DeLaval has over 125 years of experience and innovation in the dairy industry. The company, with over 115 branches, is represented in the most far-flung corners of the world - good reason for supporting globally standardized business processes using an appropriate IT strategy.
To provide technical support for the internationally standardized business processes, DeLaval has opted for a two-tier ERP strategy, i.e. a combination of “the major” SAP ECC used in corporate headquarters and in larger branches, and SAP Business One for smaller sales companies to replace its own ERP systems which evolved historically.
Business processes and roles reorganized with IT
The key starting point for the project was the business model that applies to the whole company with around 4,500 employees. In selecting the new ERP system for relatively small branches, the overriding issue therefore was which system could meet the requirements resulting from the business model.
The ERP project kicked off at the start of 2011, with the Columbia branch used as the pilot project. Following its successful conclusion, Turkey, South Africa, Ukraine and India were also equipped with SAP Business One and the coresuite country package. Connection to SAP ECC is via the SAP B1i interface, with the SAP BW interface implemented via direct SQL access.
SAP Business One now supports the branches in all their business processes, including finance, materials procurement, sales, and warehousing. As a result of its integration into the existing SAP landscape the branches can be better included into global process flows. The interface serves to send current financial and sales reports as well as the current product range with inventory levels directly from SAP Business One to the headquarters, which can then be retrieved in the central SAP Business Warehouse as and when required. The synchronization between SAP Business One and SAP ECC ensures in-house materials procurement, and product subscription allows for an up-to-date and harmonized product range.
Up-to-the-minute product information
To keep the key product data in the branches as streamlined and transparent as possible, DeLaval uses the eCatalog by coresystems. With this add-on, all products that are actually available and serviced in the respective subsidiaries can be subscribed from the main list of the SAP ECC . If a product is in the subscription status, the local system of the subsidiary automatically receives all pertinent information, prices, updates, and country-related product releases. The remaining product range stays in SAP ECC.
ERP template ensures fast Go-Live
The coresystems consultants and DeLaval have jointly developed a Small Business ERP-template (international standard). When a branch receives a conversion or a new branch is formed based on SAP Business One, the new business model is introduced at the same time. The project duration from kick-off to go-live is around 10 weeks for system conversions, and around 6 weeks in the case of a new installation.
Integrating the branches, and the harmonization that goes with that process, has rounded out the existing ERP landscape perfectly. This has enabled DeLaval to create a sustainable IT structure, as the integrated unity of business processes and technology allows for growth and rapid implementation of innovative improvements. For example, in 2012 the company introduced electronic ordering, enabling the branches to trigger orders in the parent company directly via SAP Business One. This saves around 30 minutes per order – extrapolated to a week this adds up to a fair amount of man hours.