After defining its requirements for the future system and making a deep analysis of the systems available on the market and delivered by various suppliers, analysis supported by an external consulting firm, Opoczno chose SAP system. As the service supplier they chose BCC (since 2018 SNP Poland) because of its broad experience in SAP implementations in production companies.
‘Opoczno is the market leader in tile production in Poland. SAP is used world-wide and in Poland by leaders in their areas. We have chosen SAP software as we were certain that it would cater for our present and future needs. As the implementation partner we have chosen SNP, the leader in SAP implementation in production companies’, said Waldemar Skwara, vice-president for finance in Opoczno plant.
The implementation project in Opoczno was divided into two phases. In the first one the following functionalities were to be implemented: finance accounting, fixed assets accounting, controlling, materials management and sales and distribution. In the second phase the following SAP areas were to start: production planning, treasury and payroll and personnel management.
The implementation works started in October 2001 and were carried out according to the SAP methodology used by SNP. The beginning was creating the project chart and regulations and preparing the necessary resources. Next, from November 2001 to January 2002 trainings in functionalities in particular modules were carried out, business processes were modeled and implementation concept was created for areas where the SAP system was to start first.
At the same time the general concept of production planning was created as it had to take into consideration the requirements of the PP module in finance and logistic processes that were to be covered with SAP implementation in the first phase.
In February 2002 the stage of prototype realization started. During that time the system was configured and tested for its functions and integration. June marked the beginning of preparation for the productive start, training users and entering master data. According to the plan, 1 July 2002 Opoczno started using the whole range of SAP functionalities scheduled to start in the first phase of the project. As scheduled, further functions started in October 2002 (production planning and control) and in January 2003. (treasury and payroll and personnel management).
Advantages of SAP in particular areas
Material management and supply
The implemented SAP solution supports stock management in quantity and value terms, in raw materials warehouses, ready products and technical warehouse. Thanks to that the information on the quantity and value of stock in particular warehouses in always available. Stock management is on-line integrated with the ledger.
During implementation a data base of product indexes used in the production plant was created.
The supply was based on orders that are created according to notifications of needs. To make creating orders possible, the notifications must be approved by authorized people.
In the multi-level approval strategy, which is used in the company, the authorization to approve purchase depends on the amount. Additionally, approving supply documents is supported by a workflow process that informs about needs notification still waiting for approval.
Using a function called posted purchase (the materials received from suppliers immediately debit the costs) enabled to simplify the processes of stationery, printing or clothes purchase.
Opoczno used the full functionality of production planning in SAP. A sales plan, updated weekly according to the analyses of real sale levels of particular assortments in consecutive periods and expected market changes, constitutes the foundation for production planning. Material needs planning sets the terms of manufacturing ready goods, semi-finished products and the purchase of raw materials.
The control over a load on production capacity prevents planning tasks that could exceed the capacity of workstations and production lines.
The timetables of ready products manufacture: gres, stoneware and decorated tiles are made with the help of Gantt’s charts to detail. The manufacture of ready goods is recorded on productions orders. To servicing the manufacture of semi-finished goods the functionality of discreet production was used. It allows to choose flexibly a workstation (e.g. a mill that produces engobes) and requires less work-consuming service.
Sale and distribution
SAP solution allows to use one data base for clients and products’ data. Through recording documents in sale process (from customer’s order to delivery and invoice) the system stores the history of customer relations. SAP is also used to support retail sale in own Opoczno shop as it cooperates with fiscal devices through an interface prepared by SNP programmers. Apart from sale SAP also services sale-related actions: representation and advertisement deliveries and donations.
The control of availability provides information about the quantity of goods and products that may be sent to customers on the basis of current stock levels. Credit control of suppliers prevents their overdrawing the merchant’s credits secured by agreements with insurers.
The implemented functionality of returnable packaging service enables keeping quantity records of pallets for particular clients of Opoczno.
The information registered during entering client’s orders, dispatch and invoicing make the basis for analyses of multi-dimensional IT sale system.
Financial accounting and fixed assets accounting
Due to the integration of particular SAP areas, most data in finance is recorded automatically (e.g. material movement causes posting respective amount on accounts, issuing an invoice causes posting a payable amount, an income and due tax).
The chart of accounts, prepared during the implementation of the finance modules, meets analytical needs of particular accounting areas.
Implementing finance SAP modules enabled to make monthly statements after closing every settlement month, and create, at a request, historical reports for any period. Most works connected with closing settlement periods are automatic.
Implementing SAP fixed assets accounting enabled to include into electronic records investment activities, that so far had been run without IT systems. Fixed assets accounting also included the equipment into the records. Besides current recording events related to fixed assets, SAP services an automatic recording system and posting of balance amortization, tax amortization and real estate tax. The information system of fixed assets enables quick modification of statements in order to adjust them to specific user needs.
SAP implementation in controlling extended the possibilities of recording income and expense and cost settlement. The latter have been made automatic and thanks to the available tools to control data entered into the system, uncovering errors (especially in posting) is done currently and not only during closing the settlement period.
The started SAP functionality allows to make a real costs statement for Opoczno products: along with calculating production deviation it is now possible to define costs of production of particular assortment items. Moreover, it supports precise calculations of supporting activities costs and settling them on the basis of the costs of particular departments.
In sale controlling SAP solutions allow to record and report in many aspects income on sales and sale costs.
SAP controlling is a tool for creating a cross-analysis of income and costs based on data taken from various areas of an integrated IT system.
HR and payroll management
The solutions of mySAP HR in Opoczno enable a scattered work time recording; managers record the information about the work time of their subordinates directly in the system, through quick data entry screens. The data about work time are automatically analyzed on the payroll.
Thanks to the function of creating ad-hoc inquiries and generating mail merge, reporting personnel – payroll information is quick and easy. The functionality training management enables to register of history of employees’ participating in training and training budget control.
The most useful turned out to be the functions of organizational structure management, as thanks to a detailed modeling of hierarchical relations it is possible to make reports along various organizational paths.
System development and further profits
SAP implementation in the above-described areas was a solid base for gaining advantages in company management on a much greater scale. That’s why the company decided to carry out further IT projects in strategic management and logistic processes management.
The first one was starting a data warehouse SAP BW. Completed in 1st quarter of 2003, the implementation of SAP BW expanded the range of available data and facilitated the access for managers. Besides that, it eliminated numerous manual operations connected with conversion, consolidation, verification, completing information for reporting needs.
Starting a SAP data warehouse enabled to replace paper or static spreadsheet reports with a direct access to information in electronic form (with the help of reports). SAP BW implementation covered first sales information area and stock management.
The next project, now in its final phase, is also supported by SNP implementation of the WM module (warehouse management), integrated with a solution for automatic identification of goods and ready products based on bar codes. The solution will enable to simplify and speed up material movements like receipt and dispatch from warehouse. It will also enable to identify immediately the product whereabouts on a particular shelf or accumulation bin.
Waldemar Skwara sums up:
‘Starting SAP system means for Opoczno a qualitative change on all management levels. Using such solutions creates conditions for increased efficiency of operations, especially in logistics. On the board level it gives full data that enable to take right decisions on company’s development directions’.
Opoczno SA is the biggest manufacturer of tiles and the most modern plant of this kind in Poland. Yearly it produces about 17m m2 of tiles of all kinds, which gives it over 20% share in Polish market. The assortment of the company is wall, floor and all-purpose tiles and gres porcellanato.