FRANKFURT, Germany and ORLANDO, Fla., May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With 13 global business units, four regions and dozens of business applications, consumer products leader Newell Rubbermaid needed a more complete, accurate and timely view of data across the company. Working with SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), the company has been able to corral that information into a single dashboard that includes consistent information which business users can easily access to make better decisions that contribute directly to company performance. Newell Rubbermaid has implemented a powerful combination of solutions from the SAP® BusinessObjects™ portfolio, including business intelligence (BI), enterprise performance management (EPM) and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions. Now employees are easily and securely getting business information and using analytics to reduce sourcing spend, maintain appropriate inventory levels and increase customer service satisfaction – all while ensuring compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® NOW, being held simultaneously in Frankfurt, Germany, and Orlando, Florida, May 17-19, 2010.
Newell Rubbermaid has some of the most well-known brands in the home and family, office products and tools categories, including Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Graco, Calphalon and Irwin. One of the most diverse consumer products companies, it has been a long-time SAP customer in part due to SAP's industry expertise. Starting with SAP® Business Suite software, Newell Rubbermaid has expanded to use the SAP NetWeaver® technology platform and the SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse component alongside solutions from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio.
"With the global insight SAP provides, we've been able to more strategically identify best business practices, as well as find areas for improvement," said Matt Stultz, vice president of Information Technology, Newell Rubbermaid. "Whether it's analyzing our spend data or more efficiently managing our inventory, we have both the historical and up-to-date information we need to move our business forward. Because the analytics and GRC solutions are so intuitive to use, this journey toward continuous improvement has been engaging people in every area of the company – regardless of their technical skill."
Fast, Easy Access to Sourcing Data Helps Optimize Spending for Corporate Purchases
The indirect sourcing team at Newell Rubbermaid manages global purchases that can be leveraged by all global business units, such as travel, healthcare, transportation and distribution, and IT. In order to optimize spend with these service vendors, the team needed a regularly updated and consistent view of all purchasing data that mapped to industry-standard classifications. After a competitive search, Newell Rubbermaid selected the SAP solution for its ease of use, data connectivity and consumer product goods footprint.
Previously, there was no standardized way to consolidate and analyze data across the company. Newell Rubbermaid turned to the SAP® BusinessObjects™ Spend Performance Management application, one of the SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions, to provide its sourcing community with a consolidated view of its data that conformed to United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) standards, allowing it to better analyze spend by category. With this insight, the procurement team has been able to identify opportunities for better contract management with vendors. And because this information is refreshed weekly, sourcing experts can evaluate their procurement on a continuous basis rather than periodically throughout the year.
With SAP BusinessObjects Spend Performance Management the team has been able to identify opportunities to consolidate vendors, improve negotiation and pinpoint spending anomalies. For example, if a region consistently uses a non-preferred pallet vendor, the indirect sourcing team can investigate whether that region is getting a better deal that should be leveraged across the company, or if there is a problem with the company's pallet supply that should be addressed. This fast, granular access to standardized data has been critical to improving spend management, and will be a key technology for the company as it sets up central buying offices for multiple global business units.
To increase visibility into overall purchasing the company plans to roll the solution out to its other sourcing areas, including raw materials and finished goods.
BI from SAP Helps to Control Inventory, Stabilize Growth and Increase Customer Satisfaction
By implementing business intelligence solutions from SAP, Newell Rubbermaid can now take data from all regions and business units and give executives and line-of-business heads a holistic view of global inventory and its impact on corporate performance. A key new capability is more accurate demand forecasting. Excess inventory is one of the biggest challenges for consumer products companies. Analytics, reports and data visualization solutions from SAP enable employees to more accurately forecast the sales of products in specific regions and help customers maintain the appropriate amount of inventory, without overproducing or under-producing and losing revenue. With SAP software, executives and line of business managers can get a global view of service levels, benchmark levels and drill down by unit, region or product line to resolve issues and increase customer satisfaction. Newell Rubbermaid plans to use SAP mobile capabilities designed for the BlackBerry to make reports on service-level satisfaction immediately available so business users can be even more responsive to customer needs.
By providing easy-to-read reports based on accurate, complete information, Newell Rubbermaid has increased report adoption by business users by 40 percent and helped to ensure that users are making more-informed decisions.
SAP® BusinessObjects™ Explorer Software and In-Memory Technology Helps Business Users Explore Sales Data in Real Time
In addition to query and analysis, reporting and data visualization tools, Newell Rubbermaid employees are using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to easily and instantly navigate point of sale (POS) data. Because the solution uses SAP in-memory technology, employees can quickly explore sales data for any time period in less than a minute—a task that previously required the IT department to formulate a new report for each unique request. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer allows people to gather together POS data from its various retailers and compare that data to better understand how particular product lines, regions or promotions are performing. Because employees have current and historical data from the past three years readily available to them, they can do trending to better understand, for example, why there has been a drop off in sales with retailer X but an increase with retailer Y during the same period.
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is easy and intuitive to use so anyone from merchandising managers to forecast analysts or account managers has available sales information at their fingertips to help identify opportunities for growth, understand business challenges and develop more informed strategies.
SAP BusinessObjects GRC Solution Helps Ensure Secure Access to Information, SOX Compliance
With a far more powerful ability to see global data throughout the company, Newell Rubbermaid also needed to define who could access information and to what degree. To do so, the company deployed the SAP® BusinessObjects™ Access Control application, part of the SAP BusinessObjects GRC solutions, to make sure that the appropriate access to information was granted to the right employees based on role, department and position. With access based on segregation of duties, Newell Rubbermaid now has the processes in place to efficiently meet SOX requirements. The company has automated 92 percent of the user access requests and is ensuring compliance more cost-effectively than before.
"Newell Rubbermaid needs information everywhere and like many SAP customers, needs analytics everywhere so people have the data they need to continuously improve business performance," said Marge Breya, executive vice president and general manager of Solutions, SAP. "The future of work is changing and people need information within the context of their everyday work environments to make the right decisions. Our partnerships with customers like Newell Rubbermaid — and its pervasive use of analytics across the company — are indicators of what business processes and decision-making will look like in the near future."
With SAPPHIRE® NOW, SAP marks the next evolution of its SAPPHIRE customer conference and networking events, offering SAP customers, partners and prospects even more opportunities to engage in dialogue with peers, participants and thought leaders around the globe. Being held simultaneously in Orlando, Florida, and Frankfurt, Germany, May 17-19, 2010, this enhanced, real-time event connects attendees on site with global participants through state-of-the-art broadcast studios and a newly designed online experience that incorporates the latest social media and community functionality. Whether onsite or online, participants can gain insight on how innovative business solutions from SAP are enabling long-term, profitable business growth. For more information about the Orlando show, visit www.sapandasug.com; for the Frankfurt event, visit www.sap.com/sapphire/emea. Join the conversation via Twitter at @SAPPHIRENOW and visit the SAPPHIRE NOW Social Newsroom at sapphirenow.blogs-sap.com.
SAP and the Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG) are co-locating their premier events in Orlando, where the 2010 ASUG Annual Conference takes place May 16-20.
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