Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Consolidating on SAP ERP and EDI and B2B Managed Services Across the Globe to Reduce Costs

This recent announcement about Nemak's consolidation of multiple ERPs onto one centralized SAP ERP and the consolidation of multiple EDI and B2B platforms is especially relevant in these days of cost cutting.

Nemak is a subsidiary of ALFA, a Mexico-based global manufacturing company that has more than 48,000 employees and operates 75 production facilities located in 17 countries. Due to recent acquisitions of various businesses, Nemak’s operations around the world have more than doubled. As a result of this rapid expansion, the complexity and volume of EDI and B2B transactions has also increased. The company had various ERP solutions in place and multiple EDI and B2B platforms, teams and locations to support, with no centralization of EDI or B2B integration management.

“Electronic data exchange is vital to the success of business processes in the automotive industry, and we work with over 100 business partners,” said Christian Fischer, Nemak IT Director Nemak Europe & China.

Christian went on to describe his evaluation process of SAP's BPO partner companies that could provide centralized B2B and EDI managed services that were integrated with SAP. Nemak chose SAP's BPO partner for EDI and B2B managed services. This BPO partner operates on an SAP Netweaver infrastructure so the integration between Nemak and the manage services could be an SAP-to-SAP SAP integration.

Prior to implementing SAP ERP, Nemak’s EDI operations were costly and time-consuming. “With so many B2B platforms to manage, our IT staff was overwhelmed,” Fischer noted. “Two of our most pressing concerns were controlling IT costs and ensuring regulatory compliance for each location. SAP's BPO partner helped us consolidate our B2B platforms in alignment with a centralized SAP ERP solution that gave us flexibility to continue expanding our network in a more efficient, cost-effective way.”

SAP's BPO partner will help Nemak’s SAP rollout by migrating the company’s EDI partners to the B2B managed services network prior to the SAP go-live. As a result of implementing EDI Managed Services, Nemak will gain reuse and economies of scale while being able to reposition IT staff to core SAP functions.

The inital rollout project in Nemak’s U.S. and European offices has already been completed successfully. The second rollout is currently underway in a cluster of locations in Europe and the United States. The projected timeline calls for all 28 rollouts on three continents to be completed by the end of 2009 by deploying parallel clusters in Europe and the United States. The project calls for a wide variety of data formats like ANSI X12, VDA and EDIFACT as well as a number of communication protocols including AS2, oFTP,VAN, HTTPs and others.

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