Update on Leapfactor Challenge

Posted by Connie French on Apr 21, 2010 5:00:23 PM

leapfactor blog bannerSeveral weeks ago, Leapfactor posted a Challenge seeking ideas for using mobile alerts and approvals within SAP.  Leapfactor would like to provide Solvers who are working on this Challenge with a bit of input that might be helpful when submitting a solution.

The following was originally posted on the SAP Ecosystem blog.

Here’s an update to Leapfactor’s and SAP’s Ideation Challenge:

Three weeks after launch, there are nearly 300 “Project Rooms” tackling this Challenge. Perhaps the real challenge is to NOT find an opportunity for our micro apps!

Last week, we hosted a couple of webinars and we were able to hear live from Solvers who had some great questions.   We wanted to share with you some of the output of those meetings.

First and foremost, we clarified that ideas will have a better chance to win if they go beyond the obvious. For instance, we all know that within SAP FI/CO there are an incredible amount of approval gates, some very critical because they involve large amounts of money or simply because it affects a core business process. But you definitely need to push the envelope a little bit further.

The Challenge is to identify an industry-specific process that would obtain substantial benefits derived from shortening approval times and solving convenience issues. Even further, do you believe there are more opportunities when FI/CO is interacting with MM or HR? Or do you know which Bapi we should look at?

When listing the benefits make sure to go beyond productivity or efficiency. What about competitive advantage? Can you guesstimate which processes would benefit more users? Try to complement your idea with a small business case, perhaps with some research data.

Look at the four examples below. They all seem great ideas and opportunities, but they all lack a more detailed business justification and SAP references.

Automotive Industry.
Vendors of automotive manufacturers collectively receive thousands of purchase orders (POs) every day. And some POs are dependent on other POs. This process requires an approval and confirmation of quantities and details at some point. Typically, 30% of orders do not get approved/confirmed by small vendors on time because they still respond via fax. What if we allow vendors to approve orders via mobile devices?

Construction Industry
In construction companies, most deliveries happen on remote locations with limited access to computers. Allowing construction managers to approve payments right after accepting deliveries could make a huge difference and eradicate some manual paperwork. If there’s such a big need to approve payments right after receiving materials and services, why don’t we mobilize that?

IT Industry
Corporate IT services provisioning always require a series of approvals: From issuing an access card and ordering a new laptop for a new employee to upgrades to software licenses and changes in SLAs terms. In most cases the process is very long mostly because of the approval process, not because IT walks slowly in the hallways. Enabling busy approvers that are never at their desks to approve from their mobile devices would reduce costs and increase the service level from IT. It’s a no-brainer right?

Outbound logistics means Inbound Logistics for someone else. Deviations on plans are not uncommon and they typically hurt all players in the process. Being able to let all parties know about a deviation could save lots of problems. Today, most people send reports by fax or via EDI and the detailed information gets to the right hands until the end of the day (when nothing can be done). In addition to cost reduction and increased productivity, wouldn’t a detailed log with time stamps create transparency on how people reacted and managed the exceptions?

Remember, the key question is: Why automating an approval or alert process on the go would be compelling? And the answer variables are: {mobile use case} + {Industry} + {process} + {potential # mobile users} + {benefits}.

There is still plenty of time to participate. So why don’t you go an register today? It’s free and maybe you’re leaving $10,000 and 4 iPads on the table.

Good luck!

Lionel Carrasco
CEO | Leapfactor


Lionel Carrasco Mobile enterprise veteran with deep SAP background

Topics: Innovation Insights, Solvers, Challenges

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