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RNLI taps into user community to get more value from SAP investments

Warwick Ashford

Sea rescue charity the RNLI has unlocked more value out of its SAP systems with the help of the SAP UK & Ireland User Group.

The charity has found it hard to maximise the potential of its SAP systems because it has many unique processes and procedures that do not conform to a standard SAP deployment.

"As SAP is a business-critical tool for our organisation, we were keen to maximise its potential, but we did not want to completely re-engineer our long-established processes to simply fit with the software," said Andrew Robertson, SAP applications manager at the RNLI.

Significant process re-engineering would involve retraining staff and volunteers, which could be prohibitive in cost and practicality for such a volunteer organisation, he said.

"But by sharing knowledge and experience with fellow SAP users through the user group, the RNLI has been able to improve its use of SAP in ways we did not know were possible," said Robertson.

By following a suggestion at a special interest group (SIG) meeting, the RNLI changed its default systems settings and was able to improve acceptance and understanding of the SAP Project Systems module, he said.

Over the next three years, the RNLI is planning to bring further SAP functionality on board.

"The user group will be playing a role in helping the RNLI achieve its implementation goals, through its SIGs and close relationship with SAP's product experts," said Robertson.

The charity is already sending members to the user group's business intelligence SIG in preparation for implementing SAP BusinessObjects.


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