SAP MM consultants – Who are they and what do they do?
SAP MM or Material Management is an integrated logistics module that helps manage purchasing processes and supports all aspects of material management. The scope of work in this area of SAP is, for example, production planning, sales and distribution, plant maintenance and management of warehouse and project systems. The specialisation of SAP MM speeds up the procurement process and helps to manage materials efficiently so that the company operates more effectively.
In short: SAP Material Management covers all tasks in the supply chain, including planning based on current consumption, purchasing quality, supplier evaluation and invoice verification. It also includes inventory, production planning and warehouse management.
Tasks and responsibilities of an SAP MM consultant
Like people who tie their career to SAP, the SAP MM consultant must have a strong knowledge of business solutions and be able to move well in this area. As we are talking about specialisation in Material Management, we have to add to the business knowledge the one in purchasing, supply and warehousing. It follows that working in this position requires the following:
- Understanding key business requirements and preparing documents according to this knowledge;
- Building the organisational structure of materials management and being responsible for topics such as valuation of plant space, organisation of purchasing, warehouse structure, The storage location of goods, etc.;
- Responsibility for purchasing groups, payment terms or pricing procedures;
- Determining pricing procedures by defining their availability in terms of demand and supply;
- Defining taxation structures;
- Responsibility for purchasing and inventory documentation;
- Pricing services and materials according to their grade, source and country of origin;
- Negotiating with material suppliers the best prices and terms of cooperation;
- Seeking new suppliers to obtain alternative sources of raw material supply;
- Interacting with customers through calls, phone calls, web meetings and emails;
- Responsibility for resolving problems encountered in SAP and providing support;
- Performing production chain analyses;
- Performing necessary changes to SAP MM configurations;
- Testing potential changes, documenting and presenting them;
- Liaising with consultants from other modules.
This is, of course, a very generalised list of SAP MM consultant roles and responsibilities. The job offers to which the applicants will apply will determine the precise list of tasks for the consultant.
Example procedure for sourcing a regular supplier of materials
Now that we have established that the work of an SAP MM consultant relies heavily on the materials they buy, let us take a look at what such a procedure looks like using the example of sourcing a permanent supplier. As purchasing is supposed to be cyclical, it must be as optimised and beneficial to the company as possible. To this end, steps such as:
- Information gathering – gathering detailed information about the product, its quantity, place of origin, etc., as well as about the suppliers.
- Contacting suppliers – contacting them to discuss details of purchases, regularity of deliveries, number of products supplied and their price.
- Evaluation of cooperation with the supplier – evaluation of the overall purchase on a cycle basis, e.g. after the first delivery, the seventh and the fifteenth. The evaluation consists of aspects such as price/quality ratio, timeliness of delivered orders and contacts with the supplier, among others.
- Thorough analysis – an analysis that arises from an assessment of the cooperation with the supplier. If the supplier meets the company’s requirements, then purchases are made from him regularly. On the other hand, if for some reason the cooperation does not go well, the SAP MM consultant is forced to start the whole procedure from the beginning in search of a new partner. It is also worth mentioning that the market is constantly changing, new companies are created or existing ones modernise. Therefore, the SAP MM consultant should gather new information from time to time, even if the ongoing cooperation with the current supplier is satisfactory, as it may turn out that among the new proposals, there is a company with which the cooperation turns out to be even more beneficial.