Capgemini’s Business Information Strategy techniques have helped the international manufacturer to build an integrated approach to procurement that gives users immediate, tangible benefits
Founded 100 years ago, Tata Steel Group has grown rapidly through acquisition in recent years and is now among the top ten global steel makers. The UK company – formerly British Steel, then Corus – forms a major part of the group’s asset base, alongside important operations in the Netherlands, South East Asia and India, where the group has its HQ.
Prior to its acquisition by Tata Steel, Corus had decided to replace its multiple UK legacy ERP systems with a single SAP ERP system. This meant a three-year change programme affecting 6-8,000 users across 50 locations, including 12 major sites.
With Tata Steel in the UK moving to SAP-based ERP systems, it became feasible to create a genuine UK-wide procurement organisation. The vision was to extend the scope for buyers to manage suppliers and negotiate national deals on behalf of the UK, with local buyers calling off against existing agreements. That necessitated new reporting mechanisms allowing buyers to view procurement as an integrated whole. Previously, assembling data from multiple legacy systems across the group had been a labour-intensive and error-prone process.
However, just implementing a new ERP system was not going to provide that simple integrated view. Multiple source systems and the associated data integration challenges were still a factor. Data enrichment was needed. There were issues of data quality, master data management and data governance. A central challenge was that it was impossible to pre-define how the data should be analysed. Nick Reeks, Group Development Director, Procurement, Tata Steel Group says, “We wanted people to be able to look at spend in whatever way they needed to.” Capgemini’s experience of Business Information Management suggested a design in which all conceivable analyses could be provided by just eight reports. Within these, data could be “sliced and diced” across 25 variables, allowing users to generate virtually any view of spend.
Previously, producing a new procurement report used to involve a call to the IT Service Desk who would send the report a week or so later. Now, procurement staff can define and run their own reports by setting parameters, and can often get the information they need back immediately. Data can be presented in a variety of ways, including graphically. The system also automates the distribution of regular reports.