What are the best SAP Modules to learn?Category: SAP Posted:Jun 05, 2017 By: Serena Josh
SAP stands for Systems Analysis and Products which was founded in June 1972. Post-its inception, several SAP ERP operations modules have been released which are designed for focusing on several processes such as SAP ERP Sales and Service, Customer Relationship, Sales and Distribution, Financial Management, Business Intelligence, and a whole lot more.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) enables organizations to manage databases for various processes from a single unified system. While ERP systems were initially developed for inventory control, the years since then have seen SAP revolutionize related software for various processes in an organization for highly optimized workflow and data management. The current market scenario sees many well-known market providers of ERP systems, with SAP leading the global pack in this respect. SAP is a business leader in enterprise software solutions aimed at data management and structured work in organizations. SAP AG is a Germany-based MNC software giant that deals in software development for business management and enhanced customer relations within organizations.
Factors to choose the right SAP module
Before applying for the SAP training course, take a moment and go through the factors that can help you choose the right SAP program for you. Have a look.
1. Available modules
With a total of 160 certifications that SAP offers for different SAP profiles, many modules are extensively used by the companies which are dependent on SAP for business success
There are SAP certification courses that aid one in achieving the desired certification, easily and effectively.
2. Academic Background
The second step towards SAP-certified professionals would be dipping into one’s academic background and work experience. The existing SAP modules are domain-specific, therefore; one needs to choose the one that fits the required domain. One will have to ask questions such as “What’s your domain?” “How much experience are you having in your domain?” to aid one in choosing the desired SAP course easily.
3. The Career Goal
This is frequently the most overlooked although an essential factor in deciding the module of choice. Before selecting any SAP module, one needs to recognize whether one’s passion, aptitude, and career goals lie in the completion of the SAP course with dedication and also working in that work sphere.
The educational background of professionals plays a large role in the selection of the SAP module in a career. The educational background makes it easier for a professional to comprehend business processes and other related traits involved in the field which has been learned during the academic acquisition of knowledge. The professional will be able to articulate ideas in the same business language as the industry users, making use of enterprise jargon. It is a daunting task for both business and consultant users not sharing enterprise backgrounds to stay on the same communication frequency during project discussions. It is also challenging for process comprehension and understanding amongst such disparate team members, even taking up an inordinate amount of time. Therefore the educational aspect is of paramount importance in the selection of an SAP module. Given below are some of the most popular SAP modules used by companies:
- SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)
- SAP Materials Management (MM)
- SAP Production Planning (PP)
- SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)
- SAP Financial Accounting (FI)
- SAP Controlling (CO)
- SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)
- SAP Production Planning (PP)
- SAP Materials Management (MM)
- SAP Quality Management (QM)
SAP Financial Accounting (FI)
As the name hints, this module deals with the management of financial transactions within organizations. This Financial Accounting module aids employees in the management of data involved in any enterprise and financial transactions in a unified system. This module’s functioning is geared towards handling all sorts of reporting needs. This module is highly flexible and functions really well in almost any form of the economic situation. SAP implementation aids in the consolidation of data irrespective of enterprise size. Such functioning is aimed at a diverse set of enterprise transactions and legal needs. The Financial Accounting module helps organizations gain real-time financial data and related insights of the enterprise in the market. There is also an incorporation of this module with other SAP modules such as SAP SD, SAP PP, and SAP MM and Payroll which bring about better workflows and associated results.
A major course elective in accounting while studying will equip one to take up SAP Financials or FI. If one has been studying Managerial Accounting, Chartered Accountancy (CA), Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) then SAP CO comes greatly recommended. Also, suggested for SAP CO are candidates who have taken up, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Management Accountant (CMA).
After a candidate has acquired knowledge and expertise in SAP FICO modules, there are bright prospects for career advancement, and for enhancement of skill sets with the adoption and implementation of the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) module.
SAP Controlling (CO)
This module is an essential addition to SAP’s existing modules which serve as enterprise offerings. CO module focuses on providing support in terms of planning, reporting, and monitoring operations at the enterprise level. This module involves methods to look at and organize costs needed for financial reporting. The CO module also allows for planning, tracking, execution, and reporting of costs. CO includes management and configuration of master data which covers cost elements, profit centers, cost centers, internal orders, functional areas, so on and so forth.
SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)
This module deals with the management of all transactions spanning from queries, quotations, proposals, pricing, and more. The SD module greatly augments inventory control and management. This module also comprises master data, system configuration, and transactions. A few of the sub-elements of the SAP SD module are sales support, shipping, master data, sales, billing, transportation, sales information system, credit management, and so on.
The scope for advancement from this module onwards can be quite considerable using SAP Hybris and SAP CRM modules. A major course elective in Distribution techniques, Channel Management, Sales Management, Marketing means an SAP SD module is meant for you.
SAP Production Planning (PP)
The SAP PP module is another essential module that includes software that is architected especially for production management and planning. Also, this module comprises master data, system transactions, and configuration in order to fulfill planned procedures for production. The module collaborates with Sales, Master Data, Operations Planning, Product Cost Planning, Material Requirements Planning, Distribution Resource Planning, Kanban, and so on and so forth while working towards production management in organizations.
SAP Materials Management (MM)
This module deals with the management of materials needed, processed, and generated in organizations. Several types of procurement processes are to be managed within this system. Some of the well-known sub-components in the SAP MM module are invoice verification, inventory management, purchasing, consumption-based planning, and vendor master data, and so on and so forth.
If a candidate has been studying Supply Chain Management with Procurement and Logistics, Inventory Management, and Storage techniques, then this module would be a great choice. After mastering this module one would have gained knowledge and experience in SAP MM. This can be augmented with SAP ARIBA and SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) modules which are mainly Business to a Business solution that caters to Procurement and Strategic Sourcing solutions.
SAP Quality Management (QM)
SAP QM is a module that aids the management of quality within productions across various processes in an enterprise. The quality management module aids enterprises in speeding up business by adopting a structured and functional manner of managing quality in various processes. This module collaborates between audit management, control, notification, inspection, planning, production, and even procurement and sales.
For candidates who have taken up studies in Total Quality Management, Statistics, Chemical Engineering, and Pharmacy studies, this module is considered to be pretty useful.
SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)
This module focuses on enhancing the work process and data management within the HR department of organizations. This includes the processes involved from the time a person is hired to evaluate an individual’s performance to managing promotions, compensations, handling and management of payroll, and other related activities of an HR being processed utilizing this module. The task of managing details of human resources or manpower and associated task flows can be managed utilizing the SAP HCM module.
Knowledge and experience in SAP HCM can serve as a foundation to take up further modules such as the SAP Success Factors (SAP SF) module which is a cloud-based HR software. For candidates who have been studying Human Resource, Personnel Management, Comparative Management, and Organizational Management will find this module to be useful to add to their existing skillsets.
- SAP NetWeaver (SAP BASIS) and ABAP
For candidates who have Computer Programming and Database and Network Administration as their primary interests, this module is most suited, for programming SAP ABAP should serve well for the addition of new skill sets.
One can benefit from advancement after completing this module by taking on another module named SAP Governance, Risk and Compliance (SAP GRC). For advancing from SAP ABAP one can take up SAP Fiori which deals with highly personalized and customized User experiences that are simple and easy to use.
- SAP Plant Maintenance (PM)
This module supports planning, processing, and completion of plant maintenance activities and also enables planners to schedule regular maintenance in a manner that is least disruptive for sales and manufacturing needs.
An engineering background such as one in Mechanical, Electrical, and Industrial management will help in taking up this module. Advancement for SAP aspirants post completion of this module can be achieved through another module such as the SAP Advanced Planning and Optimizer (SAP APO). One can also take up SAP Equipment and Tools Management (SAP ETM) to further their knowledge based on the previous module.
- SAP Asset Accounting (AA)
This module offers tools for the Acquisition, Depreciation, Evaluation, and Retirement of assets. The types of assets covered are low value, fixed, real estate, and leased. Low-value assets depreciate in the very year that they are bought out and are frequently clumped together as a single asset master record. Depreciation frequently needs tracking for several reasons; therefore SAP R/3 enables one to depreciate a single piece of equipment in various parallel ways.
- Industry Solutions (IS)
SAP Industry Solutions are highly scalable and flexible and can be customized to a great extent to suit the specific needs of each individual business. Examples for this are:
- SAP Service Provider
- SAP Aerospace and Defence
- SAP Telecommunication
- SAP Engineering and Construction
- SAP Consumer Products
- SAP Utilities
- SAP Automotive
- SAP Banking
- SAP Chemicals
Work Flow (WF)
SAP WorkFlow enables the linking of integrated SAP R/3 application modules with cross-application technologies, services, tools such as even including email. Work Flow enables one to set up the following:
- Maintenance of organizational structure according to responsibility.
- Linking of predefined standard tasks with the authorized agents in the enterprise.
- Activation of existing event receiver links between triggering events and consumption of workflow tasks.
- Naming a technical person responsible for every standard workflow template.
- Project System (PS)
This module aids in planning, management, control of R&D development projects, and more. The common tasks here revolve around the allocation of people, resources, and even money within the framework of schedule and task relationships.
A background in SAP FI and CO with PMP can act as an added plus to take this module up.
- Basic Business Processes Understanding
It is recommended that any candidate desirous of taking up an SAP module acquire Business Process Understanding. Pre-existing industry-relevant business process understanding can double up as much needed value addition. For example, once a candidate desires to choose Materials Management, and then it is best to gain an understanding of Vendor evaluation, Inventory Management, and Procurement processes, and more. In a similar fashion SAP SD module would need a prior understanding of Pricing, and Discounts, shipment options, complaints management, lead conversions, Pricing and Discounts, and more related aspects.
Types of SAP Consultants
An astronomically high demand, a diverse set of job offers, and incredible salaries – all point toward how sought-after SAP professionals are in the current market. The continued success of SAP AG has resulted in an increasing amount of companies utilizing SAP software. Or the simple fact that most enterprises have lapped up the concept of SAP software through extensive purchasing of said software has contributed to the widespread success of SAP.
SAP skills are highly useful in almost all existing positions today: Marketing, Controlling, Human Resources, and a whole lot more. It is important to remember that every business process can be or is already represented in an SAP System. Therefore, even for those who hold no interest in aiding a customer by implementing a new system for his/her company, one might still be interested in knowing how to use this system. Acquiring such knowledge on the job is a struggle at best and it keeps one from taking job-related tasks in the first few weeks or months at the new position. Hence, gaining a considerable amount of SAP skills will make it simpler for a professional to handle a foreign SAP system at the workplace of a foreign employer. This implies that a company is more likely to employ a professional when he/she can start with work tasks right away and not spend much time on acquiring SAP skills anymore. Employers prefer professionals capable of hitting the ground running in terms of the execution of project tasks.
While an SAP Consultant would not be an official title and there aren’t a “one-size fits all” approach to taking up SAP courses for a successful career. What is a given, though is the requirement of technical know-how, supported with a good understanding of various SAP modules that might suit you? Social and interpersonal skills go hand in hand with practical working knowledge of the subject matter when it comes to success in an SAP career. Work experience also plays an important role in the making of a great SAP professional, (consultant or otherwise).
An SAP consultant gets to select from a range of three choices of activity – Business Consultancy, Solution Consultancy, and Technology Consultancy. Business consultants find their focus in an analysis of a company’s business process, and identification of needed changes that will help enhance the business process through the use of SAP software. Solution consultants have the all-important task of going through the existing set of current SAP products and aid enterprises in finding the right fit in terms of an SAP solution that matches business needs. Technology consultants aid in the creation of the basis of SAP products by implementing the system and customizing the software in order to reflect enterprise business processes.
To provide the most efficient counseling possible, SAP professionals in the role of a consultant require being highly well-trained in the utilization of various SAP modules. The introduction of new programs and constant versioning means that continuous learning will be required to stay relevant in the market for years to come. Also, employees using SAP software products will need further training as part and parcel of their job role, since users will have to stay on top of SAP trends.
SAP has been providing immense opportunities for those who have well-defined career goals. But before applying to any SAP module, it is advisable to take some time and weigh the reasons why one would want to go for a particular module. Is the module required for a stop-gap job, or a long-term career? It is important to have a decisive answer for this. Once a candidate sifts through the decision factors, he/she will be able to choose the right SAP module and initiate a rewarding journey towards becoming an SAP professional. Online courses for SAP that are available in the market are of great help to get you where you want to go in your career. They are bound to impart the necessary amount of detailed knowledge and practically based hands-on usage of SAP modules at the time of the candidate’s choosing.
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