Business courier TNT Express is nearing the end of global roll-out of enterprise resource planning software from SAP.

It said this week it had rolled out SAP systems to 56 countries out of 62, and the programme was delivering savings in purchasing and inventory, as well as strengthened reporting processes to ensure compliance with legislation including Sarbanes-Oxley.

It has also improved management of IT by establishing a global customer competence centre, according to Dennis Beard, director of infrastructure services at TNT.

A key to its success is that the company has strong quality and project management principles deeply embedded into the whole organisation and these were rigorously enforced during the roll-out, Beard said. The project has also benefited from a high degree of executive buy-in. TNT chief executive Marie Christine Lombard has attended twice-monthly project review meetings over the life of the programme.

Svan Lembke, who is in charge of SAP’s Quality Programme in Europe and the Middle East, said that to date the roll-out by TNT was exemplary.

“TNT Express have embraced key principles of quality early in their implementation and involved their partner Atos and SAP to achieve a successful global roll-out.”

TNT is in the process of expanding operations worldwide to maximise its network performance. It currently serves more than 200 countries and employs around 159,000 people.