Case Studies

Successful Integration Between SAP ECC & 3PL

The client is a high-quality paint manufacturer that operates in 24 countries, has more than 2,500 employees, and has annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. Planet Technology consultants implemented a solution to dramatically improve efficiencies in communication between SAP and a third party WMS, which reduced cost on unnecessary freight when customers made changes to their orders.

Key Challenges

The organization needed a way to better track orders and delivery, as well as to clean up the sales-related interfaces between SAP, ECC, and their third party WMS. The “as-is” state involved 25-30 IDOCs per day which was causing operational inefficiencies. The company was losing money on unnecessary freight costs as well as time wasted researching issues and manually correcting system errors.

Solution

Planet Technology consultants first analyzed the way the two systems were communicating and then corrected the sequence in which events were triggered. They leveraged SAP batch programs to eliminate the locking of various delivery documents, made improvements to user exits that were called by IDOCs and developed a custom tool to create sales orders in SAP that would automatically drop the delivery data into the WMS. Finally, our consultants documented and delivered training materials to ensure user adoption and optimization. A new process was implemented that triggered the picking/ shipping/delivery cancellation in the WMS, directly from SAP, whenever a customer made a change to an order. The project was successfully completed in four months and involved cross-functional team collaboration from IT, Sales, Customer Service, and the Warehouse.

Results

  • Improved User Exits: Volume of IDOCs decreased from 500 per month to three per month.
  • Reduced Shipping Costs: Saved freight costs associated with duplicate or wrongly fulfilled orders.
  • Reduced Labor Waste: Eliminated reverse logistics and erroneous warehouse fulfillment of cancelled orders.
  • Improved Inventory Accuracy: Increased product availability for orders from other customers.