Saturday, June 27, 2015

Understanding what SAP solutions are provided to help manage your Supply Chain

SAP provides a myriad of solutions covering all aspects of the supply chain. In addition they often provide more than one solution to the same requirement. This makes it quite a challenge to choose the right solution for your scenario. With that being said I'd prefer to have more options to choose from than no option at all...
In this blog I have collected the current suite of Supply Chain solution offerings from SAP and grouped them in to 3 categories:
  • Most commonly used solutions
  • Less commonly used solutions
  • Solutions that cover Supply Chain processes as well as the rest of your ERP needs
At Q Data USA we specialize on these types of solutions so feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Social is for Closers! New eBook on Social Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

In order to keep up with today’s social and mobile world, businesses need to move at a faster pace, connect to customers on their terms, and share knowledge more broadly than ever before. Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes loaded with out-of-the-box social tools designed to empower your sales, service, and marketing teams to deliver better customer experiences and grow customer satisfaction.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Application Identifier on Bar Codes in SAP Business ByDesign

It appears that there have been a number of questions raised on the ByDesign forums related to the use of the mobile devices with existing SAP Business ByDesign form templates, and errors due to a lack of an “Application Identifier” when trying to scan barcodes.
The reason for this is that not all standard form templates for ByDesign are built with mobile devices in mind. Luckily, the fix to this is very straightforward. By default, most of the forms do not include the “Application Identifier” for the related fields. The “Application Identifier” is a numeric code that represents what type of data is being scanned.
Take the use-case in which the product ID is expected to be scanned. The associated application identifier is “91”. Note that this is a ByDesign-specific application identifier (it is one of the “90 – 99” custom fields referenced in the GS1 specification). Therefore, the mobile device will expect that any barcode that represents a product ID will start with a “91”. However, the XML data that is used to generate the forms will not necessarily have information in this format – in general, it would come over with just the regular value.
With the example of a product ID “SKU1234”, the product ID on the form template would still be “SKU1234”. However, if this product ID needs to be scanned, then the application identifier would need to come first – the barcode would actually need to contain the value “91SKU1234” to scan correctly, with the “91” representing the application identifier. We can make this adjustment through the addition of a simple script in Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What GTIN would you use under this co-marketing scenario?

I saw this conversation on Linked In and felt that it was worthy to repost here for preserving...
Here’s the scenario:
A large multi-national manufactures and packages pharmaceutical finished goods. One presentation of these finished goods are sold in the US through a Partner (co-marketing arrangement). The Artwork and GTIN (NDC) of the product is that of the Partner. However the manufacturing authorization holder (MAH) is the large multi-national brand owner. With Serialization according to the DSCSA, should the GTIN remain that of the Partner? Or, would it need to revert to the MAH?
My belief is that it would not change – remain that of the Partner. Curious if you have come across this and if so, what approach you would take. 

SAP Business ByDesign Customization: 4 Real-Life Examples

When it comes to ERP systems, a strong and diligent selection process can really help you meet your business needs without the requirement for any customization. While SAP Business ByDesign is able to fulfill the majority of common business requirements, there will always be industry-specific or customer-specific requirements. For these requirements, SAP provides a combination of tools: both front-end based adaptation and extensibility as well as the Cloud Applications Studio can be used to develop solutions to bridge any out-of-the-box gaps.
In the blog series below, we’ll explore four examples of customer-specific SAP Business ByDesign solutions built by FMT Consultants. While the level of effort behind each of these enhancements varies, the business impact for even the simple solutions has been substantial – improving efficiency, automation, visibility, and data integrity. The solutions are ordered from least complex to most complex. The first two solutions can be built without the use of the SAP Cloud Applications studio. The second two solutions do require a small customization to be built in the SAP Cloud Applications Studio.

4 SAP Business ByDesign Customization Examples - by FMT Consultants:

  1. Application Identifier on Bar Codes
  2. Detailed Material Description
  3. Actual Freight on Customer Invoice
  4. Material-Specific Lead Time

Actual Freight on Customer Invoice in SAP Business ByDesign

We’ve often come across the requirement to invoice customers for only the actual freight price or cost incurred related to the outbound delivery. In the example we explore here, the “Freight Price” is an extension field that has been added to the outbound delivery. The value in the field is actually being sent to SAP Business ByDesign from an external system, but this functionality could also work with a value entered manually on the outbound delivery itself.
Note that this customization was only built for a single-currency environment, but it would be very easy to adjust to a multicurrency environment by changing the “Freight Price” field to an “Amount”-type field instead of a “Text” type field. In this scenario, the external system did not send data in an “Amount” type structure.
The external system would send back the actual amount value to populate the “Freight Price” field once the outbound delivery had been processed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to Handle Three Common Outbound Logistics Deviation Scenarios inSAP Business ByDesign

As many of us have experienced, transactions flow pretty smoothly through an ERP system until a deviation from the norm occurs. Deviations from normal processes can cause incorrect transactions, workarounds, or lost productivity when users do not have sufficient instructions on how to handle these. This blog will cover how to handle three common scenarios within Outbound Logistics in SAP Business ByDesign where deviations from the regular processes might occur.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

10 Tips for Reports and Data Sources in SAP Business ByDesign

Author: Dan Edelman, Senior SAP Business ByDesign Consultant at FMT Consultants
This blog is intended to provide some tips and tricks for creating custom reports or data sources in SAP Business ByDesign. It’s aimed at users that don’t have a reporting background, so if you’re used to building SQL-based reports, just bear with me. This isn’t an end-to-end guide from data source to report, but serves as a reference to use if you’re just getting started, or have gotten stuck trying to figure out how to do something.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Video: 5 Brilliant Ways to Customize SAP Business ByDesign (by FMT Consultants)

Like snowflakes, no two businesses are alike, and at times it’s necessary to customize your ERP solution to ensure it works exactly the way your business does.
In this video we’ll demonstrate 5 brilliant examples of how you can customize SAP Business ByDesign to ensure it accommodates your most unique and critical business needs.
Specifically, the video covers:
  1. How Development Works in SAP Business ByDesign
  2. Basic User Assistance – Sales Order Duplicate Check
  3. More Advanced Validation – External Reference Required for Release
  4. Store Custom Data – Approved Supplier List
  5. Upload Custom Data – File Input
  6. Automate Processes – Freight on Customer Invoice

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Enhancement Framework – Introduction

The ABAP Enhancement Implementation concept allows you to easily enhance the standard SAP delivered functionality with your desired one. The ABAP Enhancement Implementation concepts have been in SAP for quite some time now.

What is an Enhancement

An enhancement is used when you need to enhance any standard SAP delivered functionality by introducing new code. There are certain ways to achieve the enhancement:
  • Core Modification – You obtain the access key by registering the object with SAP and make the necessary changes. This is more dangerous and thus least preferable among other techniques. What makes it more dangerous is when SAP provides any OSS note, or during an upgrade, there is a chance of losing your changed functionality if you don’t perform the proper SPAU activity.
  • User Exit – You find SAP delivered Subroutines (PERFORM) which begins with USEREXIT_ in the standard SAP programs. To implement the user exit, you would need to also register the object through OSS. They are little bit safer from an upgrade point of view as they are in a separate include.
  • Customer Exit – You find SAP provided function exits with CALL CUSTOMER FUNCTION ‘001’. This would be a FM with an include. This include would not be delivered by SAP. If you need your new functionality, you need to create the include and implement your code. You would need to create Customer Enhancement Project in CMOD using the Enhancement which houses the Exit function SMOD.
  • BADI (Business Add Ins) – are based on the Object Oriented Concept. Std SAP provides you with the BADI calls. You would need to Create the BADI implementation based on the BADI definition. Then you can add your code in the implementation which is essentially a method in the class. You can implement the same BADI multiple times, if the BADI is set for multiple implementations.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dynamic Help Feature

Overview: This feature was introduced in the Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook Client and is referred to as “Dynamic Help”. Prior to this feature, the Outlook Client included a help link that always directed you to the same troubleshooting page regardless of which error you encountered. For each error code that occurs during configuration, Dynamic Help can now direct you to a KB article designed to help resolve that specific issue. This feature was also backported to CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1 for Service Pack 1 and CRM 2011 Update Rollup 18. The Dynamic Help feature is also included in the new CRM App for Outlook.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Why serialization is vital for pharmaceutical product integrity in the cold chain

Read entire article at the Cold Chain View blog.
More than ever before, drug security is an important issue in ensuring the integrity of medicines and vaccines reaching patients. The industry needs to demonstrate that we care for patients, and are putting all necessary measures in place to ensure that medicines are safe to be taken.
That means knowing the entire journey of a medicine through the supply chain, and having fully automated documentation about the conditions on its journey. One of the ways in which this can be addressed in the cold supply chain is through serialization. A key driver for implementing serialization will be global compliance requirements coming into play. The USA introduced the Drug Supply Chain Security Act at the end of 2013, which will require the availability of information at individual package level about where a drug has been in the supply chain.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Making the business case for implementing serialization cost-effectively in the supply chain

Read the full article at the Cold Chain View blog.

As part of the implementation of serialization, automation of the process will become law within 10 years. As already highlighted previously, serialization provides accountability and traceability of every item shipped in the supply chain. The need to conform to these new requirements might at first glance look like it would require costly additional investment. But it need not be – and it might even be more cost-effective, once you take into account the additional benefits that could be obtained.

‘The Smallest Individual Saleable Unit’ In The DSCSA - RxTrace

Drawing from the GS1 Healthcare GTIN Allocation Rules document showing how to assign GTINs in multi-pack scenarios.  Click image to enlarge.
Drawing from the GS1 Healthcare GTIN Allocation Rules document showing how to assign GTINs in multi-pack scenarios. Click image to enlarge.
The U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires manufacturers and repackagers to place DSCSA-specific “product identifiers” on all drug packages and homogeneous cases by November 27, 2017 (2018 for repackagers).  These product identifiers must include a Standardized Numeric Identifier (SNI), which is composed of the drugs National Drug Code (NDC) and a unique serial number (for more on DSCSA “product identifiers”, see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages“, for more on the SNI, see “FDA Aligns with GS1 SGTIN For SNDC“, and for more on the NDC, see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code“).

Thursday, June 4, 2015

SAP Business ByDesign Customization Use-Case: Approved Supplier Lists for Medical Device Manufacturer

"While SAP Business ByDesign has an extraordinary array of out-of-the-box functionality in both breadth and depth, there will always be customer-specific scenarios and use-cases that are not natively handled entirely through standard functionality. Though most ERP systems allow customization to handle these scenarios, what sets Business ByDesign apart is the ability to quickly and easily create custom functionality that can be an integral part of standard processes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Create Custom Records in NetSuite – Step by Step Instructions: Part I


In NetSuite, Custom Records are essentially everything and anything.
My bet is that whenever you need a process or a functionality that is not available in NetSuite out-of-the-box, custom records can help you! Custom Records are dynamic and customizable building blocks that allow you to create custom fields, lists and special links with other NetSuite records and transactions.
Custom Records in NetSuite

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ASAP Methodology Documentation

You can access the entire ASAP methodology in MS excel which shows the phases and sub phases as well as the required resource roles, core subjects and project document template names by clicking here:  ASAP 7.2 Excel

If you are looking for the descriptions of the phases as well as the standard project phase document templates you can access them from here: ASAP Documentation

Monday, June 1, 2015

TIP: Remove “Copy From” in Solman title

ISSUE: When copying a document in Solution Manager, the original title gets “Copy From” as a prefix as the new title. This can cause issues when the length of a document title approaches the limit of 64 characters. Relevant parts at the end of the title can get truncated.
SOLUTION: To solve this you can remove the prefix by following the instruction in SAP note – 1605780. This correction avoids the prefix and thus keeps the original title for the copied document.

Increase User Adoption with Your Own In-House CRM Support Entity in Dynamics CRM 2013 – a Step-by-Step Guide

Increase User Adoption with Your Own In-House CRM Support Entity in Dynamics CRM 2013 – a Step-by-Step Guide - A Blog by FMT Consultants
"User adoption is pivotal when implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM within your organization. A key component to turning your CRM implementation into a successful investment is by providing timely post go-live and on-going support in a manner that reassures your users that the system will be properly supported. Support could range from training, user feedback, suggestions, enhancement requests, technical issues, bugs, reporting requests, etc.
It’s best to have a solid plan in place, whether that’s using an existing I.T. ticketing system or having dedicated staff. But the reality is that many companies don’t have the time and/or resources to put something in place until after the first critical user adoption period has passed. If users don’t adopt to the system initially, it makes it much harder to get them on board later on.

3PL Operation Under The DSCSA - paper

Photo from Wikipedia
Dirk Rodgers has written another great article covering the impact on 3PLs when considering the DSCSA - Read the full article on
Another type of business affected by the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is the third party logistics provider (3PL) business.
I wrote an RxTrace essay about the impact of the California pedigree law on 3PLs back in 2013 (see “3PL Operation Under California ePedigree“).  This is an update of that essay to address the impacts of the new DSCSA on 3PLs since the California pedigree law is now obsolete.
There are a number of important differences between wholesale distributors and 3PLs as defined in the DSCSA.