One of the biggest ERP projects in Poland ended last June. Żywiec Group, leader of Polish beer market, has started SAP system in the last of its units, in Kujawiak brewery in Bydgoszcz. All the project was supported by BCC.
The project, lasting a few years, was unique in its scale. Its high complexity was due to significant business and organizational changes, including the consolidation of companies making up the Group, Poland’s accession to the EU, and the merger with Brau Union Polska.
The first stage of the project was a comprehensive SAP implementation in Żywiec and Cieszyn breweries as well as Żywiec Trade Holding company (in 2001-2002). The project was executed on the basis of SAP corporate solution, functioning in other countries in the breweries owned by a majority shareholder of Żywiec Group, Dutch beer potentate, Heineken. The corporate concept was checked and supplemented to meet the needs of local processes and legal regulations.
The first stage of works resulted in working out a business and IT model for the whole Żywiec Group in the following areas: financial accounting, fixed assets, treasury, controlling, investment management, materials management, production planning (with process production management), quality management, plant maintenance, sales and distribution, and finally IS-Beverages, a SAP industrial solution for beverages producers.
In next stages the SAP solution created was rolled out to other units. In March 2003 the system started in Grupa Handlowa (Commercial Group – marketing and commercial company), in January 2004 it started in Leżajsk brewery, in May 2004 in Warka brewery, in Elbląg-based Elbrewery – in November 2004. Last May Kujawiak brewery in Bydgoszcz, incorporated into the group after its merger with Brau Union Polska, started using SAP.
The SAP roll-out in each unit was a big challenge, as it required close cooperation with a parallel process of companies consolidation, as they were incorporated into Żywiec Group SA along with productive starts of SAP system. Moreover, incorporating a company into another organization forced many business changes, especially in cooperation with business partners (e.g. taking over previous contracts by a new entity, Żywiec Group SA). Regardless the changes, in 2004 two other projects were carried out: implementing SAP developments resulting from the accession to the EU and introducing international accounting standards.
Ireneusz Kubalewski, IT director in Żywiec Group, says: ‘Thanks to big discipline during arranging this multi-stage project and strict compliance with the project scope definition settled during the project in Żywiec, SAP implementations in other entities ran really smoothly. As a result all units operate according to standard and efficient business model. One can say that in Żywiec Group SAP system has been used as a tool to uniform processes organizational solutions’.
BCC was a partner of Żywiec IT department in all stages of the project. The participation of BCC consultants was particularly important when checking the corporate SAP concept and configuring the system during the first implementation in Żywiec brewery. Specialists from Żywiec Group, on the other hand, dealt with data migration, system tests, user training, ongoing support, ABAP development.
Ireneusz Kubalewski estimates: ‘BCC consultants provided us with expert knowledge on SAP and the specificity of SAP implementations in Polish environment, which was very helpful while adjusting the standard corporate solution. Thanks to knowledge transfer to the employees of Żywiec Group in next stages we could carry out more and more work by ourselves, which resulted in significant cost reduction of all the project’.
SAP system implementations in next Żywiec Group units were all the time audited by corporate consultants. It was evaluated as one of the best organized SAP implementations in Heineken corporation.