Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SNC Case Study in Conair:

Problem: Conair has pool visibility of tracking a Purchase Orders (POs), once the PO is issued to contract vendors, and manufacturers, it becomes pretty hard for Conair to track them. Many times, Conair has to wait till manufacturers issue the finished products freight forwarders; by that time, it might be too late to communicate to Conair's customers if some POs can't make it on time. This damages Conair's customer service level and reputation.

Vision: Conair is looking for a solution to enable them to receive notification that a shipment of goods was ready for quality control and inspection at the manufacturer's facility; to record the quality control results and the approval for the goods to be moved to the port; and to the final confirmation of the goods had been shipped and left the port.

Solution: SAP SNC. As Conair has already been using SAP ERP for 12 years. It made sense to seek solutions to improve supply chain visibility improvement from SAP. SNC 5.1 has been implemented initially, then later upgraded to 7.0 because of some performance issue with old version after global rollout to move manufacturers. In the SNC, Work-Order collaboration has been implemented. Some customization has been done to mimic the web-based legacy order tracking system. POs are sent from Conair to its contract vendors and manufacturers, POs are recorded in SNC; and converted to Work Orders to manufacturers. Manufacturers are responsible to track and update for each process during the manufacturing period. This way, Conair is gaining much more accurate and timely update for the orders than before. It's much easier to see issues and delays in the supply chain.

When the goods are shipped to the port, a third-party system takes place to track the movement in the sea.

Lesson learned:
1. Control the scale of the project, carefully select the vendors and manufacturers that really knows the process and use the system.
2. Have a good plan to rollout to more vendors and manufacturers in a planned global timeline.
3. Made decision to train remotely or locally. This decision could depend on the communication readiness and easiness between Conair and vendors/manufacturers.

Source: SAP Insider Jan Feb Mar 2013 Volume 4 Number 1