The company, which has 700,000 active customers, finally implemented the SAP Retail suite earlier this year after a protracted roll-out. It moved to SAP systems to support its rapid growth and increase efficiency in its supply chain as its legacy systems were holding the business back, said Michael Bennett, IT director at Direct Wines.
"With our existing systems, we could not cost-effectively make the changes we wanted to," he said. "There was often no consistency of data and this required excessive manual checking. We ran the risk of having data that was not reliable and we could not afford this."
The SAP Retail implementation, which covers logistics, materials management, planning, sales and distribution, purchase orders, warehouse management and bond modules, has improved data quality, Bennett said.
"We have a single source for all our data and we know that it is reliable and accurate. We have already achieved a reduction in stock volumes of 10% and accelerated stock turns by 15%. We have also cut costs and improved efficiency in a number of other areas, including bonded warehouse and invoice matching."
Direct Wines was forced to change systems integrators in favour of retail consultancy Novasoft when the original supplier was unable to fully integrate the retailer's multiple legacy applications with the new SAP system.
Now Novasoft has completed the SAP implementation, Direct Wines is confident that it can achieve its ambitious growth targets. "SAP will enable us to grow faster than we might have been able to with existing systems," said Bennett. "We have grown by 27% a year for five years and the existing architecture simply would not support future growth. SAP is part of our goal to create a seamless process from customer order right through delivery."