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FIS / TradeFlex

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FIS / TradeFlex: New Connectivity to online Marketplaces from SAP 

Introduction
FIS / TradeFlex is a new, hosted technology that facilitates the exchange of product data from SAP ERP with online Marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Otto and Mercateo. In addition the platform provides a simpler method of handling customer transactions and order fulfillment.
The FIS technology is deeply integrated with SAP ERP and is controlled from one single connection.
FIS Fiori App for Marketplace management

Who is FIS / TradeFlex for?

For organisations with SAP (ECC 6 or S/4HANA) who provide products via online marketplaces. The platform provides a simpler alternative to the manual tasks usually associated with product management and order processing with online marketplaces.
The platform provides deep connectivity with SAP ERP and also the functionality to access data from other applications used in online marketplace management. i.e. Product Information Management Systems (PIMS).
Online marketplace logos
Key Information: FIS / TradeFlex
  • Comprehensive and deep process integration with SAP ERP
  • End-to-end process inclusivity
  • Full transparency of expenses and revenues including reporting tools
  • Central management of online marketplace activities from one application
  • Significantly increased visibility and coverage range of your brands and enterprise
  • Offers transparent and efficient customer service
  • Fast and effective testing of new online marketplaces to accelerate campaigns and product launches
  • No new development and interface programs required
  • A central platform for managing several online marketplaces
  • The Fiori app consolidates tasks into one application with enhanced functionality for process management and data exchanges.
  • Non-invasive to SAP standard – no modifications to SAP ERP are made
  • Simplifies managing product selection, campaign management, pricing, shipping and inventory levels

Amazon Marketplace

Current Marketplace Integrations with FIS / TradeFlex

  • Amazon - multi-national e-commerce company
  • eBay - e-commerce company
  • Fnac - French based retail chain with e-commerce platform
  • Mercateo - online B2B e-procurement platform
  • Otto - mail order and one of the world's largest e-commerce platforms
  • Digitec Galaxus - largest online retailer in Switzerland
  • Conrad - major electronic goods retailer
  • ManoMano - French DIY online platform
  • Cdiscount - French e-commerce platform offering both products and financial services
  • Idealo - German based price comparison site

 

 

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FIS / mpm – Simplified Master Data and Price Management

10HomeDown, Marketplace Management, ProductsTags: ,

 

Simplified Master Data and Price Management

FIS / mpm (Master Data and Price Management) aligns specific routes and roles when creating master data in SAP. A staging area with a shadow database ensures the trouble-free exchange of master data with SAP Production.Master Data complexity solved

The FIS / mpm application has been developed specifically for organisations with SAP ERP who face issues when adding new or maintaining existing master data. The FIS technology also provides functionality to upload large data volumes.

The FIS technology is an "SAP centric" application that runs on SAP standards (i.e. with familiar SAP GUIs, Fiori and NetWeaver interfaces).

FIS / mpm is an add-in application, deeply integrated into SAP standard with releases for both either SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA.

The technology works with extended tables in a shadow database, therefore eliminating the need for file exchanges and data mapping between SAP and non-integrated software.

One of the primary functions of the application is to address the issue of master data governance. FIS / mpm provides a clear method of controlling master data updates for all participants in pre-defined roles. SAP master data team members are called on at the final stage only - releasing the new data into SAP Production.

Staging Area and Shadow Database

Maintaining and storing big datasets is very time-consuming and cost-intensive. Due to the multitude of materials, it is particularly important  to automate the data creation and maintenance processes. 

The FIS / mpm shadow database is used as a "holding area" to store the data that needs addressing. The data is imported and copied from from SAP Production. No modifications to SAP are required.

Master Data Management Diagram

Central to the  application is the staging area. These data tables are created, modified, enhanced, checked within FIS / mpm prior to the master data being transferred to SAP ERP.

Identifying Most Common Processing Issues

FIS / mpm fundamentally addresses the most common issues when creating master data in SAP.

  • Inefficient use of email as a workflow tool
  • Working with complex and bespoke Excel spreadsheets with multiple worksheets that are difficult to maintain
  • Processing data that includes detailed data completion notes
  • In-house solutions that required bespoke coding
  • SAP master data team called upon for assistance on basic taasks
  • Working with external applications that exchange files with SAP standard - which can cause issues with table synchronisation with SAP upgrades and enhancement packs
  • No governance with the process of creating and checking data prior to transferring into SAP

Governance

Issues with non-defined roles mean that employees that may have the most expertise of the data (i.e. for vendors, customers, materials, prices etc.) may not be aware of the stringent data requirements of SAP. In practice this usually results in data omissions and invalid fields.

Secondly, the SAP data custodians may have the knowledge of the strict master data stipulations of SAP but may have less knowledge of the initial data that is being added or maintained.

FIS / mpm reduces the time taken by senior master data teams correcting minor errors from initiators.

Schematic of SAP add-in technology with file options

 
Roles and Processes Defined

In an effort to resolve the most common issues, FIS / mpm defines typical roles (Initiators, enrichers, SAP key-users, SAP power-users etc.) and workflow procedures for SAP ERP master data. This means that data is reviewed by the correct people and in a stringent process and workflow and therefore controlling way master data is created and maintained.

FIS / mpm addresses the core issues by defining the common tasks within the process and then providing a methodology controlled by the SAP master data team.

  • FIS / mpm provides an easy-to-use interface at source for the data initiators - significantly reducing the number of fields for completion, identifying mandatory fields and provides drop down choice selections for data import
  • Bulk uploads can created from FIS / mpm by defining Excel worksheets with clearly labelled tables
  • The FIS / mpm Web Dynpro workflow module allows  data checking by a supervisor
  • The FIS / mpm application validates fields for feasibility and completeness prior to advancing the data to the SAP supervisors
  • The FIS / mpm staging area is a workplace that provides a checking area before releasing of master data into SAP.

Complete and up-to-date data with the FIS / mpm Analysis Tool

Keeping the data integrity the system correct and up-to-date is a big challenge for enterprises. Checking and comparing all data is very time-consuming and is therefore rarely carried out regularly. This is where the analysis tool from FIS /mpm comes in.

The analysis tool checks the entire dataset either at defined points in time or manually initiated using pre-defined criteria. In this way, for example, the address data of customers is regularly checked for completeness.

For incorrect data records, a data maintenance process can then be started with FIS / mpm. This automatically forwards the incomplete or incorrect data records to the appropriate person responsible for processing.

The fields can also be filled automatically if, for example, the information in another field is identical or indicates the content of the field. In this way, the completeness and correctness of all data records can be permanently improved without much manual effort.

Summary

For organisations who wish to save time and effort when creating new or maintaining existing master data within SAP.

For organisations who wish to create clear roles and governance for master data changes and additions.

An alternative to:
  • Complex forms and Excel sheets for participants with data expertise moving backwards and forwards between parties
  • Using Email as a workflow – no clear governance on processes – process unlikely to capture all necessary data comprehensively
  • Tasking SAP experts with minor data management issues
  • Inefficient methods of data management handling in SAP
Key technologies and benefits:
  • Versions available for both SAP ECC 6 or SAP S/4HANA
  • Flexible Data Imports including data from Excel, PDFs, SAP ERP, Financial Accounts Systems and other ERP systems
  • Web Dynpro workflow – allows participants with minimal SAP expertise create new and maintain master data
  • Ability to ensure clear governance of roles and responsibilities – from initiation to final SAP release
  • Allows bulk upload of master data (Excel) as well as single records
  • Provides intelligent data validation checks prior to transfer into the FIS / mpm staging area
  • FIS / mpm staging area provides final checking of data before release into SAP ERP
  • Automatic reports to show the success of data transfers into SAP ERP
  • Timed events to release data from FIS / mpm staging area into SAP ERP
FIS / mpm components

FIS / mpm is currently available in English, German and French with further versions available on request. Releases available for SAP ECC 6 and SAP S/4HANA

  • Article master, purchasing info records and source list
  • Vendor master
  • Customer master
  • Bill of materials
  • Document Maintenance
  • Conditions
  • Sales Functions

 

Shopping online concept - Parcel or Paper cartons with a shopping cart logo in a trolley on a laptop keyboard. Shopping service on The online web. offers home delivery.

Marketplace Management – not just Amazon

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Marketplace Management, not just Amazon and eBay

Online marketplaces enable a fast and flexible method of product exposure to new markets and customer groups. For organisations with SAP, FIS / TradeFlex optimises marketplace management

Marketplace Management: Most customers start their product search via online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. The marketplace platforms offer benefits for enterprises including:

  • international reach
  • unlimited product selection
  • individual advertising opportunities
  • optional shipping services

In order to achieve these benefits and with potentially higher margins coupled with improved customer satisfaction, a deep integration of the systems involved should be considered.

This is the preferred way to manage the information flow across the entire order-to-cash process, from product placement via billing, payments and returns processing.

Online marketplace logos

With the trend towards using market platform organisations such as Amazon and eBay, FIS have created a new cloud-based integration tool that provides comprehensive functions for SAP users.

FIS / TradeFlex allows organisations to manage their product data, order, payments, returns and refunds. FIS / TradeFlex brings together your SAP system, the marketplace platform and additional systems including PIM (Product Information Management).

Your benefits by using FIS / TradeFlex

  • Comprehensive and process integration in SAP
  • Entire process coverage - from order-to-cash, product selection and returns
  • Full transparency of expenses and revenues, including reporting/evaluation
  • Centralised, multi marketplace management from one application
  • Significantly increase the visibility of your brands
  • Take advantage of new markets and customer groups locally and internationally
  • Faster and competent customer service – ready to provide information at any time

Comprehensive Processes in Marketplace Management

FIS / TradeFlex offers the optimal software solution for organisations with SAP ERP to connect to marketplaces.

Whether an enterprise wants to step into marketplace ecommerce for the first time or already transact business via this channel (by selling their product range via their own online shop) FIS / TradeFlex enables a straightforward pathway to new customers.

The FIS / TradeFlex marketplace management software enables enterprises to overcome the challenges of new platforms by using state-of-the-art technology. Running on SAP Cloud Platform and the high-performance HANA database, FIS / TradeFlex provides the ideal opportunity to seamlessly integrate the sales of your product portfolio on marketplaces into the SAP.
The software enables the management of all order-to-cash process steps in one solution.

Key Features include:Available product quantities are automatically transferred to the online marketplace (i.e. adjusted to reflect actual stock levels in SAP in real-time)

  • Product attributes (i.e. size, colour, weight, materials) are automatically mapped with market places Amazon and eBay.
  • Billing documents are transferred back to the marketplaces via message control
  • Automatic prevention of unnecessary goods dispatches
  • Reimbursement management
  • Automated posting of charges if they are considered for payment
  • Returns notification via the marketplace
  • Back processing of payments in case of returns or credit memos

SAP Cloud Platform Software applications from the cloud need to be continuously connected to the ERP system in order to avoid data silos.

The FIS professionals use SAP Cloud Platform Integration to implement continuous and efficient processes for hybrid IT landscapes as well.

What is FIS / TradeFlex? FIS / TradeFlex is not a marketplace itself. It is an application build on SAP Cloud platform and Cloud Platform Integration to connect B2B as well as B2C marketplaces  to SAP system (no matter whether it is an ERP or S/4HANA system). This is done with no SAP modifications – non-invasive.

Who is FIS / TradeFlex for? Generally wholesalers and producers/manufacturers who want to simplify and automate their processes when selling at marketplaces. In summary, FIS / TradeFlex is used by organisations with SAP who want to automate their marketplace business channel with the least possible amount of manual work whilst focusing on the whole process.

The solution provides easy access to another sales channel besides their own shop-system.

What is the competitive advantage of FIS / TradeFlex? FIS focus on process integration far deeper than pushing an order to SAP. We differentiate our product by adding payment matching, returns cancellation, dispute management functionality.

Marketplace Platforms with FIS / TradeFlex connectivity.

fnac logo Fnac is a French based retain chain specialising in the electronics, books (including audio), electronics, CDs and DVDs and computer games.
mercateo online marketplace logoMercateo is a B2B trading platform on the Internet, providing business customers the facility to search for many suppliers and products
Otto marketplaceOtto is one of the world's biggest mail order and e-commerce companies. Brands include including Freemans and Gratton in the UK. 
Digitec Galaxus logo platformDigitec Galaxus is  the biggest online retailer in Switzerland – operating the Digitec and Galaxus online marketplaces.
Conrad logo platformConrad electronics is a German retailer of electronic products. The marketplace platform  is focused on consumer and specialist electronics including computing equipment.
French DIY chain Mano ManoManoMano  is a French based e-commerce company specialising in DIY goods and gardening products. ManoMano work with over 3000 retailers.
Cdiscount logoCdiscount is a French e-commerce website with products such as electronics, household appliances and food - as well as services i.e. banking, travel, and mobile phone subscriptions.
idealo logoThe Idealo website allows users to compare prices on a range of products from hundreds of shops and also offer selected flight destinations.