Valantur boosts growth with SAP Business By Design ERP
“SAP Business By Design was a perfect fit for our needs. As a multi-site SME made up of several companies, we were looking to implement a more efficient global management system without affecting the autonomy of each entity.”
Emmanuel Couraud, CEO of Valantur
Valantur is a holding company for five companies specialising in the machining of mechanical parts. It focuses its activities on the precision mechanics and high-end equipment sectors. As a supplier to leading-edge sectors such as aeronautics and armaments, the group has relied over the last ten years on external growth in order to reach critical size, to establish its credibility with major clients, to meet its customers’ needs and to diversify its activities.
This strategy has been quite successful, as Valantur achieved a turnover of €16 million in 2011 and has grown from 25 to 180 employees in ten years. However, due to the lack of a group-wide policy and the absence of an IT tool to formalise it, Valantur lacked the global visibility demanded by some of its partners, including the banks. In addition, its managers, Frédéric and Emmanuel Couraud, wanted to set up a common management system to improve performance and achieve economies of scale.
Organisational restructuring strengthened by a common system
In September 2011, Valantur therefore called on a consultancy firm to review the group’s entire organisation. Finalised on paper in December 2011, this restructuring will be supported by the implementation of a common management tool, SAP Business ByDesign, within which the group’s new processes are formalised.
“The aim was not to revert to the autonomy of each site – each company remains physically and legally independent,” explains Emmanuel Couraud, CEO of Valantur, but rather to pool everything that could be pooled to avoid duplicate operations, difficult manual consolidations and above all to establish a group policy for managing stocks, purchases, human resources, etc. in order to be more efficient and effective. Given the very specific nature of our multi-site, multi-company organisation, SAP Business ByDesign was the product best suited to our needs.”
As a SaaS-based management solution, SAP Business ByDesign offered all the latitude in terms of functionalities and interface (deployment in web mode) that the group needed. The integration of all the modules was also a factor, as Valantur wanted to avoid specific developments.
“The cloud mode also guarantees us a level of security that we would certainly not have been able to push as far as SAP, and has avoided the creation of an IT department within the group,” says Emmanuel Couraud.
The project began in January 2012 with the help of the service provider CEREALOG, chosen for its expertise in SAP solutions, and was divided into two main phases : consolidation of human resources, then of the article, customer and supplier databases. The first phase was completed in April 2012 and Valantur’s objective is to be operational for the entire project by the end of the year. At each new stage, the group recovers the data from each company, cleanses it and enriches it if necessary to form a common base. The new processes are then parameterised in the ERP, with the whole system being shared by its five structures via a web interface
Centralisation that respects autonomy :
Very satisfied with the first stage, Emmanuel Couraud is already anticipating the many benefits of SAP Business ByDesign :
“its implementation formalises a new organisation that favours the optimisation of management without affecting the autonomy of each entity : each company remains independent and has its own data, but SAP Business ByDesign automatically consolidates the figures at group level in real time. This granularity of information, by entity and group, will allow, for example, better management of stocks : internal flows will be favoured instead of ordering new materials for one entity when another has a surplus. The same applies to purchasing : in the long term, a central purchasing unit will make it possible to place larger group orders and therefore to negotiate prices more effectively.”
He also mentions the optimisation of production capacity through a better distribution of activities between sites and the reduction of travel thanks to better shared information. In fact, Emmanuel Couraud is full of praise for this new organisation, which would not have been possible without its formalisation in the ERP. Moreover, Valantur’s CEO has no shortage of ideas for pushing the use of his new system even further :
“eventually, we will deploy the mobile part. Each employee will be able to access information from a tablet or a smartphone and thus be more efficient in the field. We also plan to open our system to our customers to enable them to follow the progress of their orders or to allow small partner organisations to benefit from our tools, such as the central order office.”