SAP® Business Objects and APOS Software Help Keep Management and Salespeople Current
Since 1932 Prudential Overall Supply (POS) has been a leader in the uniform rental industry. Prudential Overall Supply offers a variety of uniform service programs and is a supplier of facility services and industrial products. As a service supplier of industrial products, POS provides business facilitieswith products such as dust control mops, towels, mats, restroom supplies, and paper products. Prudential Cleanroom Services specializes in clean-room garment processes using sterile garment-processing facilities.
Prudential Overall Supply has plants and service centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia. The corporate office is located in Irvine, California. With 1,600 employees, POS supports over 300 routes serving 30,000 customers.
“Project POSITIVE” began in mid-2006. The goal of the IT project was to replace all existing application systems with state-of-the-art systems that were supported by outside vendors and to upgrade the computing and networking infrastructure. To date, the financial, purchasing, and route accounting systems have been upgraded, and the remaining legacy systems will be replaced by the end of 2010. As a part of the new technology deployment, enhancing the generation and distribution of management information reports was a critical element. The goal was to automate standard and ad hoc reporting and to distribute the reports electronically in a paperless environment.
Distribution of Financial Statements
One of the challenges the company faced was the amount of time it took to manually distribute financial statements to management teams. Each month, this four-hour process involved printing, collating, and mailing statements to more than 25 cost centers. POS went in search of a better way to process the statements more efficiently.
In addition, the company needed an electronic platform that would allow plant managers to log in remotely and retrieve their statements. And with the ability to develop a single company wide report, managers would each be able to see relevant data based on their respective cost center location.
SAP® Crystal Reports® software and SAP BusinessObjects™ Edge solutions met the company’s specific needs. “SAP Crystal Reports allowed us to customize thereports to look just the way we wanted, and to meet our company and user reporting requirements,” says Hack Hughes, director of IT for POS. “SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions gave us a platform to deliver the statements electronically.”
POS contracted with Virtual Consulting after seeing a demonstration presented by the president and founder of Virtual Consulting. “He was very knowledgeable about SAP Crystal Reports and showed us how we could filter and present data in a customized report format,” remarks Karen Truax, business systems analyst at POS. “Once we saw the presentation, we were sold. A consultant from Virtual Consulting, who was the expert in technical report writing, was assigned to our account.He developed the reports, set up the SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions, and also created a financial universe design for us. We were so pleased with his work that we asked him to return and help us on other projects such as the sales report distribution project.”
“With the new SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions in place, POS management teams could now log in to the server and download their statements just as soon as the reports were available,” comments Truax. As a result, management is now receiving their statements one to two days sooner each month, and there’s no longer any need to collate the reports manually – a big improvement in delivery time.
The financial reports project took only a few months to implement, and the rollout in October 2008 was so straightforward that management teams received training remotely using a Web conferencing tool. The training sessions only took about an hour, and the managers were able to retrieve their statements electronically from that day forward. “We showed them how to log in to the user interface in the SAP BusinessObjects software, navigate to the proper folder, and retrieve their reports,” comments Truax. “It was that easy.”
“With the new SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions in place, POS management teams could now log in to the server and download their statements just as soonas the reports were available.”
Karen Truax, Business Systems Analyst, Prudential Overall Supply
Sales Report Distribution
With the successful completion of the financial reports, POS management turned their attention to another new requirement: a weekly report to keep the salespeople abreast of their sales commissions. This report was currently being printed out, burst into many individualized sections by hand, and sent by interoffice mail to each of more than 140 salespeople and their respective managers. The APOS Bursting Manager from APOS Systems Inc. is the tool Virtual Consulting chose to implement as a solution to distribute that report. It takes a single large report that contains all the possible commission information, slices it into pieces with the information that each individual needs, and sends out each piece via e-mail as an Adobe PDF.
“We showed them how to log in to the user interface in the SAP BusinessObjects software, navigate to the proper folder, and retrieve their reports. It was that easy.”
Karen Truax, Business Systems Analyst, Prudential Overall Supply
POS is also using SAP BusinessObjects software to distribute a sales tax report. “We run SAP Crystal Reports against our operational software and use SAP BusinessObjects Edge solutions to distribute those reports to the people who need them,” says Hughes. “This is a really successful integration of two capabilities that are extremely valuable to us.”
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