The basic condition in the management of such a complex, multi-plant business organization as Zachem is a the management’s and key person’s access to full, reliable and up-to-date information on processes in the company. Such were also the expectations of the anagement toward the future IT system.

At the same time integration of business processes, resulting from system implementation, should not involve limiting the independence of particular plants.

‘Thanks to a standard of working with SAP we will achieve such efficiency and business processes integration that, without limiting the plants’ independence, we will be able to win new customers and meet their needs better. And that is the most important matter’, said Krzysztof Banaszewski, project manager for Zachem.

Why SAP and SNP?

Preparing the implementation and a choice of ERP system took about a year. During that time the then Petrochemia Płock executed SAP implementation. At the same time the implementations were being carried out in other chemical enterprises in Poland, also at Zachem’s competitors. All this confirmed the assumption that the implementation of the best ERP solutions was a necessity for the company.

The most important advantages of SAP were considered its integration and wide functionality. With SAP it was certain that the system would keep up with the company’s development. The decision to choose SAP was taken at the end of 1998.

The basic requirement for ERP systems was checking how they function in the chemical industry. Even there the advantage of SAP was obvious. Of course we collected opinions on the products of other companies, but it turned out that they did not come up to SAP level with their functionality or possibilities. So the key factors in decision taking were experience and extremely favorable opinions about SAP in the chemical industry’, says Krzysztof Banaszewski.

The most important criterion in the choice of the company to carry out the implementation was expertise in Polish implementations of SAP, the number of consultants specializing in SAP and the guarantee of the project success within time limit and budget included in the contract.

The board of Zachem chose BCC (since 2018 SNP Poland). And additional argument was a certificate ISO 9001, as SNP was the only implementation company in Poland to have a certificate in SAP implementation services.

Implementation course

The works started in February 1999. They were more efficient thanks to the commitment of the board members of Zachem, namely production and trade director, Tadeusza Wilusz and finance director, Jerzy Porczyk, who often on the spot took difficult decisions on organizational changes in the company, allocated resources and supervised the status of the project works.

The project involved over 70 people, members of implementation teams, representatives of all Zachem plants. The coordination of such an immense task, whose range covered 8 separate units with separate projects, required creating a large project management team that included Zachem employees and  SNP consultants.

In January 2000 the following SAP modules were started: FI (finance accounting), FI-AA (fixed assets accounting) and CO-OM/PC (overhead costs controlling with elements of production controlling). Also a part of MM functionality (materials management) and SD (sales and distribution) were started. In next months the functionalities CO-PA and other functions of MM and SD modules, as planned, were started.

To meet the specific needs and requirements of Zachem, SNP specialists created some solutions developing the standard SAP functionality SAP and  integrating it with other systems in the company.

‘What makes out implementation unique is a model cooperation of our company and the implementation company SNP. Thanks to efficient work organization of implementation teams and deep commitment of Zachem employees we reduced the implementation costs, improved the communication among all units, standardized procedures. We have built a full IT infrastructure, efficient and secure. SNP assisted us in its creating even when it was not directly related to SAP implementation’, said Tadeusz Wilusz, production and trade director in Zachem.

SAP advantages

SAP implementation in Zachem meant on-line availability, in one central system, of up-to-date information on processes in all units of the company. SAP integrates separate units in one organization, at the same time allowing to carry out autonomic supply, marketing and trade policies.

Thanks to one information flow in all plants  internal and external accounting are reliable, coherent and complement each other. The processes are closely supervised from the beginning of a production cycle in the supply area. Every purchase of materials and raw materials requires authorization by a responsible person, available data allow to analyze the price of purchase and suppliers.

Every operation in logistics (supply, production, sale) results in automatic posting on accounts. Every posting in accounting module is reflected in the controlling module, where it is interpreted in categories such as cost center, product or result objectin the  CO module.

The information delivered by SAP concerning the cost centers and structure constitute the basis for improving the efficiency and of cost planning – in shorter time, wider range and in simpler way than it was possible in the systems used previously.

In comparison with the systems used before the availability of information on production costs is much better. Now Zachem can control the manufacture costs of every product or a group of products. An analysis of technical production cost is possible down to the level of single elements costs e.g. the cost of raw materials, supplementary materials, payroll costs. Also analyses of deviations between planned and actual costs are available.

Thanks to working with SAP the employees are more aware of the costs they generate.

Marketing and sales departments use reports that enable to analyze some market segments in terms of products or services, customers, distribution channels or geographical regions.

The results are used in resources allocation, price policy, stopping production of unprofitable goods or providing services and focus more on most profitable products and services.

The information flow so far, more traditional, in a company of 13 km2 area was rather time-consuming. Now information is available for all authorized people immediately upon its creating.

The board of Zachemu estimates that the work of implementation teams, consisting of the company’s employees and SNP consultants, added a lot to the organization’s management culture. The experience gained during the creation of the system are often used in other areas of the company’s operations.

The configuration and hardware solutions influence the increase in the speed and security of the system users’ work. The hardware platform, based on a cluster of two HP servers, ensures security and stability of the system work. Thanks to the best hardware and optimum system configuration the system reaction time to user’s commands does not exceed 0.1 second.

Thanks to SAP implementation Zachem is now viewed by the market as a company with modern management methods, using the latest IT technology. SAP implementation can be thus considered as a way of increasing the company’s market value.

‘If we want to be competitive, we must use the checked and tested solutions on the highest world level. SAP system gives us such an opportunity‘, summed up Tadeusz Wilusz, production and trade director in Zachem.

Zachem SA in Bydgoszcz is the biggest plant of organic and in-organic synthesis in Poland. Zachem is a holding-type enterprise, composed of separate entities. The five units: Dye Plant, PUR Foam Plant, Synthesis Plant, Plastics Plant and Epichlorohydrin Plant have separate accountancy, trade, and limited personnel policy. Plants and supporting enterprises employ in total over 2000 people.