Case studies - global customers, multiple industries

Some interesting examples of our customers using Refresh Software algorithms on their data:

World's Largest Chemical Company

The world’s largest companies tend to have an enormous amount of items that they purchase globally in multiple languages and systems. There is often a significant hidden saving to be unlocked through prudent and targeted standardization efforts on this master data, but it’s not without significant effort. In the past, it didn’t make much sense to do it, since without algorithmic automation it ends up being an impractical task to do quickly and well. With Refresh software automation the stubborn savings that were previously impractical are now firmly within reach.

This particular customer is a household-name Fortune 50 Chemical multinational with many materials – around 4 million SKU’s in their ERP systems spread around 200 sites in 35 countries worldwide. After demonstrating the potential for tangible savings on a successful test set of 10 000 Raw, Semi-Finished and Finished SKU’s, the global HQ in the USA signed up for a full global enterprise license of both Refresh Desktop and Refresh Server.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC at Global Top 3 Chemical Co. Read more
The World´s Largest Fine Paper Company

The world’s largest coated fine paper company was facing a Big Data challenge – how to optimally manage an increasing number of materials, services, and suppliers across multiple countries and languages. Two major strategies had been decided by the corporate procurement department: 1) to leverage Procurement by Spend Visibility / Spend Transparency across mills, and 2) to lower working capital by eliminating duplicates and permit sharing of critical items.

In terms of in-house Spend Analysis there already existed an internal SAP material group code but this was not consistently applied across the 340 000 material masters. Additionally, procurement selected UNSPSC as the benchmark external material group for spend reporting as well as two other important coding systems: ECCMA’s eOTD for commercially neutral material descriptions, and INTRASTAT/HTS for consistent commodity / VAT reporting.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto SAP Material Masters - Global Paper Co. Read more
Global Top 5 University

For the last few years, one of the world’s leading universities has been working on a Big Data challenge in procurement – how to increase spend penetration in the right commodities with continued demonstrable savings for all shareholders. The university had already covered significant ground – with an excellent record in increasing the % spend covered over the last five years almost one hundred fold.

Even with this substantial success management had targeted even more future spend visibility and spend analysis for the majority of the university’s Purchase items, services, and suppliers in the Oracle Financials system. In terms of in-house software tools, the organization had been running Oracle Financials successfully for many years as well as some best-of-breed reporting tools. However, the current tools were not the main problem – the underlying raw data was the real issue. It was extremely tough to get users to provide trustworthy spend classification across an extremely diverse group of commodity groups from stationery to building services to complex medical equipment.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC Codes in Oracle PO line items Read more
World’s Largest Mining & Commodities Company

The Nickel business unit of this global leader had just completed an SAP implementation and was looking to make significant procurement cost savings during a tough time for global commodity prices and volumes. Headquartered in Canada, with an annual managed production of more than 100,000 tonnes of nickel in seven countries, they had many lines of raw data passing through their ERP systems and now wanted to take the opportunity to drive better procurement decisions through standardization of their data.

Each site had an extremely diverse range of items of supply being bought daily from many suppliers through multiple purchasers in each country. They were running best of breed procurement tools however, the current tools were not the main problem – the underlying raw data was the real issue.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC and ISO8000 in MRO items Read more
Leading Sugar Co. in USA

For one of the world’s leading producers of sugar, a key challenge is always how to manage and optimize spend on an increasing amount of materials from such a large supplier base. Especially since their sugar plant is the largest, most technologically advanced, fully integrated cane sugar manufacturing facility in the world which means excellent production figures, but quite a diverse range of items of supply being bought daily through many purchasers.

In terms of in-house software tools, the organization had been running SAP for many years as well as some best-of-breed reporting tools. However, the current tools were not the main problem – the underlying raw data was the real issue. The main problem remained: how best to automatically tag all materials and purchase line items to UNSPSC and how to get standard Noun:Modifier material descriptions – reducing duplicates & off-contract spend?

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC Codes for SAP PO line items Read more
World’s Largest Gas Distributor

A key business issue for large energy companies is how to optimally manage CapEx represented by increasing project data, assets, spares, services, and suppliers across multiple projects & phases. Three major decisions had been agreed by the corporate supply chain & engineering departments: 1) to mandate to suppliers the full practical technical & purchasing data to be supplied early at RFP/RFI stage;  2) to build internal data knowledge in the Oil & Gas engineering data standards and purchasing specifications in-house as a foundation for their growing E&P assets; and 3) to make sure that these standards could be future proofed. Basically, this meant that they needed standards in detail down to each attribute at Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage, long before being handed over in practical terms to SAP & Maximo for operational maintenance and procurement people at commissioning. The company had tried to solve the problem previously using a master data management system and outsourced data company but without much traction.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto ISO classes for SAP and Maximo items Read more
Global Top 3 Wood Products Company

With acquired operations in seven countries and on three continents, it had become a large challenge to standardize a significant amount of materials and services at this leading wood products company. Items were being bought daily through many operational buyers in five different languages, some in countries where the head office language is not well-known. In terms of existing software tools, the organization had been running SAP for many years extremely well. However, the underlying material and service line item data was the real issue with 200 000 materials in the ERP system in a mix of 5 languages with possible duplicates, obsolete and incorrectly classified items.

The question was: how best to automatically clean and standardize these 200 000 materials correctly and simultaneously in all five languages in seven countries. And after that: how to keep them standardized globally in each and every country simultaneously at first point of entry?

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC and SAP item text translations Read more
Canadian Government Owned Power Co.

This Canadian Power Company manages some 600 000 MRO materials and services across multiple ERP systems and 75 locations. An in-house strategic P2P (procure to pay) initiative aimed to identify and categorize most materials and services procurement lines using the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). UNSPSC was to be mapped to each of the 600 000 Materials and Services and then updated in Passport, Maximo and SAP to facilitate:

• consistent, accurate and uniform tracking of company spend

• easy company-wide visibility of all items, MRO in particular;

• the further development of strategies, benchmarks & analytics for strategic sourcing.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto UNSPSC the fast and easy way Read more
Fortune 500 Consumer Goods Co. in USA

Big data within the purchasing and maintenance systems of any large organization tends to hold substantial savings in the form of duplicated items. These savings are tough to unlock without an automated software tool to algorithmically identify duplicates and drive automatic standardization.

This particular customer is a perfect example of this: a household-name Fortune 500 consumer good company with well-loved brands, found in almost every home in the United States. As the company has grown over the years, many duplicated items of supply have crept in - a great opportunity for a software-driven de-duplication project.

The procurement, engineering, and finance teams had struggled in the past to get to grips with the half-a-million different items being purchased, stocked or sold. Without software automation, the project would simply not have started.

PDF icon Case Study - Auto-find Duplicates in SAP for USA CPG Co Read more
Global Top 10 Aluminium Company

With more than 30 years of excellence in high-quality aluminium production, the company expects the same high quality standards from its master data. Being the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter with a captive power station means having close to 100 000 material masters in one SAP plant. The major facilities spread over 500 hectares (six square kilometres) include a one million metric tonne per- annum primary aluminium smelter, a  4000 megawatt power station, a 50 million gallon per day water desalination plant, and a significant shipping port. Some years back the company had implemented SAP and was dealing with the practical challenges of how to leverage the system to achieve its expected benefits. A previous effort of outsourcing the material data cleansing to a well-known off-shore data cleansing company had not achieved the level of quality desired and so the main problem remained: How best to increase the data quality of the existing materials, especially with consistent commercial and technical short and long descriptions & characteristics?

PDF icon Case Study - Auto MRO SAP Material Master Descriptions Read more
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