Elite Cafe is one of the most innovative companies in its area that was the first in Poland to implement SAP with a preconfigured SPRINT system. What has it gained?
A broad functionality of SAP (finance and controlling, supply and sales, HR) was started quickly and relatively cheaply; the methodology of SPRINT, together with ready-made documentation and project tools did not demand high involvement of Elite employees during implementation.
The IT system that supports strategic areas of a company’s operations requires constant monitoring of the availability and data security in order to function well. Appropriate qualifications and knowledge are vital to meet this requirement.
Even the most skilled company’s administrator, responsible for running the system, must constantly improve his skills at various training courses on maintenance and development of an ERP system and other elements of IT infrastructure that influence its functioning.
More difficult when you are alone
During last three years Elite Cafe has had its own administration of SAP system. SNP provided support for the company: a few times a month it executed a remote check of the system or the monitoring of functioning of the infrastructure on the application level, data bases and operational system. Moreover, the client was provided with current phone support of SNP consultants during solving current problems. It was limited to a certain amount of hours per month.
‘However, it turned out that with limited team of IT specialists working for Elite, such a solution has some faults. Apart from the necessity of frequent courses for people working on the system, we were also anxious about the ‘human factor’, i.e. the employee’s unexpected absence or holidays‘, said Maciej Suliga, chief IT specialist in Elite.
The threat of losing a well-trained employee to another company was also quite real. Moreover, the number of IT specialists in Elite was in this way diminished, as being an independent system administrator required focusing only on that task.
The solution was outsourcing, a form of cooperation at a lower or comparable cost to the original model of independent administrator of SAP. How is it possible?
After three years of an independent system administrating Elite decided to entrust SNP with the remote administration of SAP through outsourcing. What will the company gain? The invaluable: a constant access to steadily increasing qualifications of SNP technical consultants, who supported SAP implementation and maintenance for more than 20 clients. The implementation projects covered various versions of the system and SAP installation on various hardware and software platforms.
It’s worth noticing that their qualifications are constantly improved through training courses, new implementations or internal projects, related to gaining knowledge about new technologies and solutions launched onto the market.
All this minimizes or almost cancels unpleasant surprises or the possibility that an employee will lack in qualifications to solve unusual problems that may occur during administering the system.
It should be also noted that the contract obliges SNP to make available for the client not only a single person’s services, but the whole team of IT consultants, which is especially valuable in terms of risk connected with absence of the employee responsible for system supervision.
‘We gain not only technical support, but first of all an access to the knowledge and expertise of SNP consultants and a guarantee of safety for our IT resources they are responsible for ‘, said Maciej Suliga.
The price of the service is also important. It turned out to be comparable to the cost of the previous model that required spending money on employee training and other costs.
‘In the long-term perspective it is really cheaper than maintaining internal system service department to ensure the same level of service’, confirms Maciej Suliga.
The qualitative changes were quickly felt by Elite IT team and particularly IT management. Thanks to SNP, instead of spending long time on current administrative works related to SAP, they can focus on working on developing IT solutions in order to meet the business requirements better.
‘Thanks to outsourcing and cooperation with an external service provider IT manager leaves in the hands of subcontractors the most tedious and time consuming tasks. He only supervises the quality of service and his knowledge, experience and time dedicates to more creative tasks. He’s a manager whose work is strategic for a company‘, said Waldemar Sokołowski, IT director in SNP Poland.
Under a specified timetable of days and hours of duties a consultant becomes a remote administrator for the client’s system and sends reports about the state of the infrastructure twice a day .
In case of a breakdown a client must be visited by a consultant ready to solve problems and within the maximum term specified in the contract.
The consultants also define potential areas for improvement or development of the system that can improve the efficiency of the hardware or security if the whole infrastructure. Any suggestions and remarks are passed to the clients in a form of daily updated administrator’s day book and reports on works in progress.
‘Technical support offered as outsourcing is a guarantees the security of the information processed as well as the efficiency and availability of the system that is monitored by the professionals‘, sums up Waldemar Sokołowski.
Elite Cafe is one of the biggest coffee producers in Poland (brands Pedro’s, Optima, Fort and others) and the only distributor of the Italian brand Lavazza. In the catering market Elite Coffee Services is the biggest provider of coffee (Elite and Lavazza brands) and devices to brew coffee. Elite coffees are produced in the roasting plant in Swadzim near Poznań, one of the most modern of such plants in Europe.