Southco Selects SAP to Enable Lean Manufacturing Strategy

With rapidly expanding global operations and customers in the marine, automotive, truck, off-highway/construction, RV/caravan, consumer electronics, computer hardware, and industrial enclosures industries, Southco manages more than 100,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) for 70,000 customers in 65 countries. The company sought an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to support its lean six sigma initiatives, increase managerial visibility and maintain responsiveness as it competes against smaller local and regional providers across the world.
“We are on track to double in size over the next five years, and as one of the few players in our industry with an aggressive global expansion strategy, we need a partner that can support us in international markets, with the confidence in a solution that can scale with our growth,” said Brian McNeill, president & CEO, Southco. “Our team really hit the pavement in the evaluation process, and other global vendors couldn’t measure up with the same combination of solid solution road map, proven success at customer sites, and the ability to provide effective solutions and support them with training and skilled workers in markets like China.”
A 2006 study of midsize enterprise growth strategies commissioned by SAP from the Economist Intelligence Unit highlighted international expansion as a key focus for growth among businesses worldwide. In the study, midsize enterprises cited the threat of competitive advantages – such as the ability to execute on changes in strategy, maintain deeper customer relationships and sustain robust innovation – eroding as they grow. These respondents see IT as critical to their ability to expand and retain flexibility while they are growing. (See Feb. 8, 2006 press release, titled “Increasing Power of Larger Rivals Threatens to Stifle Midmarket Growth”).
Southco will implement applications from mySAP Business Suite to support lean processes for managing product life cycles, import, export and trade. As part of the integrated business management platform, the company also will deploy mySAP Customer Relationship Management to support its sophisticated client model and present a single face to the customer across its entire global operations. “Southco is a great example of the world of new markets and opportunities opening up to midsize enterprises and how technology will be the equalizer that allows them to compete with agility against both smaller and larger enterprises,” said Bill McDermott, president & CEO, SAP Americas. “We are pleased to add Southco to our expanding base of midsize customers and look forward to helping them manage global operations and achieve aggressive goals for lean operations and growth.”

Source: SAP AG