Melchers empowers their IT in-house team and reaches Cross-Departmental Synergy with Neptune Software as its Strategic Development Platform
CHALLENGE: A well-rehearsed team meets an innovative strategic development platform
Melchers GmbH is a globally active trading company focusing on the export and import of goods from the Asian market. The company supports businesses in opening up new markets and trade relations. The IT group acts as a service provider for more than 50 subsidiaries. One of its core tasks is the development of applications that ensure the optimal performance of their trading business.
When it became clear that a large part of the available Fiori Standard applications lacked the necessary features to handle emerging requirements due to extensive adaptations for Z-transactions, or a specific Fiori Standard App was simply missing, all signs pointed in the direction of future in-house development. The selection of an application development platform had already been on the agenda for over 3 years. Now, an in-house ABAP team is implementing all requirements and has to date developed more than 100 applications for various business processes.
“Since we’ve been using Neptune Software, we’ve steadily expanded our development team. Today we benefit from the know-how we have built up and are sometimes surprised how efficient we have become in the development of apps,” said Head of the Development Team, Dennis Kessler.
“The strategy at Melchers is clear and it’s to keep IT competencies in-house.”
Dennis Kessler continues, “We know our systems and processes the best, and it makes sense to develop the front-ends for the users by our in-house teams. The Neptune DX Platform has supported us in our agile cooperation with subsidiaries and specialist departments by enabling us to build apps quickly and easily”.
When the subsidiary IGEL Technology made the decision to start selling goods via consignment warehouses, IT was required.
APPROACH: New business requirements drive IT to peak performance
Implementing the connection of external business partners is the biggest challenge when introducing this new required process. The question posed was how could Melchers ensure a continuous and always up-to-date flow of information between suppliers, warehouse staff and the internal sales team. In addition, a tough problem to address is when suppliers and warehouse managers do not have direct access to the SAP system and a connection to the SAP system via VPN is impossible due to poor performance in Asia.
Faced with this challenge, Melchers IT decided to develop a browser-based Neptune application. The goal was to enable a joint view of the entire ordering and delivery process for all parties involved, and to simplify the process to such an extent that an external partner is also able to carry out the process steps without training.
With the experience in terms of development speed, quality and user satisfaction, implementation with Neptune Software’s Strategic Development Platform was an obvious choice, even though the complexity of the requirements exceeded what had previously been implemented.
A UI5-based cockpit, accessible to all partners involved in the ordering process and through which the entire information flow can be accessed, replaces the uncontrollable overload of telephone calls and Outlook communication. Approval processes can be conveniently triggered via push messages and through access via mobile devices. The goods receipt booking of the warehouse staff and the graphical processing of relevant KPIs complete the functional scope of the supplier and order cockpit.
“All parties involved must be informed immediately when orders are created or changed. Due to the number of business parties involved, this poses a particular challenge. We have developed an e-mail tool that solves this task very conveniently and extends far beyond the SAP standard,” says Dennis Kessler, describing one of the technical highlights in the application.
RESULTS: Satisfied managers, happy users, and a very proud IT team
“Although all participants use the same apps, we can realize an exact assignment of individual functions via the authorizations. Not only do we increase process stability, we also reduce training costs to a minimum,” emphasizes Dennis Kessler. With changing external users, intuitive operability is an important factor for trouble-free use.
“From the beginning, our clients were surprised by the speed with which we were able to deliver the first versions. This continued throughout the project, so the schedule was uncritical. When the users came up to us with comments like “This is so pleasant to work with” or “Is it really still SAP?”, it was clear that we had done a good job.
“From a commercial point of view, the project is a success. The consignment stocks increase liquidity considerably. An establishment of the new process would not have been possible without the use of modern applications that can be operated in the browser. The SAP standard specifies the process, but on the user side this was not realistic in the GUI,” concludes Dennis Kessler.
Today, IT is a central component within the Group, both in terms of its expertise and personnel, and has earned itself a very good reputation internally. The next step is the SAP rollout for a newly integrated company. The entire front end is to be equipped with UI5 apps, while the SAP GUI is to be completely eliminated. This represents another milestone in the implementation of the global UX strategy.
To read our Case Study in German, please click here.
Geographic Reach: Global – Focus on Asian Market
Functional Scope: Optimization of Sales processes and Communication between suppliers, warehouse & sales units
Number of Users: 300
Systems: SAP ERP – SD – MM
Project Timeline: Implementation of Neptune DX Platform 3 years ago
Devices: Browser Applications / Cross-Device use
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