Leading ICT company improves customer service and enterprise-wide visibility

Improved customer service

by streamlining order processing

Saved time and cost

by accelerating order fulfillment

Company Overview

The ALSO Group (formerly ALSO-Actebis) is one of Europe’s largest IT and telecommunications distributors with revenues of more than €10.9 billion in 2020. The company employs 4,080 workers across 24 European countries. It works through partners in a total of 90 countries. The ALSO partner ecosystem includes approximately 110,000 resellers of hardware, software, and IT services.

Business Challenge

ALSO fulfills more than 5,000 customer orders each day. The company sought to provide the prompt and accurate order delivery their customers expected. This required meeting a 100% next-day customer order fulfillment target for more than 5,000 orders.

During a typical day ALSO runs 4,500 jobs on its SAP ERP, many recurring. The company’s staff found themselves spending considerable time creating and submitting those jobs manually–in some cases every 10 minutes throughout the day—because their existing, standalone SAP scheduler did not allow for repeatable jobs. In addition, the scheduler could not manage dependencies between jobs.

Instead, the ALSO team had to guess when one job was going to finish so they could anticipate when the following job should run. To reach its next-day goal for order fulfillment, ALSO needed to automate and coordinate their customer service to speed up processes. This would enable employees to instantly provide accurate, up-to-date information on product availability and order status to customers.

ALSO needed an automation solution that would address their current issues while providing a foundation for integration between SAP and other applications, including DLS, their warehouse management system.

Solution

ALSO selected Redwood to more quickly respond when processing customer orders. After deploying the Redwood Business Process Automation solution in just one week, ALSO now aligns their warehouse application with their SAP operations in order to process orders the minute they arrive.

ALSO used Redwood’s modular automation to define automation processes once and then reuse them to reduce its existing 46,000 SAP job definitions down to 570 Redwood scripts, including 140 job sets and 300 independent jobs. Whereas previously they might need six specialized SAP Basis administrators to run processes, they now need only one, allowing the team to focus on other priorities.

In addition, the Redwood solution provides ALSO with a single point of control to manage multiple SAP application servers and visually display progress for every business process in order to deliver complete and up-to-date transparency across the global business. Overall, ALSO’s new system runs more efficiently with automation acting at the pace of business events. Dependent processes start as soon as the preceding ones are completed, making workload distribution easy to manage. They can now also manage processes across multiple time zones and in countries operating on different business calendars.

Results

Using Redwood automation platform, ALSO has improved order fulfillment services and customer satisfaction, saved time and money, and improved control and transparency across the business.

  • Increased productivity: Deliveries are faster, and employees can give customers up-to-date information since ALSO now executes order processes quickly and reliably.
  • Cost and time savings: ALSO’s process execution now takes less time overall, enabling them to receive and fulfill more than 5,000 orders a day quickly and easily—thereby meeting their goal of 100% next day order fulfillment.
  • Increased visibility: Redwood provides a single point of enterprise-wide process control and visibility.
Redwood Business Process Automation delivers a huge competitive advantage. ALSO operates in a highly competitive market with very demanding customers who expect prompt delivery. We try to achieve 100% next-day order fulfillment, and Redwood plays a large part in helping us achieve this.” Jörg Heinemann, SAP Basis Administrator, ALSO

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