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How Good Is SAP As An ERP For GBI?

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The Global Bike Group (GBG), founded by bike enthusiasts John Davis and Peter Schwarz in 2001, produces and sells globally, premium mountain bikes, road bikes and related accessories with a focus on durability, performance and quality (SAP University Alliance, 2017). GBG uses SAP ECC with the SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) module, that supports knowledge including Pre-sales activities, Shipment, Billing and Processing of sales orders, being integral to knowledge requirements of production, sales, middle-management, and executive staff (Chakravarthy, 2018). GBG’s headquarters are located in Dallas, United States of America(US) with a subsidiary company in Heidelberg, Germany, Global Bike Germany (GmbH). Products for the US and export markets are manufactured in the Dallas facility with the majority of research and development in Heidelberg. GBG’s warehouses are located in San Diego and Miami with GmbH’s located in Hamberg and Heidelberg. GBH’s staff consists of approximately 100 members with 1/3 in Europe and 2/3 located in the US (Wagner., Weidner, 2017).

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The master data is the most important part of SD, providing access to view specific details as well as aggregated information (Wagner. , Weidner, 2017). Executive and middle-management of GBH have access to realtime global data from multiple facilities allowing for each business unit to follow unified guidelines for business operations (Kaglik, 2013). The Document Flow tool, for example, can be used at any point in the sales order process(SAP University Alliance, 2017). The Master Data can be used to provide details of total potential sales, current order writing, deliveries and orders pending. The Master Data from SD could be an issue for GBG as this data will only inform effectively if there is information integrity, information accuracy or information quality (Wysel, 2018). For example when Target America’s venture into the Canadian market failed, it was primarily due to the unsuccessful population of data into SAP ECC (Jackson, 2016). SD provides sales representatives and persons with information to negotiate and complete potential sales. Information such as client sales activity, communication, credit status, general information as well as material cost, availability, completeness and projected timegrames (Verma, 2017).

When an order is created, SD will then determine a delivery timeline based on forward and backward scheduling rules, shipping point and the route the material take to get from the warehouse to the customers, drastically reducing manual processing for GBG (Rouse, 2018). GBG faces issues such as US GAAP and Germany’s tax regulations and IFRS accounting standards (Wagner. , Weidner, 2017) which SD automatically handles at all stages of process and integrates with modules Material Management (MM), Finance (FI) and Warehouse Management (WM) (Wagner. , Weidner, 2017). Material requirements, routing, bill of material and capacity planning knowledge is provided through the Production Planning (PP). PP uses master data from MM regarding raw material availability required to produce material which in-turn is required to produce a sales order in SD (Rouse, 2017). While GBG’s use of SAP ECC is integral to knowledge requirements of production, sales, middle-management, and executive staff, there must be integrity, accuracy and quality of the master data, so that they may continue to focus on durability, performance and quality of their products and services.

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