SAP supports Unipart’s process revolution

logistics giant focuses on IT overhaul and tackles double the volume of orders

LondonUnipart Demand Chain Management (DCM), part of the Unipart Group of companies, has implemented an SAP-based solution in its Jaguar Business Unit

The SAP solution will be the platform for supply chain and distribution operations, and is linked to a number of Unipart’s own developments in DCM’s systems. The aim is to deliver a flexible global supply chain and distribution solution to the growing Jaguar business worldwide.

In the first week after implementation, the business unit had to cope with double the number of orders that it had processed previously. The new systems and processes implemented by Unipart and supported by SAP were able to handle the increase in demand successfully, meaning all major processes worked as designed from day one.

The implementation is part of a two-year global change programme. This aims to encourage the system’s 1,000 users, including 450 integrated Jaguar dealerships, to see their roles not as functions, but as one integrated process across the supply chain, covering every aspect of the product support lifecycle.

The SAP-based solution integrates all of the Jaguar Business Unit’s inbound, outbound, customer and financial processes, and internal systems into a single unified platform. It gives staff and customers complete visibility across the organisation, from manufacturing to distribution.

The decision to implement SAP was the result of a review of Unipart’s legacy systems. It concluded that Unipart’s existing IT infrastructure would not meet the growing needs of the business, and would increasingly become less efficient. The review identified the necessity to implement a new solution that could meet
these requirements.

Carl Powell, director of IT services at Unipart DCM said, “Before, we had to manually reconcile all the data that our different systems produced, which was very time-consuming. Using the single platform for all our systems, we’ve greatly improved the speed at which information can be accessed and acted upon.”

“But this is about more than IT – it’s about the way our employees view their roles. We want to show them that every activity undertaken has a significant knock-on effect on the whole supply chain,” he added.

Paul Eggleton, business development manager, discrete industries, at SAP UK commented, “The structure that Unipart has put in place, based on SAP’s offering, will synchronise all ordering and distribution processes. At the same time, the SAP implementation provides a flexible platform for the company’s
future developments.”

The SAP platform, involving Materials Management, Sales and Distribution, Warehouse Management and Financials, will provide a snapshot of the business at any given time. It will also integrate with Unipart’s own elements, such as an electronic parts catalogue, stock replenishment applications and dealer parts databases. Initially implemented in the UK and Europe, the system will be rolled out into North America and Japan over the next 12 months, following business process redesign and testing phases.