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Somerset Tire Service, Inc (STS) is Improving Retail Operations with SAP
With 120 retail locations and 7 distribution warehouses, STS felt that it needed a more robust system to support future growth opportunities.
By: Sheree Grady
As an employee-owned company whose business is built on trust, STS follows honest and ethical business practices to provide a variety of automotive services for passenger cars, mini vans, light trucks, 4x4’s and SUV’s; along with providing a wide array of top major tire brands such as Pirelli, Continental, Firestone, Michelin, Toyo and Bridgestone.
Customer Insight – The Key to Success
Success in the retail industry is highly dependent on successfully managing fluctuations in customer demand. Retail companies must be able to effectively exploit real-time sales opportunities across channels, ensure adequate inventory to meet sudden spikes or declines in demand and target their most profitable and loyal customers to ensure more consistent revenue streams.
With 120 retail locations and 7 distribution warehouses, STS felt that it needed a more robust system to support future growth opportunities. The existing system was functioning, but at a level insufficient to support high level analytics of the business.
Making the Switch
In January of 2010, STS made the decision to purchase SAP’s IS Retail Solution. The solution would provide STS a unified platform that would integrate their retail business processes, help with reporting, procurement, sales management, inventory management and replenishment. SAP’s IS Retail Solution would also provide insight into sales by centralizing end-of-day data from all STS stores.
With the help of a third party vendor, STS began their SAP implementation project in February with hopes of going live by the summer of 2010. After nine months and four missed go live dates, the third party vendor was unable to complete the implementation and meet the expectations of STS; leaving STS with an unsuccessful, over-budget project.
On the verge of dumping the entire project, STS decided to give the project another shot. But before engaging with another SAP partner, they went to SAP for advice. SAP suggested that STS enlist the assistance of a partner with not only the industry and domain expertise, but a partner with a reputation of quality and excellence in SAP; a partner that would get the job done. SAP recommended Emergys.
Moving Forward with Emergys
Before resuming the project, STS wanted to make sure that the next partner they selected understood their business, had the breadth and depth of capabilities to help with business process changes, program management, risk management and change management, in addition to implementing the software.
“Time was of the essence. In nine months, we had already spent a large amount of our budget, time and internal resources without a working solution,” said Chris Rausch, CFO. “We needed to get this project back on track, with the right partner.”
In order to correctly implement SAP and remedy the errors caused by the third party vendor, Emergys performed a two- week assessment of the implementation project. This exercise involved detailed interactions with the core members of STS, understanding their business processes, identifying risks, review of implementation, identification of functionality gaps and providing recommendations for a successful implementation.
Upon completion of the assessment, Emergys uncovered major issues in the implementation that prevented original project success and presented their findings to STS.
“What impressed us most about Emergys was their team of experts,” said Mike Ryan, SVP of Administration. “Emergys’
A Long-Term Partnership
Working with Emergys, STS went live in 16 weeks with a stable, integrated software infrastructure that enables sustainable growth. Emergys successfully implemented SAP’s IS Retail Solution and the following SAP modules – Sales & Distribution, Finance- Controlling, Production Planning, Business Objects, and SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse.
Mike Cardali, VP of IT, said, “We knew from the beginning that this project would be a challenge for any partner taking over the implementation. Emergys’
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Emergys is an industry leading Business Transformation Service provider dedicated to addressing the challenges facing companies today. With over 400 employees, Emergys is headquartered in Durham, NC, and has offices in Canada, China, India and Mexico.