By Harald Weinbrecht, CEO of Axxis Consulting
Implementation of SAP roll-out in Asia is not an easy task. There are various things to be considered, including tax and local regulations as well as cultural differences that are crucial for the whole process and results! This article will provide you with guildlines to keep in mind for the successful implementation of your project.
2 factors that have a huge impact on your SAP Rollout to Asia
1. Operational language
First and foremost, it is important to make up one's mind on whether to use the respective SAP solution in one general language, which is English or to diversify and customize to the local language of the country where the SAP rollout is conducted.
The answer to this dilemma is simple - it depends ! Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. You need to thoroughly examine your own situation and choose the most appropriate option according to the existing business culture, education level of your employees and the degree of the anticipated homogeneity of your SAP environment.
2. Template approach
Secondly, it is crucial to learn which template approach fits the best. There are 3 different ways through which you can choose your own template approach.
1. Using the same client for the SAP rollout to Asia
In case you are willing to use the same client, there is a higher chance for you to accomplish greater integration of the Asian subsidiaries into your business culture from a technical perspective, but not from the individual customization perspective. In case you let individual countries meet their specific business requirements, you may end up with dozens of number ranges, document types, so on and so forth.
It is important to pay attention to the long term strategy of your company. If there is any chance that you would be open to merging and aquisition in the future, then having subsidiaries within the same client would not be the best option to choose.
2. Using the existing template you used for SAP rollout to another country
Let's imagine that you have constructed your SAP solution in France and now you want to simply roll out the existing solution to your branch in China / Japan / Singapore? In this case your solution would be based on French requirement and wouldn't be appropriate for Asian countries. The recommendation could be to construct another template specifically customized for Asia.
3. Taking into account the preferred rollout sequence
You have take the SAP rollout to Asia planning both from technical and business implications perspectives. For example, do you take into account the size of the company, the complexity of its operations or maybe another thing? It is highly recommended to carefully plan and only then implement a regional rollout, getting input and buy-in from the individual country.
2 important differences between Asia and other continents to consider
The Asian countries are quite similar to each other and drastically different from other countries.Thus, the communication between you and the Asian employees might be challenging. For example, during user training they might not understand some things explained but keep quiet as they are afraid to upset you. There is no specific punctuality that let's say Germans are famous for. Moreover, Asians prefer to construct the personal relationships first and only afterwards talk about business.
2. Legal regulations and current business practices
Many countries require printing certain documents in the local language (Thailand), or using government-approved systems to issue invoices ( the “Golden Tax System” in China). This is obvious and should be respected and taken care of before the project implementation. However, you may come across not a legal or tax requirements, but much business requirements. In order to avoid any issues, you should be able to differentiate between those two.
If you are planning to integrate your global subsidaries in Asia, United VARs is the go-to SAP partner with premium SAP partners across 100 countries. Axxis Consulting is the member of United VARs for Singapore and offers roll out services accross Asia; the company offers leading expertise to support business transformations and related IT implementations. By bringing together the packaged solution capability for various industries and in-depth knowledge of a range of SAP solutions, the team at Axxis Consulting is able to help you not only decide which solution may be a better fit for your organization, but also implement and support whatever solution you choose. As a leading SAP Partner, Axxis Consulting has helped over 50 companies in 10 countries since 2013 to increase efficiency, reduce complexity and improve business processes through technology.
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