JD Wetherspoon Selects SAP as platform for rapid growth

Leading pub chain set to become a best run business

Feltham, UKSAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today underscores its commitment to helping UK businesses run better with the announcement that JD Wetherspoon has selected SAP ERP to improve business processes and provide a platform for future growth. JD Wetherspoon plc (LSE: JDW) is a British pub chain based in Watford. Founded as a single pub in 1979 by Tim Martin, the company now owns over 800 pubs across the UK.

JD Wetherspoon has been on a route of fast growth since it first began in 1979, and it has ambitious plans to continue growing; the pub chain aims to double its number of pubs to 1,600 in the coming years. In order to achieve this growth, the management team realised it would have to look at the underlying technology and business processes that existed and change them to ensure that the technology supported the growth of the business.

Kirk Davis, Finance Director & Company Secretary at JD Wetherspoon commented; “With up to 70 guest beers and ciders on tap at a time, an ingenious range of spirits, and a menu that changes twice a year and has to reflect both very good value and excitement, JD Wetherspoon has a business that must be agile. Procurement is key to this – everything from bar products to contract cleaners goes through these systems – usually not from the same suppliers, so we must ensure processes are as efficient as possible, whilst integrating into the financial system.”

Davis continued; “We currently have disparate systems in place to operate our business, which means that departments such as finance, HR and procurement have all been working in silos. Although this approach has supported us so far, the management team is fully aware that we cannot continue in this way if we are to continue growing and therefore need a new business platform, which is fully integrated and will enable us to improve operational efficiency and profitability.”

JD Wetherspoon looked at several technology vendors from the largest right down to the niche players, but selected SAP at the end of March 2011.

“We have purchased SAP’s core ERP solution for finance and procurement, which will ensure we have more efficient processes in place for our back office activities and working with suppliers. We selected SAP over the other vendors’ offerings for several reasons; functionally, the product fits perfectly with our business needs, but a key reason for us was the team at SAP was a great fit. We have an open culture and are very people orientated, and so is SAP. They really understand what we are trying to do with this project and our business moving forward and we’re sure we have the right team on board to ensure this implementation will be a major success for us,” said Davis.

Tim Noble, Managing Director for SAP in the UK & Ireland said of the win; “I am absolutely thrilled that JD Wetherspoon has chosen SAP to help support further growth in their business. SAP excels at working with fast growth organisations, and we are committed to ensuring we provide the efficiencies and benefits JD Wetherspoon is looking for. I am excited to be starting on what I hope is a long and fruitful relationship with a major UK business.”

The project will kick off in May 2011 and will go-live in July 2012.

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