You take advantage of 3M products every day of your life. You repaired your daughter’s schoolbook cover with Scotch Tape. That’s 3M. You finished that piece of wood furniture with one of the ScotchBrite line of cleaning and polishing products. You stuck a Postit Note on your colleague’s cubicle. 3M, all of it.
3M – formally, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. – based in Minnesota and founded for industrial mining in 1902, has just celebrated a century of industrial innovation. The company’s products are in our homes and on our office desks, but 3M interests also extend to healthcare, chemicals, electrooptics, telecommunications, and many other fields. The company operates in more than 60 countries and sells its products in nearly 200. It employs 60,000 people worldwide, with 2001 sales of $16 billion.
A Growing Demand
3M introduced its products into Israel 30 years ago and opened 3M Israel in 1996, in Herzliya Pituach, Israel’s Silicon Valley. 3M Israel’s 45 employees cover importing, marketing, and distributing the company’s products.
As 3M Israel grew, however, its legacy financial management system groaned. Running a trail balance was a slow, complex process of creating ASCII files that were fed into Excel before a report could be written. “Preparation of a trial balance is a critical task, but while preparing it I was forced to do other tasks that were far less important”, recalls Kobi Tsaban, chief financial officer at 3M Israel. “From the moment the head office issued guidelines to the subsidiaries, we started searching for a fully integrated system that could provide the highest level of office automation.”
To replace its existing system, 3M Israel reviewed several software solutions from domestic and foreign suppliers. Among other criteria, the new system had to have a fast response time, work on a Windows platform, and fit the company’s budget. “We chose SAP Business One, which satisfied all the parameters”, Tsaban says.
Fast and Efficient
3M Israel implemented SAP Business One in January 2002. The system delighted the company’s executives with its efficiency and ease of use, as well as the rapid, one-month implementation.
“Today, preparing a balance sheet takes only a few minutes. In the time it takes me to say ‘3M Israel’ the report is ready for review”, says Tsaban. Tracking the company’s outstanding receivables used to require making huge files in Access. Now it’s done with a single click.
Though 3M has its own enterprise resource planning system, Tsaban notes that “SAP Business One will be the central component in managing 3M Israel’s accounts. It is easy to use and provides the functionality that all our users – dedicated and occasional – need to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently.”