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SAP System: Definition and Principles

SAP is a complete management tool for businesses, by using different modules that can be customized. This tool is also very useful in Industry 4.0.

Management software has emerged to make daily routines in companies and industries easier, and nowadays the SAP system is a widely used tool, one of the most common ones in the world.

With the benefit of integrating different processes, SAP operates in different departments, contributing to better communication, organization of processes and monitoring of results.

In this way, it becomes an essential tool for any industry that uses Industry 4.0 technologies in its processes.

In this article you will understand what the SAP system is, its different modules and what industrial sectors and areas within the companies most use the tool. In addition, you will understand what difficulties the companies face today and how SAP is used in an Industry 4.0 environment.

What is the SAP System?

To understand the concept of SAP, one needs to start by defining what an ERP service is.

The acronym stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and the use of ERP-based systems is a strategic decision for the business, enabling the organization of all resources of the company or industry.

This important system integration feature, and the guarantee that the control and analysis of the data generated by them is being carried out, are great differentials of these tools.

That said, the SAP system is actually an ERP and stands for Software Applications and Products.

Its main goal is to enable the integration of different areas of an industry, for example, by using solutions that can be customized for each business.

SAP System Modules

As the SAP system is a customized tool, when defining its use, the responsible managers must carry out an evaluation of the relevant modules for the application in their industrial reality.

In order for its use to be effective, and for different departments to exist in harmony with the platform, information must be integrated and reliable.

After all, it is useless to have an active system in production, while the whole sector of purchases and stock of raw material continues to make manual controls or through offline spreadsheets.

Therefore, for the modules to be complementary, this connection is essential.

The most common SAP system modules are:

  • Material Management (SAP MM): conducting material inventory management;
  • Sales and Distribution (SAP SD): sales and distribution departments;
  • Financial Accounting (SAP FI): module responsible for the financial department;
  • Production Planning and Control (SAP PP): planning performance and control of productive processes;
  • Quality Management (SAP QM): it is the module that manages the quality area of ​​the industry;
  • Controlling (SAP CO): it determines solutions for the administrative sector, assisting in the decision-making process.

As you can see, the SAP system organizes the entire industry with its different departments, goals and routines. Within an Industry 4.0 context, the SAP system is highly strategic and enables better business results. In addition, managers gain real knowledge about their internal structure.

The use of SAP in industries

The industries are living a moment of great changes and search for innovation. Thus, using an ERP system such as SAP ensures that a better understanding of the processes is acquired, as well as the possibility to better analyze the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and operational results.

Because of that, different industries use the system in order to improve their internal processes, organization of tasks and priorities, and even the quality of communication that happens between different sectors and people.

To illustrate all this, here is a list of industry sectors that use the SAP system as a management tool. However, it is important to reinforce that the system is extremely customized and companies of the most different types use it in their business.

  • Metallurgical;
  • Chemicals;
  • Consulting and software;
  • Gas and oil;
  • Raw materials, mining and agriculture;
  • Pharmaceutical;
  • Construction materials, clay and glass.

Regardless of the sector ​​your industry works, number of employees it has or monthly income, SAP system will always be the same: business organization and understanding of the entire process in a clear way.

Difficulties to work with SAP

The adaptation of processes, routines and behavior of people working in an already defined reality is not simple. Taking people out of their comfort zones ends up being one of the biggest challenges of working with Industry 4.0.

But besides that, ensuring that systems are actually connected and reaching a common end point to be used is even more complicated.

If the industry does not have an organization and integration between its different systems and data sources, it will not be possible to use the SAP system strategically at first.

In addition to changing the routines of the people involved, it will require adaptation and correct use of all data generated daily in individual industrial environments.

So regardless of your type of industry or goals you have for a short or long-term future, you need organization and to have number and data driven teams and managers working on it.

Different pillars of Industry 4.0 end up relating to this situation, which needs to be solved to better take advantage of the opportunities and tools that exist in the market.

SAP in Industry 4.0

In order to be an updated tool and deliver positive results, the SAP system is directly related to Industry 4.0 and has different benefits and responsibilities such as real-time control of results, decentralization of information (facilitating decision making) and process virtualization.

By using the different data automatically generated in system integration, the system is being positively affected by Industry 4.0. In addition, SAP also has solutions related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

To use these features and achieve greater productivity, cost savings and better quality of work for employees and industries, the SAP system has functions that contribute to the positive indicators of the industries.

By being directly connected to Industry 4.0 strategies, the SAP system should be considered an ally of managers and all people operating the system, thus really contributing to the growth of the industry.


To understand the use of a business management system, and the role of this type of technology in the current Industry 4.0 scenario, makes it easier to justify its use in order to have the positive results.

One of the most used tools for this purpose is the SAP system, a German tool that uses different modules to guarantee the complete integration of the different departments of a company or industry.

Do you already use ERP systems like SAP to manage your industry? Do you understand how can you use this tool as part of your Industry 4.0 strategy?

Leave your comment and share your experience below.


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