Implementation objectives and system choice
Information systems used in Wolters Kluwer Polska (PWP in that time) did not meet growing demands. They did not provide reliable management infor-mation quickly enough and they were loosely inte-grated, which on one hand caused manual or semi-automatic data transfer among them and on the other hand made data reconciliation between systems time-consuming. Some of the systems, overloaded with a big number of data, sometimes worked unstable.
Due to all this at the end of 2001 the following im-plementation objectives were defined:
- gaining wider and more reliable management in-formation through integrating all IT systems and using such ERP tools like liquidity forecast or au-tomatic customer credit management.
- making internal organization more efficient and processes more automatic by canceling some manual operations
- standardizing and uniforming processes and procedures in all units
- speeding up information flow e.g. by shortening the time of closing a month/year and preparing necessary reports
- reducing costs (e.g. related to slow-moving books and overheads) and more thorough control, obtaining up-to-date and reliable information on net profitability of particular products..
Damian Zajkowski, chief accountant in Wolters Kluwer Polska and project manager, after choosing the system and it supplier said: ‘The objective of SPRINT implementation in PWP is enforcing our competitive advantage by integrating all units in one information system. We expect that starting SAP system with the best world solutions in ERP and CRM will greatly influence an improvement in customer service quality in PWP’.
A short list of considered ERP systems included JDEdwards and SAP. During the choice of the system the fact that Wolters Kluwer units use SAP was significant, however, the corporation did not impose the choice of the system and left the decision at the discretion of PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) board.
In June 2002 the team that was preparing the implementation decided on the choice of SAP and using SPRINT offered by BCC. The arguments for the choice of SPRINT were the following:
- a functionality meeting the requirements
- short implementation time (thanks to keeping preconfigured, ready-made model processes)
- limiting the involvement of employees in implementation works to the necessary minimum (thanks to using SPRINT implementation methodology)
- very good relation between costs and advantages of implementation
Range and course of implementation
In mid-2002 the implementation works, performed by BCC, started. The implementation included the following management areas: financial accounting, fixed assets accounting, controlling, treasury, material management, sale and distribution. Theimplementation covered all the five units of the company.
Within the implementation PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) received concept and technical documentation of the system, a model of processes according to the concept of implementation and configured in the system, prepared models of master data and a ready-made information system. The implementation teams focused their efforts on developing standard functionality of SPRINT by processes specific for PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska).
Thanks to using the preconfigured system SPRINT, a wide functionality of SAP was started in really a short time.
Using implementation methodology of SPRINT, in which work team members are informers and not implementation specialists, let the employees to unite their implementation duties with other tasks.
The productive start of such a wide functionality in five units was planned for January 2003. Using SPRINT allowed to meet the short deadline. The second phase of the implementation lasted from April to October 2003. It covered HR and payroll management (also with the use of the preconfigured solution, HR SPRINT).
Damian Zajkowski: ‘The choice of SAP meant for us a choice of a solution tested worldwide, so choosing SAP we minimized the risk of failure in such an IT project that was so important for us. Additionally, thanks to using the preconfigured system SPRINT, a wide functionality of SAP was started in really a short time’.
Advantages of started functionalities
In finance accounting SAP gathers accounting documents generated during transactions in other system areas. Posting on accounts is automatic, which results in lower possibility to make mistakes and lower work load on accounting departments. The time of preparing reports for offices and the board has been significantly shortened and now closing a settlement period is done during first few days of the next period.
Automation of accounting is especially important for PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) that has a data base of a few hundred thousand customers and generates a huge amount of accounting documents.
The processes in fixed assetsare also improved. Using SAP it is possible to define at will the rules of depreciation of fixed assets for various purposes. The system enables keeping an estimate of fixed assets according to various criteria, different for balance purposes and different for tax ones.
SPRINT implementation in controlling made reporting quicker and gathering in one system all the cost-analysis-related functionality that had existed so far. The structure of cost centers used in PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) before was moved to SAP and the so-called internal orders and projects were entered. That allows to gather costs of marketing campaigns or publishing projects. Cost settlements are automatic and uniform tools for cost planning are now available.
The implemented solutions enable even more thorough and extended than in previous systems, multi-dimension registration and reporting of sales income and sale costs down to the level of every product. It is now possible to create an analysis of income and profitability in market segments that consist of combinations of such features as a product, customer, seller, distribution channel. Also registration and settlement of deferred income and costs are automatic.
Also the tools for liquidity management were implemented. One report (liquidity forecast) shows the amounts of takings and expenditureof cash according to the planned data of the currency. The liquidity forecast considers logistic operations such as supply order or sale order and settlement items.
The values from the liquidity forecast may be compared with balance values from bank accounts and supplementary bank accounts, thanks to which it is possible to obtain information about the forecast values of cash resources. The finance department gains this information prior to real moves in cash resources.
In the area of materials management and supply the system enables full service of the process of sup[lying materials and services. The system also runs the processes of supplier’s consignment, posting goods purchased on the way and posting supplementary costs and SAD documents. The reports allow full quantity-value analysis of the stocks in all PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) units.
The advantages of SAP implementation in the area of sales and distribution are invaluable. The system gives access to one data base of all customers and products for all PWP units, and thanks to the integration the value of sales invoiced and the value of made deliveries appear in actual time on the accounts of the ledger. The sale information system allows keeping advanced profitability analyses according to many criteria.
Within SPRINT standard development the following functionalities supporting specific areas of PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) operations were started: subscription sales, posting deferred income, consignment sale, cash sale and fiscal cash desk servicing and a specific procedure of reminders. The system also includes the processes connected with sales: deliveries for representation and advertising and donations.
Also an interface to the CRM system used by PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) was created. The system enables a transfer of customer master data, trade contact history and generating sale order in SAP through a website.
Also a functionality of SAP Online Store, that services sale via the Internet was started. At the first phase of its operations the bookshop does not sell to big trade partners yet. Finally it will help servicing many PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska) customers and the number of monthly transactions is to come to a few thousand.
Piotr Różański, finance director in PWP (Wolters Kluwer Polska), said: ‘Thanks to SPRINT we have obtained an efficient tool for such important functions as subscription sale, publishing project cost control, mass customer shipment, sales on the Internet. What is important, the system is flexible, easy to develop with further functions and to scale. These are big advantages for a company such as ours that develops all the time and increases sale.’
Wolters Kluwer Polska (former PWP – Polskie Wydawnictwa Profesjonalne) is a leading publishing group in supplying complete legal and business information. The company is owned by concern Wolters Kluwer, on of the world potentate in legal information. The company includes the following publishers: LEX Legal Publishing House, Publishing House ABC, Konieczny and Kruszewski Publishing House, Kantor Wydawniczy Zakamycze and Oficyna Ekonomiczna. They specialize in updated electronic goods, books and magazines.