The key assumption was implementing the system in 12 publishing companies at once in order to unify the solutions in finance, logistics and HR and creating a unified reporting system.
Other implementation objectives were: integrating the central IT system with the applications of advertisement sale and electronic banking and reducing the costs if IT service by a centralized system architecture with the access through the corporate WAN net.
All those objectives were to be gained in a short time,at limited costs and with a limited number of employees that Orkla Press could delegate to the project.
A natural choice, made after a thorough analysis of various offers from manufacturers and implementation companies, was SPRINT offered by SNP. It is a preconfigured SAP system for middle-sized businesses.
Andrzej Stokłosa, project manager, said: ‘In the beginning we were considering other ERP systems. However, we finally decided on SAP system as it is the most powerful integrated tool of company management. The choice was significantly influenced by the fact that SAP is a standard software platform in Orkla Media group and by the possibility to use the preconfigured SPRINT solution offered by SNP, which reduced the implementation time and costs’.
During the first phase, started in June 2001, the implementation included the following SAP areas: finance accounting, fixed assets accounting, controlling, materials management, sales and distribution. Implementation project covered 12 companies – press publishers and 5 printing houses owned by them.
As planned, Orkla units started using SAP in January 2002. SAP implementation in 12 units in such a wide range and in the short time of 6 months was possible thanks to SPRINT. Its ready-made functional and organizational solutions allowed to reduce time budget and the work load on Orkla employees to the necessary minimum.
During the second phase of the implementation, finished in August 2002, SAP HR management module started. During this phase the preconfigured solution HR SPRINT prepared by SNP was also used.
The whole project was unique in terms of organization. During each phase of the implementation the solution was created in a pilot publishing-printing house (in the first phase: Pro-Media sp. z o.o. in Opole, in the second one in HR area: G.P. Media sp. z o.o. in Bydgoszcz). Next the solution was copied, with one-phase delay, in other units: AWH Edytor SA (Białystok), Edytor Press sp. z o.o. (Lublin), Kresy BO sp. z o.o. (Białystok), KW Forum sp. z o.o. (Koszalin), Lubpress sp. z o.o. (Zielona Góra), R-Press sp. z o.o. (Rzeszów), Szczecin Press sp. z o.o., Dolnośląskie Wydawnictwo Prasowe Sp. z o.o. (Wrocław), Tygodnik Ostrołęcki sp. z o.o., Orkla Media Magazines Sp. z o.o. (Bydgoszcz).
Finance and controlling
Finance accounting constitutes the basic integrating link for the whole system. The integration is done mainly through the chart of accounts that is common for all units.
A model chart of accounts in SPRINT has been adjusted to the needs of publishing activities and meets the analytical requirements of particular accounting areas.
One of the basic advantages of SPRINT implementation in finance accounting is an increase in posting automation, due to integrating system areas. It is particularly important in sale (e.g. issuing an invoice results in posting a liability, income and due tax), because of a big number of the processes records.
Also home banking operations are processed automatically, e.g. electronic bank transfers, posting a bank statement that includes introducing banking transactions, posting on the accounts of the ledger and accounting books.
Implementing SAP finance modules enabled making quick reports after each settlement month and on-demand historical reports for any period. Most works on closing a settlement period are now automatic.
In fixed assets area SPRINT implementation allowed to introduce homogenous rules of accounting recording of fixed assets, intangible asstes, investments, financial fixed assets and other elements (e.g. those in records outside the balance).
The system ensures automatic recording and posting of balance amortization and depreciation, tax amortization and real estate tax, and multi-dimension estimation and classification of property (according to balance regulations, tax regulations, capital group standards etc.).
The information system helps to create quick and detailed statements and reports required by various bodies: GUS (Central Statistical Office), local authorities, the board, the supervisory board etc.
Implementation of SPRINT in controlling enabled to introduce modern costs analysis. A consistent structure of costs centers was introduced and so-called internal demands that allow to gather costs of one activity (e.g. marketing costs, publishing projects costs). Cost settlement is now automatic and uniform tools for cost planning are available.
In the units owning printing houses the SPRINT functionality was started. It helps to create an actual production cost account down to the level of particular items in assortment and settling production deviations.
In sales controlling the implemented solutions will allow a multi-dimension registration and reporting of sales income and sales costs. Income and profitability analysis is possilble in the market segments that are combinations of a product (e.g. analysing income on sale broken down into daily and weekend issues), customer, seller, distribution channel.
A flexible reporting system enables to create own user’s reports in any configuration. The aggregated financial data are transferred by an interface to Hyperion Enterprise, the system used by the corporation Orkla.
SAP tools of cash resources management were also implemented. One report (liquidity forecast) shows the amounts of takings and expenditure of cash according to the planned data of the currency. The liquidity forecast also includes logistic operations, such as supply order or sale order and settlement items. The values from the liquidity forecast can be compared with the values of balance on bank accounts and the balance on supplementary accounts, which enables to gain information about the forecast state of cash resources. The finance department gains this information prior to real moves in cash resources.
SPRINT provides quantity and value stock management in the units with own printing houses, so the information on the quantity and value of stock levels in every warehouse is always available. All postings related to material moves are automatic in the ledger. The data base of material indexes has been unified and the central purchase system has been implemented. In supply the strategy of supply document approval has been implemented.
By using the function of the so-called posted purchse (the materials from suppliers are immediately debited as costs) allowed to simplify the process of office supply purchase and the service purchase function helped to introduce a thorough control of service purchase process.
Sales and distribution
SPRINT gives an access to one data base of customers and products for all units of the group. Thanks to integration the invoiced sale and deliveries are automatically posted on accounts and make it possible to make a sale profitability analysis by many criteria.
Some system developments considering the specificity of publishing industry have been created especially for Orkla group. These are publishing calendar, subscription sale function and posting deferred income. SPRINT has been also integrated with specialized solutions servicing the sale of advertising space. Besides sales, SPRINT also manages other related activities: deliveries for representation and advertisement and donations.
A big advantage of the implementation is starting a credit control of the customers that serves as a safe-guard against an overdraft of the merchant’s credit limit.
The information registered during entering the customer orders, shipping and invoicing constitutes a basis for analyses from a multi-dimensional sale information system.
HR SPRINT implementation in Orkla units made the work in HR and payroll management more efficient. The system stores a history of all personnel events (employment, moves, suspension etc.). The system of work time registration records all the data on absences, holidays and changes in working hours. The information is automatically interpreted by a payroll. HR information system enables to generate required reports like ZUS reports and tax forms. Thanks to the functions of ad-hoc inquiries and mail merge reporting HR and payroll data is now quick and easy.
Steinar Bjornbet, finance director in Orkla Press, comments:
‘SPRINT implementation in Orkla Press group in Poland helped to achieve standardizing of the systems of a dozen scattered and distant units on the basis of one powerful and consistent software platform. All the units covered with implementation operate according to one standard, which makes controlling and management data available in the system fully reliable.
Orkla Press Polska managements has gained a tool for efficient management of units from finance to logistics to HR and payroll’.
Orkla Press Group in Poland is one of the leaders in press market. Orkla Press is a part of Orkla concern, one of the biggest stock companies in Norway. It currently holds 51% shares in Rzeczpospolita and some shares in regional titles like: Słowo Polskie, Wieczór Wrocławia, Głos Pomorza, Gazeta Pomorska, Kurier Poranny, Dziennik Wschodni, Nowa Trybuna Opolska, Gazeta Lubuska, Głos Szczeciński, Nowiny, Gazeta Współczesna. The companies run publishing activities and some own their printing houses. Orkla has now over 23% share in the market of daily newspapers in Poland.