Questions from older webinars:
- What is the advantage of your solution over other procurement platforms?
Answer: Other solutions override the logic in SAP MM and have ‘replicated’ a purchasing system. The problem is that these systems still have to create the SAP purchase order so that a goods receipt and an invoice can be posted in SAP. Accordingly, customers then have a duplicate purchasing solution in the system, namely the chosen platform + SAP MM. This ‘double’ purchasing logic often leads to discrepancies in the entire purchasing process. The BeNeering Cloud, on the other hand, is based on the MM system, which is a major difference, because we work with the logic in MM. If MM reports errors, such as an unsuitable inventory account, for example, a purchase requisition cannot be created. The user sees this error message in the cloud.
- Can non-SAP ERPs also be connected to your Cloud?
Answer: The BeNeering cloud can also be used as a ‘standalone’ solution. In this case, the cloud works independently, and can be connected to other ERP systems via downstream interfaces.
- Is the BeNeering solution SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended certified?
Answer: BeNeering is connected to SAP ECC and S/4HANA systems. Our customers have to install the BeNeering Cloud Adapter on their SAP system. This solution will be certified by SAP in 2021, this is already in progress.
- Does your solution require SAP Ariba? Or is it possible to conduct tenders/auctions via the BeNeering solution?
Answer: SAP Ariba is not required. Sourcing can also be carried out via the BeNeering Cloud. This process is integrated in our Guided Buying process.
- During the live demo, a product group had to be selected manually. Is there any logic available that already suggests a reduced number of all product groups based on the short text description?
Answer: We have different ways to map the product group: 1. preset via the search engine, 2. manual selection via selection box (as shown in the demo), 3. manual selection via navigation tree, 4. automatic proposal based on your order history in SAP (this logic is scheduled for implementation in the cloud in Q1 2021).
- Does supplier onboarding take place via the BeNeering platform, or does it have to be done in SAP?
Answer: Supplier onboarding takes place via the BeNeering Cloud. A standardized onboarding process takes place here. The entire onboarding process, i.e. from first contacting the supplier to the finished active catalog, is supported by the BeNeering support team.
- After a rejection within the approval process, can the shopping cart be reworked and the process restarted?
Answer: Post-processing of the purchase requisition is possible and is usually supported for both, the requester and the buyer.
- Can material master data and purchasing info records be edited?
Answer: Material master data and purchasing info records can be updated in SAP ERP via the BeNeering Cloud (Price Adjustment Process).
- Is access to the BeNeering RFX portal free of charge for suppliers or are there costs involved?
Answer: There are no costs for suppliers.
- How is supplier access to the RFX portal controlled? What about a request to non-vendors, how can they submit an offer?
Answer: We have two possible scenarios. Suppliers who receive only a few requests or who receive a request for the first time are sent an e-mail with an encrypted link to the request. This link is valid until the request is closed. Second, suppliers also have the option of registering to the BeNeering Cloud and thus gain access to the supplier portal. Among other things, all the supplier’s requests and offers can be viewed here.
- Which catalog formats are possible and how are the catalogs maintained? Can the same catalog be edited by the supplier as well as by in-house buyers?
Answer: Our Content Management System is the instrument of choice here. Suppliers and buyers both have the possibility to upload catalogs in different formats by themselves. The validation process is supported by validation rules, so that a constant quality can be guaranteed. The connection of punch-outs (OCI) is also possible without any problems.
- How quickly can suppliers be connected?
Answer: The time span for onboarding a supplier depends on the supplier itself. Our experience shows that onboarding a supplier takes between 5 days and 8 weeks. This depends on how well the supplier is prepared for the provision of electronic catalogs.
- Is an article number search possible?
Answer: Of course and article search using a known article number is possible. In addition, other attributes are used to perform a search. If intended, a fuzzy and/or AI search can be activated.
- Does the cloud user have to a SAP user?
Answer: No. Users can also be authenticated via other 3rd party systems, such as Active Directory.
- Is it intended to offer an attribute filter, similar to some punch-out catalogs?
Answer: This technology of additional filters or facets is already in use and can be applied individually. However, we do not recommend this, as it puts individual suppliers at a disadvantage.
- Is it possible to integrate the shopping cart into the S/4HANA for Central Procurement?
Answer: The My Cart scenario of the BeNeering Cloud is connected to the S/4HANA Central Procurement System. Thus the BeNeering Cloud offers a front-end for the Guided Buying Experience in the SAP Procurement Hub.
- How are articles and article master data maintained and updated?
Answer: Article maintenance takes place via the Content Management System. There are various ways of maintaining articles. From manually to fully automated maintenance, everything is selectable.
- Who negotiates the prices in the Catalog System?
Answer: The prices in the catalog system are negotiated by the customer’s buyer with the supplier. An exception is the marketplace scenario, where the prices are set by the marketplaces.
- Does eClass or the processing of characteristics play a role as a systematic search (category or material group)?
Answer: Characteristics in eClass can be considered in a catalog search. However, our recommendation is to dispense with eClass features and thus filters, if not all suppliers in the entire catalog pool can provide eClass features. Otherwise these suppliers will be put at a disadvantage.
- What is the product data quality, like are safety data sheets accessible throughout?
Answer: The customer decides on the product data quality. In the module “Content Management System” validation rules for a catalog upload are used. This ensures a consistent quality among all suppliers. Here it is also possible to require that safety data sheets must be uploaded by each supplier.
- How does the preselection of cost center and G/L account come about?
Answer: A standard cost center is given with the login request into the cloud. The G/L account can be derived according to a logic via material group and other indicators.
- Is the sourcing form out-of-the-box or does it have to be created, e.g. like a smart form?
Answer: We have a standard sourcing wizard, which could not be shown in the webinar due to the short time available. This wizard has its own fields for the sourcing process. A sourcing process can be extended with custom templates and customer fields.
- Are these RFC calls used by the BeNeering system to communicate with SAP or which transfer technology do you use?
Answer: We use modern web service technology with real-time access to the SAP system.
- How do you see the document flow and who takes over the service registration?
Answer: The document flow takes place in the SAP system and is displayed in the cloud as you wish. Service registration via the cloud is expected to be available from 2021.
- Is the service registration displayed/executed in SAP or in your system?
Answer: The goods receipt can be posted in SAP or via the cloud with reference to the purchase requisition. Currently, service registration must still be posted directly in SAP. On our roadmap, the service registration module has a high priority and is expected to be delivered in 2021.
- Is your solution also applicable for other S2P/P2P solutions, i.e. SMART by GEP?
Answer: Our solution can also be operated as a “standalone” solution, i.e. both the documents and the workflow can also be illustrated directly in the cloud. Document data can be transferred to other S2P/P2P via interfaces.
- Can (for example) the release of investment requests also be interposed?
Answer: Investment requests can be realized via our Dynamic Forms technology and can be subject to a release at the same time.
- What prerequisites must be created so that buyer and supplier can communicate in real time?
Answer: We offer a chat function with the Simple Sourcing module. Registered suppliers can communicate with the buyer and/or requester via the supplier portal.
- Could the approval workflow also take place via the cloud and not via the BANF?
Answer: We already have a workflow in the cloud which could be used for the ERP BANF. It would still have to be evaluated whether such a mixed scenario could be coupled with the logic in the customer system.
- How many approval levels are possible and where does the system take the users from? SAP HCM? Is the process route fixed or variable?
Answer: Approval levels are not restricted. Approvers can be found via an approval matrix or via the org model, depending on what a customer is using. Our workflow model can be expanded flexibly.
- How is the own ERP system connected to the BeNeering Cloud – technically?
Answer: We rely on web service technology, in synchronized real-time.
- How does the inquiry process work? Does the supplier have to log in to the portal to submit an offer?
Answer: We have 2 approaches. Suppliers who receive few requests or who have received a request from a customer for the first time receive an email with an unique link that refers to the request. This link is valid until the request is closed. However, suppliers have the possibility to register on the BeNeering Cloud and thus gain access to the supplier portal. Among other things, all requests and offers can be viewed here.
- How can suppliers submit/upload their offer?
Answer: In the supplier portal, offers can be submitted via a wizard. Suppliers can also enter additional items and upload attachments. Both, request and quotation, can go through an approval process on the customer side.
- Does your system also work for production material, such as drawing parts?
Answer: We do not support exploded drawings, but we do support the illustration of parts lists.
- Is it possible to display the availability of capacities at suppliers when ordering services?
Answer: When developing the service registration, we consider an open enhancement logic, just as with other cloud modules. Thus, the supplier can also be shown the capacities of the SAP system in real time. The service registration is planned for 2021.
- Is the entire platform only usable for SAP ERP systems?
Answer: The focus is strongly oriented towards SAP ERP. However, we also support the “local scenario” with connection to other ERP systems.
- Is a connection to AD possible for user control?
Answer: Yes, a connection to the Active Directory for user control is desired. Alternatively, the authorization profiles of existing SAP users can be read out and used in the process.
- How long does an implementation process take and what is the capacity expenditure?
Answer: The implementation process and capacity expenditure depends very much on the size of the company and the complexity of the processes. As a general rule, smaller customers can expect an implementation period of 4 months. In the case of large corporations, it can even take 8 months until the first go-live.
- What is the difference to a typical SRM system from a third-party vendor? Is it ‘Guided Buying’? What are the advantages?
Answer: BeNeering’s Real-Time Procurement builds on existing logic in SAP, such as SAP MM and FI/CO. Therefore, no master data such as user, supplier, cost center, PSP element etc. has to be replicated in the cloud. It is therefore a modern user interface that combines the catalog world (web shops) with the requisition in SAP.
- Are there currently already customers who use this platform for production material?
Answer: Production material is usually planned via an MRP run in ERP. We have customers who obtain the price lists for production material from the cloud. This means that suppliers update EK info records and contracts in ERP via the BeNeering Cloud.