SAP NetWeaver Review

A versatile solution with good technical support, an accurate data history, and you can trust what it tells you


What is our primary use case?

SAP handles all of our inventory and our raw materials. We haven't found another solution that was for time and attendance all in one. We have used ShopVue for our time and attendance and we use SAP for the back end. It keeps all of the materials moving. Anything that is a product that moves, we have some way of searching for it in SAP. 

I take a particular product, then go into the stock requirments and I type the product name or number. That will give me the current status and everything that is happening with it from within the same SAP requirement list, which is MD04. That is SAP's internal name for this page. I can go from there to the history where I can see the orders that are coming in, as well as the orders that are waiting. It's all on one very useful screen. It's a very useful tool to be able to get from point A to point B.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature would probably be that it's accurate in its historical data. When searching through the historical data, you can be very sure that the data you get is accurate. With SAP, you can trust what it tells you. With others, you can troll through and get data that has more outliers than good points.

What needs improvement?

SAP isn't particularly user-friendly and you have to develop a long list of favorites to be able to get around. I have a very long list of favorites, some I use every day and others just once in a while. I thought that BPCS wasn't user-friendly, although this is twice as bad.

One of the problems in SAP is when you open a screen and there are approximately ten different places you can click on to go to other places. Unless you know that they are there, you don't get anywhere. You have to know where to click to get to where you are going.

An instruction guide that would explain or tell you what to click and where it will take you would be useful. If you don't know what you are looking for, it would be better to have a dropdown list rather than having to type it.

On the front end, the menu screen I have 70 to 80 favorites and they are all the same color, same line, and all capital letters, but you can't make any changes. It would be nice if it could be color-coded, to allow your eyes to focus on something more specific.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP for about five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The system has been okay in terms of scalability. We have 70 or 80 people using SAP that range in roles from plant manager to warehouse, and everything in between.

Several people are constantly requesting access. To do that, we have to submit the request through SAP which requires another set of software. The information is entered then awaits approval from management. The SAP provides a list of people who have access to too many requests.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fairly good. At times it can take three to four weeks to get back to us with a resolution. However, they do exactly what you ask of them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we were using IBM BPCS. The corporate policy was to have everyone on SAP.

SAP is bigger and can handle more information and it's easier to work with. With BPCS, if you were away from it for a couple of days you would have to retrain yourself.

How was the initial setup?

For the initial setup, we jumped in with both feet and it worked almost like it was out of the box.

From the time that SAP arrived, it took about a year to install the program and adjust it to meet our standards. We had a series of meetings where we discussed functionality, what had been fixed, and what changes still needed to be made.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance from consultants here in France. There were perhaps five of them who helped us. They knew exactly what they were doing and I am still in contact with one of them.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing costs are on a yearly basis.

What other advice do I have?

Before we initiated SAP, we had to decide where ShopVue would end and where SAP would take over. The two software solutions are not compatible. ShopVue is labor and attendance, which is one thing that SAP didn't have. We had to make the two communicate together.

ShopVue is easy to use. I am surprised that more companies don't invest in it.

When you look at the screen, you can hit that button and it will do something. Don't give up, the answer is there somewhere. Picasso said, "Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working."

Because of its versatility, I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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