A company that is expanding at a rapid rate and involved in a merger or acquisition can be faced with a weighted task of trying to achieve seamless operations. The culture, vision and direction of the organisations could be extremely different, – alongside all of this, it is likely that the software systems are different across each business.
Our customer – a newly merged company, were experiencing just this. They had rapidly expanded and needed a system and partner to support them. They found that their systems were ‘creaking at the seams’ in terms of supporting their new business processes. As one of the merger companies had already installed SAP, they made the decision to implement this across the two merged companies, they then needed an SAP partner that would assist throughout the transformation to make this as pain free as possible.
In a brief interview, we asked our customer: “What were the key considerations were when looking at SAP and Invenio?”
Why SAP and why Invenio?
The customer had implemented SAP several years previously and having proved successful, they were looking to bring the merger company on board with SAP. This would however involve the implementation of a new SAP System.
Invenio were involved in overcoming some of the pain and risks associated with the implementation of the new SAP system. The level of knowledge that the Invenio team held and the backing of the management demonstrated that Invenio could support the customer for these sort of activities. Partnering with Invenio was during a phase of rapid growth and expansion for their customer. It was important that Invenio supported the UK market as well as having good support capability globally.
Why standardise SAP across the newly merged business?
The customer looked at various systems on the market but ultimately selected SAP as it had a strong record in their industry. The customer believed that there were many benefits from using SAP in terms of operational efficiencies across the merged entities. It offered inbuilt, industry-specific business processes and meant there would be no initial problems with large scale re-engineering of core processes.
Which business functions does SAP support?
SAP supports the customers many business functions. However, the customer set a number of KPIs that they wanted to achieve by deploying the system. One particular KPI was set around stock management and reducing the time between purchase requisitions to delivery. It also demonstrated how quickly stocks could be booked in and released for sale. These KPIs really helped to measure the impact of the SAP system and its significant benefits.
Most importantly, the customer was able to automate reporting. Prior to SAP there was a lot of manual intervention needed to generate reports such as management and statutory accounting. With SAP, a single system is able to generate reports that are pretty much real-time and that is very key for the organisation.
What have been the major business benefits you have seen from deploying SAP?
SAP is now a key part of the organisation; it helps the customer make more informed decisions. For example; seeing how the business will benefit, or how it will impact, and how they can then ensure that it can roll out to the rest of the organisation. Another key benefit is that with more acquisitions and the possibility of further mergers, the SAP model is very flexible.
The customer, with Invenio’s help, discovered that there are more modules that they can acquire to help the business become more efficient. The customer is seeing great opportunities for improving financial efficiencies through SAP budgeting, planning and consolidation tools that will help improve cashflow, forecasting and budgeting processes.
What process did you follow for selecting the right SAP Partner?
An SAP support partner needs to work closely with the organisation and really feel like part of the team, they need to react when a customer needs them to react, and be very attentive. After reviewing a few partners, the customer discovered that partners on a larger scale weren’t able to give the same attention as a small or a medium partner could do. Invenio, were always on hand to help.
One of the areas that the customer struggled with was customer relationship management software. Invenio were able to pass knowledge from other industries based on best practices for using CRM and how it might benefit the organisation. As a result they have now implemented SAP CRM and are currently using this quite successfully.