KALTech’s Utilities Solution to a CATS challenge

The requirement:
The client, a big player in the utilities space had chosen SAP CATS (Cross Application Timesheets) as their time sheeting tool of choice. They wanted to allocate as much of their labour cost as possible to capital expenditure (capex) projects. Simply put, they wanted all the salary and allowance cost to be allocated to the projects (work orders) that the employees had performed work on.
The timesheet was to consist of 3 major components: Normal time (ordinary hours), Overtime (hours in excess of normal hours) and allowances.
 
In addition to this, each category of employees could have different charge out rates associated with them. For example the normal time rate associated with employee category X could be $100 whereas another category Y could be $130.
 
And if this wasn’t complicated enough, all of this labour cost allocation needed to happen as soon as the timesheet entries were approved.
 
The issues faced and solution provided:
Surely SAP Payroll would rescue us from this rather complex requirement……
Normal time, overtime as well as allowances are calculated via payroll and are usually allocated to the employee’s master cost centre. But this would mean waiting up to a fortnight for the payroll to run for the costs to flow through. Also this would mean that the costs would not be allocated to the project/s that the employee had worked on. So of course that option was shot down as quickly as a duck during hunting season.
 
With no other way out of this jam we decided to turn to activity types (our saviour). We cleverly set up activity types with the required rates and had them default to each timesheet line item. The activity types associated with each line item would provide a rate multiplier (price) to the number of hours entered. So if an employee belonging to category A and associated with an activity type X (with rate $100) worked 4 hours on a project, the project would be charged $400. To make this possible each employee would be associated with an activity type in Infotype 0315 Timesheet defaults. The activity type rates would be set up using transaction code KP26. Too easy. But an impromptu KALTech brainstorming session soon made us realise that we had only catered for normal time and not for overtime and allowances.
 
Using standard Infotype 0315 allows you to default only a single activity type for any given employee. But we needed two more types of activity types, one each for overtime and allowances to be defaulted as well. In other words, we needed to find a way to allocate activity types for normal time, overtime and allowances (wage types) to each employee’s timesheet record. In the absence of a standard SAP solution, this would have to be achieved using a custom table, a few CATS user exits and Infotype 0315. With this custom solution, every time an employee entered a line into CATS, the user exit would read Infotype 0315 and the custom table to identify and auto-populate the relevant activity type into the CATS database. This would enable us to attach separate activity types for normal time, overtime and allowances to each employee record during data entry. The auto-populated and hidden activity type field would also ensure that the employee did not select an incorrect activity type.
 
Here’s how we at KALTech designed the solution…
 
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Each employee is associated with a normal time activity type in Infotype 0315.
 
Each normal time activity type is associated with an overtime activity type in the custom table.
 
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Each timesheet allowance is associated with a corresponding allowance activity type in the custom table.
 
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During timesheet entry in CATS, notice that the following activity types get automatically defaulted
• Normal time activity type – based on the employees Infotype 0315 master data record.
• Overtime activity type for the overtime attendance code – based on the normal time activity type in the custom table.
• Allowance activity type based on the allowance entry – based on the allowance code in the custom table.
 
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Want to know more?
 
Contact us at KALTech!
 
Sanchit
KALTech SAP/Successfactors Consultant

This entry was posted on July 23rd, 2015.

Success(Factors) in Days

I guess I’m about to reveal my age bracket – but as they say: there is no substitute for experience!
 
When I started out in IT, systems took multiple years to deliver and they usually never came close to customer expectations – primarily – because the requirements were locked in. While the customer requirements were changing to suit business demands, the system being delivered was based on ‘old’ requirements. I’m sure we have all seen many a diagram on what the Customer Expected and what IT delivered.
 
As recently as May 2015, KALTech delivered an SAP on premise solution with a duration of years. What if we could deliver business value in months and not years?
 
Well – SuccessFactors has not only changed the rules of the game, they have changed the GAME! Any company trying to delivery Cloud solutions with an on premise paradigm will find that they are foreigners in a cloud world. At KALTech, we took the bold decision to embrace the Cloud quickly. While we still have a strong practice that supports many on premise clients, we have pushed ourselves to learn, change and adopt new methods and processes. Putting a new engine in an old car does not make the car new – it had to be a paradigm shift, with full management commitment and total employee dedication.
 
It was a bold decision, supported by hard work, many hours of commitment to learning and loss of billable time – but we are enjoying the benefits of that commitment already.
 
This customer took a risk – reversed a decision to buy another product – and trusted KALTech to deliver. In under 17 days, KALTech delivered SuccessFactors functionality to this client who has operations within Australia and overseas. This was no simple task – but we were out to prove that it can be done! Commitment from the client and KALTech ensured that on the 1st July, the system was live. Yes a lot of things had to fall into place, but good governance, executive sponsorship from the client and KALTech as well as a talented a dedicated delivery team made this all possible.
 
worries-into-reward
Pics: Part of the Implementation Team, The KALTech Difference, Cupcakes for the Project
 
No longer does the customer have to guess what they will get – now they are involved in creating what they will get and this simplifies the process – not to mention, reduce the tension and disagreements. At KALTech we have always put customer satisfaction high on our priority list – and this project was no exception. This was not a ‘simple’ implementation – it had multiple specific user requirements as well as multiple SuccessFactors functions to deploy.
 
This implementation has proven that you can have:
• Quick implementations (did I say in as little as 17 days)
• Customer centric functionality
• Projects supported by full documentation
• And so much more
 
All delivered on time, within budget and there’s no telling how much credibility and faith this restores.
 
I invite you to experience the KALTech Difference – contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
 
Calvin
CEO

This entry was posted on July 7th, 2015.