Customers and Partners BenefitBy Andrew Hess | Posted 2009-09-22 Email Print
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Global retailer Fossil improves job processing and speeds up customer orders with a workload automation system.
Customers and Partners Benefit
Since we implemented UC4 at the end of 2005, our annual sales have grown 52 percent. Our systems run more efficiently because of automation tools, and our customers and partners directly benefit. Orders placed on our Website are seamlessly integrated with orders placed by distributors for processing and shipping.
The automation tools enable us to filter Website orders every 10 minutes, so orders get placed, directed to the correct warehouse and delivered to customers faster than ever before. We also have near real-time access to information about what’s selling in our retail stores, which enables us to get the right products to the right stores.
Today, the biggest hurdle we face is the lack of time. During our busy season, we don’t have time to wait for one job stream to finish before another begins. With our workload automation software, we can simultaneously run jobs across platforms or from different warehouses.
Those four months leading up to the end of the year are critical to our business, and UC4 gives us single, worldwide visibility into what is happening across our IT landscape. Being able to claim back the processing slack times, compress run-times and experience fewer job failures has given us the flexibility to support our business growth.
In addition, we no longer incur financial penalties for late Advanced Shipping Notices (ASNs). With workload automation software, we’re able to see the relationships between all jobs, allowing us to proactively avoid breakdowns in the process.
SAP invoicing jobs can be misrepresentative: Child processes get spawned, and while SAP may report that invoicing has finished, the invoice jobs are still running. We want to start generating ASNs only when invoicing is really completed.
UC4 enables us to run multiple jobs in parallel within SAP, categorized by customers. We can hold the ASN jobs to ensure that they go out at the same time, or manually start an ASN job if things are running long and a given customer’s invoices have already been generated. Before implementing workload automation, we were incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines each year, but, since UC4, these fines are few and far between.
As a retailer, we’re in the business of time, and that’s what this system has given us.
Andrew Hess, vice president of wholesale applications for Fossil, is responsible for the company’s worldwide IT applications that support wholesale sales and distribution, accounting and HR. Prior to joining Fossil in 2004, he spent 12 years in technology consulting for numerous Fortune 500 corporations around the world.