"Through good project management, SAP implementation cost overruns and delays are becoming rarer, however, when they do occur they are generally caused by output programming errors. By using Lasernet we were able to avoid all these issues as well as adding some beneficial document management facilities. Overall Lasernet was a key factor in the success of the SAP implementation overall."

These are the words of Anil Patel, General Manager of Information Technology at BOC Edwards. Edwards have been using LaserNet for just over a year to manage over 250 document variations, in various languages and currencies together with email & fax distribution and SAP linked onscreen document viewing.

Challenge

Director Ian Hopwood added: "Finance was the acid test in many ways. The end of the half-year figures were due within a month of the go live date, which meant invoicing and accounts had to be completed to a very tight deadline. We were very nervous because usually the first month can be fraught with difficulties. The fact that there were no printing problems at all is testimony to how incredibly useful Lasernet is in aiding a SAP implementation".

Unlike many other companies Edwards took the ‘big bang’ rather than the ‘roll out’ implementation approach: simultaneously introducing five SAP customised modules to over 1000 users across 5 European countries.

 "SAP represents more than a new IT system: it offers us a new way of working, bringing substantial operating benefits. However, for these advantages to be realised, the whole of the business needed to be able to use the system from day one. A piecemeal approach would have been worse than useless." explained Patel.

But installing SAP across 5 European countries had a number of implications for the programming of their business documents. Not only did they need to print documents in different languages and currencies, a number of accounting, cultural, tax and legal variances had to be catered for. For instance in France customers expect to see the actual discount percentage, whereas other parts of Europe prefer a net and gross price. Invoicing alone required 120 variations.