Global Bicycle Inc.: An Intern Adventure. Part 2
This is Part 2 of the Global Bicycle Inc. (GBI 2.0) story, as related by an intern. The full series begin with Global Bicycle Inc.: An Intern Adventure.
GBI aka Global Bicycle Inc. is a multi-national bicycle production company that was formed by the merger of two separate companies, thus uniting their unique business models. GBI is divided into two main areas: GBI US and GBI Europe. GBI has six plants worldwide, with three located in each area. Each area has one production facility and two warehouse facilities. GBI US is responsible for the Americas and Asia, with GBI Europe responsible for Europe, Africa, and the Near East.
GBI would manufacture three basic types of bikes: an off road bike in a men’s and women’s model, a professional touring bike in three colors, and a deluxe touring bike in the same three colors. Additionally, GBI will have an accessories line that will sell a number of various bike riding accessories. The rest of the story contained some basic background information such as approximate number of employees, methods of distribution, etc.
“Well,” I thought, “this doesn’t seem too bad.”
I was given a list of basic products numbering 34 items. This included raw materials, semi-finished goods, finished goods, and trading materials. My first task was to go out on the internet and conduct research on each of these materials. I had to find three different instances of each material and answer the following questions: How much do they cost? How much do they weigh? What are they made of? Along with these questions, I had to determine if GBI currently had the correct number and kind of materials, or if some new materials should be added, changed, or deleted. I opened up Excel, opened up my internet browser, and got to work.
As the excel sheet I was recording this research on grew, so did the number of materials that GBI would have. Some got thrown out as not making sense for the types of bikes that would be produced, and other materials were identified as missing, yet were essential for the operation of bicycle riding, i.e. the derailleur gear assembly. The number of materials had at this point grown to about 42 unique materials.
I then had to determine the relevant SAP data that was needed to create these items in the system. I then logged into the SAP IDES system, went to transaction code MM03 (view material), and opened up another Excel sheet. I began to record all of the tabs that contained information and all of the fields that contained information within each tab. I did this for each of the four types of materials I was working with (raw materials, semi-finished goods, trading goods, finished goods).
Now that I had this immense list of fields that could be filled in to create a material, I had to narrow it down to only the information needed at an absolute minimum to be able to create the material in the system. Soon the list was narrowed down to a more manageable size, and I began to fill in information about the GBI materials. I took this information from the story I was given, from the research I conducted, and some of it I created from my imagination with artistic license. I had to create the material numbers for each item, then take the three instances of information for each material I had found and compile them into one set of data for each material. I had just created my first, but most certainly not my last, master data spreadsheet. I emailed it off to the GBI Steering Committee for approval.
Keep 'em coming,
I'll have to dig through some old files stashed on a jumpdirve, but I'm sure I could come up with a description as to why we chose the material master fields that we did and the thought process behind those fields.