Why Should You Manage Your Documents in SAP?

by Said ElMorabiti

The blog below explains why there is an increase of interest in an optimized SAP document management system and the many advantages that this solution can provide to SAP DMS/SAP PLM.

SAP DMS: The SAP Document Management Module

SAP DMS (Document Management System) is a cross-application module for managing documents in SAP. It offers the possibility to link documents to other SAP objects. The module also supports status and version management. Files can be stored in the SAP Content Server or in a file system. A set of metadata is associated with the SAP object called DIR (Document Info Record) to extend the document’s information. Originals (files that are associated to a DIR) can be managed in different formats (MS Office, CAD, PDF, etc.). A status network and validation workflows can also be set up.

When and Why Referencing Documents in SAP Is Recommended?

SAP DMS is not an enterprise document management system. It is not suitable for managing all the company’s documents and may not meet all expectations and requirements. The use of the SAP DMS module is relevant when the activities managed in SAP (SAP business processes) require documents. This is the case if your purchase orders, managed in SAP, need to be accompanied by contractual documents, such as technical drawings. This is also the case when your manufacturing processes, managed in SAP, need to be supported by operating procedures, safety instructions, and plans. Though these are especially important for operations in the routing process, they also apply to all SAP business processes: purchasing, sales, manufacturing, maintenance, quality, etc.

It should also be noted that not all documents should be managed in SAP, but only those necessary for your SAP business processes. If these documents are already managed and stored in another DMS, simply reference them in the SAP DMS via a hypertext link or a UNC link.

Support Your Business Processes with the Right Documents

Once the documents are referenced in SAP DMS and linked to the right SAP objects (material, functional location, tools, operations, etc.), the integrated programs developed by SEAL Systems automatically collect the right documents, those linked to the concerned objects. It is possible to automatically apply different filters to retrieve the relevant documents in the right format.

SEAL Systems supports SAP customers to optimize their document management and business processes through the following: introduction to SAP DMS, analysis of the activities, the processes and the needs of the company, installation, and configuration of the SEAL Systems integrations to meet customer requirements. To simplify the projects, the DMS Loader module from SEAL Systems enables automatic documents mass migration (creation of DIR, metadata information, object links, files check-in in the content server if necessary, etc.).

Traceability and Security of Documents

The use of a non-validated, expired, or confidential document can have significant consequences. We know from experience that retrieving and using the wrong document for a purchase, manufacturing, or maintenance operation can be catastrophic. SEAL Systems has developed functions to add stamps to the visualization of a document or during its distribution. With SEAL Systems integration, it is simple to identify non-validated or confidential documents. The system can exploit any SAP, SAP DMS, or system metadata in order to add it to the documents. It is also sometimes necessary to have a log of the company’s distribution so you can answer questions like: which documents were sent with an order, which documents were used for a manufacturing or maintenance operation? The SEAL Systems solution records the different output requests so they can be reviewed later. Therefore, making it possible to find the documents sent for a specific order. These stamping and traceability functions are particularly appreciated by regulated industries.

Long-Term Archiving of Documents

For industries and in the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), it is often required to guarantee the document’s access during a certain period. To meet this expectation, we have developed a file conversion solution suited to SAP for the generation of PDF/A files (ISO 19005-1 standard). The different documents formats (MS Office, image, CAD) are automatically converted to PDF/A as soon as they reach the validated status. This method provides companies with documents that can be used over time and are also readable by all partners.

Product, Project, User Documentation

Some industrial activities require documentation in order to be able to deliver products, factories, etc. The necessary documentation and data are already available in the SAP system. Our teams have developed the Digital Process Factory solution to organize and concatenate data and documents in a structured form in PDF format. The documentation can, therefore, be produced automatically at different stages of the project. The right documentation can accompany the delivery without delay.

Digital Processes

SEAL Systems solutions already cover all electronic delivery channels. Our integrations make it possible, for example, to sign and distribute documents by email.

We also support our customers in their digital factory project. We have developed the SAP manufacturing order paperless solution. All data and documents are made available to operators for each operation of the manufacturing process. They have SAP data and the necessary technical documents on the same screen. The interfaces offer direct interactivity with SAP. It is possible to validate the operations and to enter certain information (time spent, etc.).

Simplified and Fast Implementation

Our solutions are easy to implement. They are delivered in the form of SAP transport orders. The interfaces are also user-friendly since the user remains in the SAP environment.

A Certified Solution

SEAL Systems integrations for the conversion, collection, publication, and distribution of SAP documents are certified.

SAP updates can be performed easily, and the SEAL Systems development teams regularly upgrade the programs to take into account SAP evolutions.

Want to learn more about our SAP solutions? Fill out the below form for a free consultation.*

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