Business

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After extensively reviewing ERP vendors, Summit selected ERP software from SAP because of its functionality in sales and distribution, materials management and financials, and its knowledge of the distribution business. Summit visited other electrical distributers using SAP, including some of its competitors, to make sure the software would work in its line of business. Summit was able to go live with its new ERP system across 19 locations in January 2007. Nevertheless, Summit still had to customise its SAP software to meet its unique business requirements. Most SAP delivery and material scheduling functions were designed for overnight processing, because many industries have longer lead times for order fulfilment. Waiting for overnight…show more content…
SAP’s ERP software didn’t support that way of doing business. Summit used some of the standard functionality in the SAP software to change how it allocated materials into temporary storage locations by creating a parent – child warehouse relationship. If, for instance, Summit’s Houston office has several temporary onsite warehouses, the warehouses are managed as subparts of its main warehouse. That prevents someone from selling the consigned inventory in the warehouse. Summit’s old legacy systems used separate systems for orders and financials, so the data could not be easily combined for business intelligence reporting and analysis. In 2010, Summit implemented SAP’s NetWeaver BW data warehouse and business intelligence solution to make better use of the data in its ERP system. These tools have helped the company evaluate the profitability of its sales channels, using what-if scenarios. For instance, Summit is now able to analyse profitability by sales person, manufacturer, customer or branch. business intelligence findings have encouraged Summit to focus more attention to areas such as sales order quotations and to supplier performance and delivery times. Management has much greater visibility into how the organisation is operating and is able to make better decisions. Summit’s SAP software also produced a significant return on investment (ROI) from automating sales tax processing

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