What is the benefit of reducing list entries when moving to SAP S/4 Hana?
One of the biggest benefits and levers moving to SAPS4Hana is the reduction of listentries – independent whether you choose a Greenfield, Brownfield or SNP Group’s Bluefield™ approach.
This potential should be leveraged in any case following the maxims of structuredness, organization and tidiness to achieve the goals of easeofuse, easeofextension and transparency.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆?
List entries are related to drop-downs or value helps. This means fields a user has to select a value, and potentially has to scroll through an extensive list of entries.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀?
Amongst others typical examples comprise the following:
- Distribution channels
- Business partner roles (previously known as customer account types)
- Business partner functions (previously known as partner functions)
- Payment terms
- Technical object types (e.g., equipment types)
- Sales inquiry, quotation and/ or order types
- Price calculation schemes and condition types
- Invoice types
- Maintenance and/ or service notification and/ or order types
- And many more
What is the financial impact?
- Reducing input time and incorrect entries and consequently process cost
- Reducing SAP maintenance cost for the internal and/ or external IT team
What is the background?
Research shows that the human brain is able to process up to 6 alternatives correctly. As soon as this number is exceeded, the human brain struggles.
What are the consequences?
- Longer input times (e.g., if you have a list of approx. 100 order types, it takes time for your staff to go through them and process the information),
- Incorrect entries (e.g., the likelihood that your staff selects a wrong entry is quite high in this example which leads to wrong follow-up processes, cancellation of orders, and invoices, and newly created orders) or
- Dummy entries (e.g., if there is a “general”, “dummy” or “other” option available, the likelihood is high that your staff selects this option).
- Longer times for error analysis and solution extension due to unnecessary customizing entries resulting in untransparent processes in the system.
What are guiding principles?
- Reducing list entries to the number of 6
(FYI: I used 9 in previous years as my brain can remember “it should be a 1-digit number” which also worked very well for clients.)
- Keeping the system clean and transparent by deleting unnecessary customizing
N.B.: There is also research on 4 and on 7 +/- 1 or 2 alternatives.
Putting it in a nutshell, the common nominator seems to be a 1-digit-number, and the consequent reduction of cost list entries will be beneficial in any case.
𝗗𝗼 𝘄𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵?
Within the course of one of our current projects, we
- Deleted 3.500 list entries, and
- Achieved 6 list entries or less in 95% of the cases.
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