labels or watermarks when printing this document to increase securityand identification. This is not possible if document indexes were stored outside the DMS.More important, you can manage the life cycle of the document. You can create it, updateit, prepare it for print, issue it, supersede it, etc. You can store multiple versions of thedocument to keep records of changes. Versioning can be handled manually or workflowswithin SAP can be created that will automatically take a document through a versioningand approval process. You also can control who has access to the documents and whatrights they have. In this way unauthorized access to the document is not possible.Just because you are using R/3 DMS does not mean that documents must be stored in theDMS. They can be stored in another repository including a file server. They are linkedto the R/3 DMS. DMS in effect becomes the index between R/3 and the documentrepository for storing your attachments.In summary, to insure you have the right document all of the time, a company shouldconsider using the SAP DMS as the catalog storage. Documents can also be attached toprocesses by using the SAP Generic Object Service, but you do not necessarily get all ofthe above mentioned benefits. Page 4 of 8 11/15/2005
  5. 5. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsPrintingNow let’s focus on the Printing Requirements as defined above. If we take a look at howcompanies today are addressing these requirements, we find a number of diversesolutions being used.Some companies are performing the process manually which is the worse case scenariodue to the fact this is the easiest scenario to introduce errors and ends in the largest timecost.Other companies have stored their documents into the SAP DMS or another DMSsolution and print out the links to the required documents listed on the SAP papers, thenhave someone checkout and print these attachments to be added to the SAP papers.A few companies print out all of the documents using modified SAPSPOOL programswhich require all attached documents to be pre-converted to PCL and stored in the DMS.This approach is better than other options, but still leads to many problems; • Inefficient merging SAPSCRIPT and PCL • Normally works only on a targeted printer • Can’t manage paper sizes without reprogramming • Plus much moreAlmost all solutions require programming effort, plus additional manual effort.Just a note about generating prints for attachments. To do so requires the user to haveaccess to the appropriate application. If a variety of application files are required, manyapplications need to be available to a user who must then launch each application, readthe file, and produce the print.Now what is the right way to do it? The easiest way to look at it is to walk backwardsthrough the process.The last step is delivery of the Purchase Order, Work Order, RFQ, Sales Order, orProduction Order.The delivery goal is that the order has to be automatically created by the order process inan electronically deliverable format without any concerns about what the actual deliverymechanism is.The order itself needs to be a complete set of documents (SAP forms and attachments) inthe sequence defined by the order process. To easily identify the order, it would beadvantageous to have a cover page with the order number, and information on who,when, and where the order was issued, a document index identifying each document inthe order, page numbering for each page in the order (just in case that MaintenanceForeman drops the orders), and a trailer page to signify the end of the order. Page 5 of 8 11/15/2005
  6. 6. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsIf the order is printed, it has to be printed as single set and not as individual documents asnormally happens. Printed individually will cost a company time, effort, and is errorprone since someone still needs to sort through the pages from a printer(s) and find thedocuments that are part of the order.The documents in the order must be easily identified that they are the correct documentsand belong to the order. All pages should be stamped and labeled to contain the ordernumber as well as any security or control information based on the document (forexample, a CAD drawing should have its current status stamped and highlighted). Itshould be clear and easily visible to the person reading or viewing the order.The process should automatically convert each and every type of document into aprintable form.And probably the most important requirement is that the user need not learn anythingnew. The user should be able to go into a SAP process transaction, enter an ordernumber, select the attachments to be printed and click on the Print button.SAP Process Printing – the complete solutionWhat we would like to now describe to you is an available out-of-the box solution thatmeets the above requirements for PM work orders, Purchase Orders, RFQs, ProductionOrders, Sales Orders, and BOMS.With a single click from your SAP Plant Maintenance, Purchase Order, RFQ, ProductionOrder transactions SAP forms (SAPSCRIPT/SAPGOF) are collected, attacheddocuments are added and sent as a single print job to the SEAL Systems Output Managerwhere for each job; • Additional documents are retrieved from any storage source • Converted from the original application format (SAPSCRIPT/SAPGOF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, CAD) • SAPSCRIPT is converted into viewable format with bar code information • All pages stamped and labeled with DMS metadata • Is wrapped with a cover and trailer page • Is page numbered for sequenceOnce the packet is combined into one source file, the whole set is delivered to; • A desktop or high speed printer • A fax machine • An email or web page • Archived if required Page 6 of 8 11/15/2005
  7. 7. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsBenefitsAll this brings you to a complete solution with the following advantages to reduce riskand avoid errors: • Tight integration of the documents within the business process • Use of watermarks and stamps result in documents linked to the business context • Time/Date stamps and distribution details ensure auditable document control • Page numbering to keep everything in the correct orderAvoid Redundancy and Increase Document Control: • Store the documents only once – no need for multiple formats or PCL filesSave Time: • No manual conversions • Sequenced, collated output – all from within SAP – each and every time!SummaryThe key business case for any company implementing SEAL Systems’ Process printingsolution is not how long or how complicated it is to create different types of orders, but toask the simple question “can any company not afford to have the right documents to theright people every time?” Page 7 of 8 11/15/2005
  8. 8. SAP Process Printing (PM, PO, PUR, BOM) with AttachmentsCost SavingsThere are two ways at looking at Cost Savings for implementing the above solution: thefirst depends on a company’s current practices for producing orders, and the second oneis analogous to purchasing an insurance policy.Examples for the first include cost savings in reducing the man power and time it takes inproducing orders. For example, if during peak times, a company is generating over 120orders per hour. Looking up documents for just 10% of them would add another 2 hoursto the preparation time (that is just 10 minutes to look up, print documents collectdocuments, merge with the order). If peak times are during the working day (8 Hours),this results in a 16 man hour savings for each working day. It should be straight forwardfor a company to perform a similar calculation for its situation.The second savings benefit is less tangible because it is simply an insurance policy thatinsures that no mistakes will be made during the order generation and delivery process.No company plans for or budgets for mistakes but they happen and sometimes withcatastrophic results. Many examples can be sited. The investment in a solution like thisreduces risk and addresses the question, “are you sure that you are getting the rightdocuments to the right people each and every time”?SEAL SystemsSEAL Systems is a leading supplier of certified SAP document printing and distributionsolutions. Its SAP solutions are currently deployed by over 300 companies. Majoroffices are located in Germany, North America, and France, with additional partners inEurope, Africa and Asia providing worldwide coverage, support and integration of oursolutions. To learn more about SEAL Systems, visit us at or writeto us at Page 8 of 8 11/15/2005