FAST-Chemicals Ensures Growth at ADPO

Feature Article | June 23, 2009 by Stefan Nicola

Compliance and an increasingly globalized market only increased the pressure on ADPO to make its business processes as efficient and transparent as possible. Because the Antwerp-based company had to satisfy the special needs of the chemical industry, the task of streamlining the supply chain fell to Belgium-based Delaware Consulting. The SAP partner implemented processes, tools and features that today are included in the so-called FAST-Chemicals solution. It is an SAP-Business All-in-One-solution for the chemical industry combining preconfigured SAP ERP and SAP Best Practices with Delaware best practices for the chemical industry.

“The SAP Business All-in-One solution FAST-Chemicals enables ADPO to streamline the supply chain, both internally and with our customers. Thanks to Delaware’s no-nonsense approach, every step in this integration trail is performed in a fast and smooth way,” says Peter Meeus.

About ADPO

Founded in 1988, ADPO GROUP offers a complete range of logistic services for the chemical, petrochemical, steel and forest industry. Headquartered in the port of Antwerp, ADPO handles tank storage, warehousing and drumming, conventional cargo handling, processing, container operations, tanker cleaning, transport, shipping and forwarding. The company has 350 employees.

Streamlining the entire supply chain 

In 1999, ADPO decided to merge its systems into one. Delaware helped ADPO implement their SAP Business All-in-One solution with special features that serve as the basis for the FAST-Chemicals solution. ADPO streamlined with this new solution its order processing flow, warehouse management and invoicing, and optimized customer orientation and complaint handling.

“It really helped us make our entire supply chain function more efficiently,” Meeus says.

FAST-Chemicals provides a unique platform to optimize processes in the domains of

  • sales forecasting;
  • customer orientation and collaboration;
  • production planning and quality;
  • maintenance.

Examples of these processes include new sales channels, customer products, high info demand and government regulations. The solution delivers continuity, long-term functional fit, is compliant with the latest chemical industry requirements and is the next step to a professional IT environment with the lowest total cost of ownership.

Some outstanding features of FAST-Chemicals were first implemented at ADPO. One was the introduction of a real-time container monitoring system:

The company used to rely on paper-based reporting to track the movements of its stored containers – a method that was time-consuming, error-prone and easy to manipulate. “We really needed a real-time system,” Meeus says.

In 2001, the company installed Radio Frequency terminals into its forklifts to track the containers. The system has a direct connection to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, and is immediately updated when a container gets a new location.

Innovative add-ons open the warehouse to customers

Another feature is the SAP NetWeaver Portal, a component of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform that hands ADPO’s customers real-time access to the company’s warehouse data. By logging into the ADPO website, customers can check if their products are still in stock, or if they have already been shipped. Specific reports with regards to stock levels, stock movements, operations, invoice details and order status can be consulted.

Implemented in 2003, the SAP NetWeaver Portal according to Meeus “works very well and is used widely”, as it significantly reduces paperwork, thus saving time and money in the process.

In addition, FAST-Chemicals comes with a full set of support documents to help employees get the maximum out of the solution. Documents include:

  • business blueprints, describing the best practice business model;
  • training materials, with detailed guidelines and print-screens;
  • test scenarios, allowing integrated tests of your process flows;
  • project management tools and templates.

FAST-Chemicals at a glance

FAST-Chemicals covers all major logistic and financial processes in the chemical industry, complemented with sector-specific processes, such as:

  • bulk and packed product flows
  • intercompany sales and buying flows, and toll manufacturing flow
  • production versions and recipe management
  • batch management with full tracking and tracing functionality
  • quality management during reception, production and delivery
  • preventive and corrective maintenance
  • transport planning and purchasing
  • profitability analysis of products and customers
  • active ingredients
  • compliance to ADR, IMDG, IATA dangerous goods regulations

Service desk to rely on

ADPO can also rely on a service desk established by SAP Channel Partner Delaware; it solves any software issue within agreed timelines based on ITIL standards. Companies who use the FAST-Chemicals solution include Ineos Oxide, Eval Europe, Fuji Oil, Arteco Cooling Liquids, Oleon, Nilefos, EOC Group, Arpadis, Pemco.

“Together with our customers, we search for result-oriented IT solutions that align business and technology requirements, and we act as a single point of contact once the solution is implemented,” says Toon Vermeersch, the FAST-Chemicals solution manager at Delaware.

At ADPO, the SAP system is still being enriched. The company will roll-out the FAST-Chemicals solution to its new location on the right bank of the river Scheldt in Antwerp, which it acquired in 2008. Meeus says the system will go live at the end of the second quarter 2009.

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