Alpha plots retail course with SAP

Use of a pre-configured “blueprint” application and visits to customer reference sites played key roles in the decision-making stage of Alpha Airports Group’s implementation of a new SAP retail system.

Use of a pre-configured “blueprint” application and visits to customer reference sites played key roles in the decision-making stage of Alpha Airports Group’s implementation of a new SAP retail system.

The group, which provides retail and catering services for airlines and airports, chose Ciber Novasoft to implement SAP for its retail operations.

Group IT director Martin Cook spoke to senior staff at Direct Wines, Halfords and Boots who had implemented SAP to assess Ciber Novasoft ’s credentials in retail consultancy and the applicability of SAP.

He also spent half a day with Direct Wines looking at its merchandise supply chain. This allowed him to see whether the system he was buying would support specific compliance requirements.

Cook said, “Our key reference objective concerned the HM Revenue and Customs compliance elements. We run a lot of bonded warehouse operations and it was key to understand and verify the credentials Ciber Novasoft had in dealing with that part of our business.”

During the implementation, a pre-configured SAP retail application was demonstrated in workshops to find out what managers were looking for in a production system.

The prototype SAP system allowed him to challenge managers on the way they worked when their processes were not supported directly within SAP, avoiding the need to customise SAP with tailored business processes.

Since the installation of the system in April, Cook said the business has experienced efficiency gains.

“For the first time we now have authoritative, topical information about our inventory levels, which has allowed much closer management of the working capital in our business,” he said. 


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