RRB Recap

For those of you who are using SAP’s RRB-based Professional Services solution, I thought you might find some benefit from a recap of the issues that are inherent in it from a WIP perspective. Here is part of the text from an “open letter to SAP” about my thoughts on future development. This includes thoughts on the Commercial Project Management (CPM) solution – one about which I have posted extensively – but also about future releases of SAP-ERP. Regardless of how the issues I mention get addressed (either in CPM or standard-delivered SAP), they will need to be addressed in order to offer pro-serv firms the functionality they require. Read on…..
As you are aware, one of the biggest challenges is a timely WIP calculation using accurate pricing. To accomplish this currently, either Results Analysis must be executed (often modified) or else some form of RRB (I have seen many clients choose to calculate and store the results via a custom program that leverages standard RRB functions).

I believe that WIP values should be tackled via two separate processes:

Real time

Real time at CO doc creation (new docs)

You have already realized (from your comments yesterday) that WIP calculation on the related line items (typically CO docs coming from time entry) would be best executed at the time of the item’s creation. For example, when time is released from CATS to CO and the CO doc created, a WIP calculation should occur. Of course, accurate WIP values at this time depend upon the WBS being assigned to a contract and the required pricing being set up as well. Often times, pricing for a time entry is not complete or accurate at the time of the time entry’s creation. Still, having a preliminary WIP value in real time would be ideal.

Periodic WIP calculation (existing docs)

But, of course, it would also be necessary to do a periodic WIP calculation to capture changes in the pricing (contract changes, condition value changes, etc) that have happened since the original posting of the CO doc or since the last periodic WIP calculation. There is where seeing your ‘slimmed down’ pricing procedure yesterday seems very valuable. If there could be a standard delivered way to replicate pricing without all the tax calculations and store the results at the CO doc line item level (in something like COEP extensions), then clients would not need to create a custom RRB to make the program more efficient. If pricing in general as well as Results analysis could leverage HANA, then perhaps it is a moot point and standard pricing/Results analysis/RRB could be made much more efficient, meaning that standard programs could be used. However, storing the results at a sufficient level of non-summarized detail, such as at the CO line item level, would still be necessary. That is why I believe it would be very helpful if your ‘slimmed down’ pricing program could be used to calculate and store WIP actuals. It could also be put on the list for functionality to be HANA-based.