We have solutions for Design Build Operate Maintain operations. DBOM is the next wave for construction, we extend SAP's Digital Core with leading cloud point solutions to deliver end to end solutions with SaaS pricing and deep functionality.
We have solutions for Design Build Operate Maintain operations. DBOM is the next wave for construction, we extend SAP's Digital Core with leading cloud point solutions to deliver end to end solutions with SaaS pricing and deep functionality.
Waltham, Mass. – June 20, 2017 – B4 Consulting®, helping companies grow with innovative software, services and support, today announced that Massachusetts-based ISlide, one of the world’s fastest-growing and innovative footwear designers, has chosen B4 Consulting to transition its business operations to SAP Business One® Cloud. SAP Business One Cloud is an affordable, scalable and easy-to-use business management solution designed for growing companies. B4 Consulting, a full-service SAP Gold-level partner, resold SAP Business One Cloud on SAP S/4HANA® and will implement the solution at ISlide headquarters in Boston.
“ISlide is a great example of innovative entrepreneurship that thrives in Massachusetts,” said Klaus Schottenhamel, president and CEO of B4 Consulting. “They are pioneering a manufacturing process that enables customers to custom-design slide sandals online and receive the finished goods in about a week. Their business model is revolutionizing the footwear industry, and SAP Business One gives them the perfect foundation to scale and grow.”
Access to Real-time Data for Real-time Footwear
Since its founding in 2013, ISlide has become the preeminent leader in slide sandals “with sales doubling annually,” noted Justin Kittredge, founder and CEO of ISlide. “But we were running a lot of disparate systems for financials, sales, inventory management and the like. To continue our growth rate, we wanted a scalable system that could integrate all the standard business functions plus incorporate those that are unique to our business, such as printing and website shopping. Plus, it had to be easy to use and deploy.”
ISlide vetted a number of solutions and implementation partners before deciding on SAP Business One Cloud and B4 Consulting. “We went through an exhaustive evaluation process,” said Steve Amrein, operations director at ISlide. “SAP Business One Cloud was the only solution that could fast-track our operations into the 21st century, adapt to our unique product needs, and give us access to real-time data, which is essential when producing custom-designed sandals with the industry’s fastest turnaround times.
“B4 Consulting was the only reseller who ‘got us’,” continued Amrein. “B4 has experience in helping early-stage companies successfully grow their business with the latest technologies, they’re experts in SAP Business One, they understand manufacturing processes, and they know how to translate those processes into simple functions with SAP software. Lastly, we wanted a local partner who would give us personal attention and support as needed. The B4 team came to the table with a level of enthusiasm and commitment that matches the high energy at ISlide.”
The SAP Business One Cloud software-as-a-service model enables ISlide to accelerate the time-to-value of SAP® software across the organization. On a single platform, the solution integrates key operational functions including accounting and finance, sales and customer management, purchasing and operations, inventory and distribution, material requirements planning, and reporting and administration. ISlide will also take advantage of SAP Business One add-on functionality for:
Running on the cutting-edge in-memory computing of the SAP HANA® platform, SAP Business One Cloud will enable ISlide to quickly process large volumes of data and get immediate feedback on transactions and complex analyses. It is the only solution for mid-market companies with an in-memory database, which provides extensive analytics capabilities. “We’re on a growth trajectory, and we’re looking to SAP Business One to help propel that growth and our continued innovations,” noted Kittredge.
About B4 Consulting, Inc.
B4 Consulting integrates business processes and technologies globally for customers who want to transform their businesses with innovative on premise and cloud-based solutions. Our team of solution architects integrates these solutions with leading systems, such as SAP solutions, to enable business performance excellence and improved profitability. www.b4-consulting.com. Follow Us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/b4consulting
B4 Consulting is a registered trademark of B4 Consulting, Inc.
SAP, SAP Business One, SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE (or an SAP affiliate company) in Germany and other countries. See http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx for additional trademark information and notices.
IFRS 16 Real Property Leasing with SAP Real Est... | SCN
Data analytics is a data-centric approach to decision making. Self-service analytics is an approach to data analytics that enables business users to access and analyze their corporate data with minimal skills in business intelligence and data mining. This is achieved through the use of tools that simplify the business users’ ability to access corporate data and the ease in which they can manipulate that data to uncover important insights and trends.
Barriers to Self-Serve Analytics
Most business users are hesitant to dive into a new self-service analytic tool. The idea of taking the time to learn a new application to the point where you are comfortable is disheartening to the average business user. Just rolling out the installation of the tool and providing basic documentation on typical functionally or work flows will only result in failure. Having a good IT support system to help guide users in the use of self-service analytic tools is critical for the success of the self-serve BI initiative. Hands-on training workshops, with corporate test data and real business process scenarios, will go a long way to ensure end user acceptance.
It is important that business users in the organization understand the main intent for the self-serve analytic tool. Expecting to produce or replace existing corporate executive dash boards with a few hours of effort in a self-serve analytic tool is not going to produce successful results. The focus should be on discovery of current conditions and treads that can influence organization KPIs related to cash flow or production performance. For example: Why is sales revenue down in store X this month? Can we determine why Plant Y is seeing a 28% increase in productivity? Having a clear understanding of the tools’ intent will help users focus on getting the most out of their efforts.
Self-Serve Analytics – The Road to Success
In order for self-serve analytics to be successful the user interface needs to be intuitive, with a development canvas and navigation functionality that is user friendly. Successful self-serve analytic reports tell stories. They combine data facts with business knowledge to bring out hidden business insights. They help you show the root causes to business problems and can help provide solutions to resolve those problems.
Training is needed to help users understand what corporate data is available and how that information should be accessed. IT also needs to focus on maintaining the corporate data warehouse and data marts to ensure that business users have the right data at the right time. With the right training and data business users can build their own queries and customize their own reports and dashboards with minimal effort and maximum benefit.
It is important to note that while self-serve analytics can provide business users with an easy to use tool that greatly increases their ability to access and consume data, it can also bring confusion and mistrust if there is no corporate data governance processes in place. Data made available to your self-serve analytics tools must be relevant, accurate, and timely. The data provided needs to help resolve business problems not create new ones. This requires a data governance policy that maintains data consistency and quality though out the organization using constant monitoring and review processes so business users have confidence in the data they are using.
GEO analysis made easy with SAP Business Objects Lumira
Self-service analytics will not replace traditional business intelligence or remove the need for data scientists. Organizations will still benefit greatly with operational and strategic reporting and complex data analysis that can be captured in a traditional BI system with the assistance of data scientists. Self-service analytics enhances the BI offering by allowing core business users to generate new business insights and use these insights to make more informed decisions.
B4 Consulting can provide assistance with implementing a good self-serve analytic strategy, which will integrate with and complement existing BI initiatives. Data preparation processes that adhere to corporate data governance policies and business user training are the key components in a successful self-serve analytic initiative.
SAP Lumira offers a very insightful and user-friendly interface that supports self-serve analytics development. Seamless integration with the Business Objects BI Platform exposes all of the rich functionality of a secure BI platform while providing users the flexibility of both desktop and web-based development environments.
For more information on how self-serve analytics can engage more employees to help give your organization a competitive edge -- contact me at B4 Consulting -- email@example.com
About the Author
John Reid is an Analytics, Mobility & Technology Consultant at B4 Consulting.He can be reached at
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released new accounting standards that define how organizations must account for leases. These accounting standards, addressed in the International Financial Records Standard 16 (IFRS 16), stipulate how most leases must be reported on a company’s balance sheet. For many lessees -- this change is huge.
While the new leasing standard does not go into effect until January 2019, companies can begin reporting in January 2017 and start communicating expected changes with stakeholders – now. The new standard will affect virtually all commonly-used financial ratios and performance metrics such as gearing, current ratio, asset turnover, interest cover, EBITDA, EBIT, operating profit, net income, EPS, ROCE, ROE, and operating cash flows. These changes may affect loan covenants credit ratings and borrowing costs, and could result in other behavioral changes. And, these changes may compel many organizations to reassess certain ‘lease versus buy’ decisions.
IFRS 16 changes will affect lessees in the following key areas:
As you can see, the changes are dramatic. This is not just a software change or upgrade. It is a major change in business processes, how applications integrate to accommodate the rule change, and last but certainly not least -- companies will be challenged to effectively communicate IFRS 16 standards to stakeholders who will see major changes in financial results.
To successfully implement IFRS 16 requires a structured initiative that will manage:
Business processes in many areas, including finance, procurement, tax, treasury, legal, operations, corporate real estate and HR will have to be changed and aligned to support a successful adoption of the accounting changes.
For those companies with real estate in one application, assets in another and separate G/L, it will be difficult. The SAP integrated platform will make this a much easier. SAP customers who are already on SAP Real Estate and have their fixed assets in SAP will have an enhancement to download in a few months that will put them into compliance.
SAP Real Estate Management application enables coordination between different departments.
The solution also provides lease accountants the ability to evaluate the financial impact of each lease and ultimately generates all valuation postings required by the new leasing standards. It even manages the postings for multiple lease accounting standards simultaneously, regardless if the general ledger account or parallel ledger methodology is utilized. This solution is part of SAP Finance and is completely integrated, helping avoid the kind of costly disruptions that can derail critical business processes, operations and costly noncompliance events.
Corporation stakeholders will need a lot assistance in understanding the changes in nearly all financial ratios and performance metrics such as: gearing, current ratio, asset turnover, interest cover, EBITDA, EBIT, operating profit, net income, EPS, ROCE, ROE and operating cash flows.
Even though the new leasing standards are not effective until December 2018 for US GAAP and January 2019 for IFRS, companies can choose to be early adopters and begin reporting January 2017. Whether you choose to be an early adopter or comply by the deadlines, there are certain things you can do today to prepare.
Current SAP Real Estate Management users should implement the new leasing enhancements as soon as they are released to begin evaluating the impact on your financial statements. Even if you do not intend to be an early adopter, the loading of the leases and analyzing the results will pay big dividends in the future.
Companies that implement the SAP IFRS 16 enhancements quickly can run it in simulation mode only and use the results to compare their financial performance before and after implementation. We believe that when key executives are knowledgeable about how IFRS 16 changes will affect performance reporting, they can effectively communicate with their stakeholders.
Recently, B4 Consulting announced its support for IFRS 16 real property leasing with SAP Real Estate Management, which includes implementation services for real estate, procurement, and financial management. Through an IFRS 16 Assessment, we examine all your business processes and areas affected by IFRS 16. Then, we develop a road map and budget for successful implementation of IFRS 16 standards – including stakeholder communications.
Get ahead of the curve and let’s talk about how you can successfully prepare for IFRS 16. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phillip Schell is vice president of Industry Solutions at B4 Consulting, Inc.
As the principal for the Engineering, Construction & Operations (EC&O) practice at B4 Consulting, I have the opportunity to lead numerous business transformations for a variety of construction companies -- both small and large -- throughout North America. When we partner with these industry leaders, I have the distinct pleasure of working with forward-thinking executives who understand the strategic value of SAP solutions for the construction industry.
Zachry Construction Corporation, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one prime example of a forward-thinking construction company. They made a strategic business decision to replace their legacy systems with an integrated ERP system. And, this bold decision set in motion a business journey in which, over a 2-year period, they evaluated close to 18 ERP solutions – including those from CMiC, Microsoft and Viewpoint. After a thorough needs analysis, they selected SAP because they perceived SAP solutions to be the most widely-used business technology platform that would meet their business requirements -- out-of-the-box -- while providing the industry's most integrated construction-centric solutions. B4 Consulting was chosen as their implementation partner due to our industry experience, solution know-how, and as one executive said, “B4 Consulting speaks our language.”
In just 12 months, we implemented an integrated solution set that included SAP ERP, CRM, EAM, HCM, BusinessObjects, ETM, SAP Mobile Platform, and an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. These capabilities, in turn, enable Zachry to implement progressive project management to a broad array of vertical and heavy civil work in both public and private sectors.
With their SAP platform, Zachry’s business processes, workflows, field data entry, and IT are now centralized on a single system that generates new levels of efficiency and serves as a strategic platform for company growth. These operational improvements are rooted in an implementation project that:
Today, Zachry has a user-friendly platform that supports 21st century technology to provide real-time information that is enabling upwards to:
Awesome numbers, right? There’s more to the Zachry project that can be read in the SAP Business Transformation Study -- just click button below. But, if you want to learn how B4 Consulting can uniquely transform your business for improved efficiency and profitability – let's talk. Email me at email@example.com.
EC&O Industry Principal
As the construction industry emerges from the dark days of the recession into the light of new project work across the country, it is confronted with two thorny issues that can impede growth: an unusually high staff-to-craft ratio due to under-investment in technology; and retention of skilled workers. A common theme runs through these seemingly disparate issues – and that is one of document management. Consider this: The construction industry hires skilled, college-educated construction professionals with degrees in engineering or construction management and tasks them to manage mind-numbing, time-intensive paperwork.
Imagine investing in a college education in which you have acquired a skill set in Visual Design, BIM, or leading-edge scheduling system and having to sit in front of a desk full of material receipts to input into a materials book. Adding insult to injury, at month’s end you have to run around to gather all those receipts and compare them to the paid invoice amounts to accrue for unpaid commitments in a green-screen accounting system. Is it any wonder why the construction industry is challenged to attract and retain skilled workers who are versed in modern technologies that provide a competitive edge?
But this issue of document management extends beyond the back-office and thwarts efficiency on the job site as well – particularly on self-perform civil construction job sites. For example, a continual flow of incoming trucks have materials that must be weighed, received, or laid down into yards. Every receipt of materials affects job cost, which requires the involvement of project engineers. Approval and reconciliation of these receipts is typically handled in an old-school, manual manner that can take anywhere from hours to days, is highly error-prone and does provide real-time visibility or data.
Enterprise Content Management with ELO
B4 Consulting is addressing these construction-centric document management issues with a solution that easily integrates into any IT landscape and at a fraction of the price of some Redmond-based document management systems. Through our partnership with ELO Digital Office, a world leader in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), we bring easy-to-use and affordable ECM solutions to SAP and non-SAP users.
Construction companies such as SNC Construction and Bilfinger have gone digital with ELO. Companies such as these integrate email, estimates, drawings, delivery tickets, purchase orders, and invoices – all on one seamlessly integrated platform. In one system with rights-assigned access -- employees can from any type of device streamline and standardize processes such as:
With our ECM solution, the job site scenario described earlier is quickly transformed into a few-click process done in seconds vs. hours or days in which:
This functionality can be applied to several construction scenarios from goods receipt to change order management processing. The B4 Consulting ECM solution for intelligent document processing can be applied to any number of business processes in the construction industry, which integrate ERP systems and enable workflows for downstream processing.
Moreover, our solutions use technology for increased efficiencies that optimize resources while ensuring and simplifying compliance with both internal and external requirements. Your skilled construction personnel can now focus on field activities and managing projects instead of paper. Staff-to-craft ratios can be optimized for improved profitability, increased productivity, and higher worker retention rates.
Regardless of your IT landscape, B4 Consulting can help you implement an ECM solution that capitalizes on the latest scanning technologies to increase your productivity and improve profitability. Let’s talk about how we can put ECM to work for you – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When given the opportunity to write for the B4 Consulting blog, I gladly obliged. I’ve always wanted to blog as I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of amazing experiences and passions that I want to share with the world. One of my passions is mobility and the entire concept about “Mobilizing the Office and Home.” I love the opportunity B4 Consulting has offered me to work with my clients and show them true value in mobilization of applications and processes.
B4 Consulting has years of experience in the construction space, and having such has allowed us to build a pretty comprehensive outlook on how the industry works. As we continue to create blog content, we will focus on the challenges our customers bring to us for resolution with SAP solutions.
Benefits of Mobile Applications
While mobile applications for construction can differ, the ultimate goal with an SAP mobility deployment is to help contractors streamline their communications, applications, and processes across their organizations. Construction companies who take the time and make the investment to explore mobile technologies can benefit from:
Improved Communication - Workers on a jobsite can instantly send one another updates and pictures. In addition, mobile devices open up the flow of data between field and office, giving the entire staff the most up-to date project information.
Accelerated Workflow with Real-time Data - Along with improving (and increasing) communication, mobile devices also offer improved workflow and real-time data. With instant communication, wait time for approval requests disappears. Field data entry allows for real-time data in the accounting and payroll systems with an accurate dashboard picture of the company’s overall performance, as well as the progress of each project.
“Store and Forward” Capability - While not all mobile apps offer this option, our apps are equipped with offline capability, allowing contractors working in remote job locations to enter timecards, save them and sync back to the office once they establish cellular coverage again. This creates a seamless transfer of information and ensures that data is current and up-to-date.
Increased Efficiency - By eliminating unnecessary data entry, your office staff will be able to work more efficiently and save time. Staff members can focus on other areas, increasing efficiency across the board.
Electronic Trail of Data - Using mobile applications also creates an electronic trail of data that contractors can reference at any time. Whether it’s solving an issue while a job is still active, or analyzing past jobs to better plan for future ones, the ability to learn from past data can save money.
Careful consideration of all these factors, in addition to a company’s size and budget, should drive any technology decisions. However, some applications can benefit most contractors regardless of trade or size.
Making the Move to Mobile with SAP
SAP mobile applications are changing the way the construction industry works with better communication, improved workflow and real-time data. With proper research and a plan for implementation, we are helping many contractors take advantage of the wide array of SAP applications, which streamline the flow of data and communication between field and office.
To learn more about SAP mobility solutions for the construction industry, contact me -- Jay the Mobility Guy at: email@example.com
One of the critical success factors of any SAP project is: clear definition of roles and responsibilities for each project participant and key stakeholder. Regardless of how thorough and detailed a project plan, any misunderstanding and oversight of team member roles and responsibilities will create project havoc.
Unnecessary team misunderstandings can be avoided by up-front integration of the RACI (Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed) model for successful change management. A responsibility assignment matrix, RACI is a practical approach to defining and documenting project roles and responsibilities. Integrating the RACI model into your SAP projects ASAP methodology creates a powerful combination that boosts and expands project results.
Four Pillars of the RACI* Model
The RACI model creates clarity and definition in describing stakeholder roles within an SAP project. It’s a matrix to clarify individual responsibilities and confirm that project requirements are assigned a corresponding doer.
To apply the RACI model, list every task, deliverable, work package, and then clarify who is Responsible, who is Accountable, who needs to be Consulted, and who needs to be Informed.
Responsible: People or stakeholders who do the work or deliverables. They must complete the work package and/or make the decision. Several people can be jointly Responsible (e.g. Functional Consultant).
Accountable: Person or stakeholder who is the owner of the task. They must sign-off or approve when the work package or decision is complete. This person must be fully aligned with the overall RACI matrix to ensure responsibilities are assigned for all related tasks and activities. Best Practices state that there is only one person Accountable (e.g. Project Manager).
Consulted: People or stakeholders whose input is needed before the work package or decision can be completed and signed-off. These people are often referred to as ‘in the loop’ and active team members (e.g. Subject Matter Expert).
Informed: People or stakeholders who are kept in the picture. They require updates on project progress and/or key decisions, but they do not need to be formally consulted, nor do they contribute directly to the work package or decision (e.g. VP, IT).
The following steps can be used to create a RACI model for your SAP project:
* Note that an alternative version of the RACI Matrix includes RASCI, which incorporates Support personnel into the responsibility matrix.
RACI Benefitsf or Managers and Leaders
Leveraging a RACI matrix can help uncover common organizational pain points and allow management to remedy challenges with regards to perceptions, role expectations, and performance.
Perception: How resources perceive their individual roles and required tasks become much clearer. Managers and Leaders can better determine if people are properly aligned with respective positions.
Role Expectations: Resources in the organization can visualize responsibilities for themselves and others, and see when associated tasks should be completed.
Performance: The RACI Matrix tool can foster positive performance guidance as resources are clear about what activities they should be doing and how and when they need to do it.
With clearly defined roles and responsibilities, you help can ensure the success of your SAP project. When people know exactly what is expected of them, it’s easier for them to complete their work on-time, on-budget, and to the best of their ability.
For more tips on securing the success of your next SAP project implementation, email
Bill Marson, PMI, B4 Consulting Project Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org.