An Organization With Growing Opportunities
Elgerta Group has over 20 years of experience in the distribution of electronic components.In that time, it has managed to create a solid image among its customers and suppliers. Highly qualified engineers and customer care employees provide professional technical support. Collaboration with the customer is based primarily on understanding the customer’s needs and requirements in the scope of electronic component delivery, a flexible approach to the customer, anticipating the customer’s needs ,and strong content-related support. The sales offices in Poland and in the Baltic countries manage the local warehouses, in which the buffer stocks are constantly maintained for the regular customers. It shortens the “door-to-door” delivery time by up to 24 hours.
Such an approach to the customer distinguishes Elgerta among other distributors and suppliers. However, it requires that employees quickly and efficiently process the orders. This is achieved through the training of the employees, but also by optimizing the processes themselves.One of the methods to improve processing was the implementation of a new solution – electronic data interchange (EDI) in the SAP system. The contract for the first EDI project was signed in 2011. BCC (now All for One Poland) was responsible in this project for the implementation of the SAP PI integration platform in the latest version (SAP PI 7.3).
Ways to Improve Performance
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our performance. EDI is just one such way. This allows us to save time and paper and also minimizes the possibility of errors.
After launching the electronic exchange of purchase orders, we plan to extend the EDI implementation to our other partners, thereby increasing the volume of the documents. For the next step, our goal is to connect with our main customer by means of EDI.
In the future, we do not exclude the possibility of extending EDI to our foreign branches.
Raimondas Vilkočinskas, Marketing and Sales Manager, Elgerta Group
The First Step – The Purchase Orders
The first stage of the project ended in 2011.The scope of work included the launching of the two-way EDI communication system with one of the biggest producers – Elgerta partners. First, it was enabled to send and receive the purchase orders, confirm the purchase orders and enter changes in the purchase orders that were reconciled between the partners. When changes are made to the purchase orders, the partner’s system automatically confirms the introduction of changes. In this way, the communication was improved, while the costs of cooperation with the given partner were reduced.
The Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a model of cooperation between the regular business partners, involving the workflow and exchange of the documents in an electronic form directly between the partners’ systems. Instead of the traditional paper documents (e.g. purchase orders, invoices, shipping notifications etc.), the documents circulate between the partners in an electronic form. The documents generated in the system of one partner (e.g. purchase order) are automatically sent to the IT system of the second partner.
Until this point, purchase orders were printed and sent by means of fax or e-mail. It gave rise to the risk of fax loss or e-mail omission. There were also errors in the materials codes, which are now detected by the system and can be immediately corrected. The employees can feel confident that the supplier does not overlook the order, and they get a reply including the date of execution. Now, the employees from the Purchasing Department in Lithuania use EDI.
In addition, BCC specifically worked out an algorithm that automatically calculates the date of their delivery to the customer. By receiving the information from the supplier confirming the date of the order, the date of their delivery is automatically calculated.
We significantly reduced the manual labour that was connected with sending purchase orders to the customers. We automatically receive the approvals of the purchase orders and we have greater control over backlogs.
Ana Michailova, Logistics Manager, Elgerta Group
The Second Step
In mid-2012, we continued the EDI project by extending the implementation to 3 other partners.In addition to purchase orders, billing documents are also to be included on the EDI platform. The completion of the project is planned for the middle of 2013 EDI is now used by the employees of the Purchasing Department at the Vilnius headquarters.
Depending on the needs, BCC implements solutions that integrate SAP systems with IT systems of business partners at various levels:
• e-commerce between the business partners,
• EDI integration platform, which enables electronic exchange of documents (orders, invoices and other)
• WebEDI – easy model of EDI communication (by means of www browser),
• electronic exchange of documents (instead of communication using mail, fax, phone)
• electronic exchange of data with banks (e-banking – an electronic payment system)