High-end speaker and iPod docking station maker B&W Group has implemented a new SAP business system to improve its global operations.

Headquartered in Worthing, Sussex, B&W is best known for its real wood speakers, with Abbey Road Studios in London and Skywalker Studios in California among its customers.

The firm has now deployed SAP's BusinessObjects Business Intelligence and BusinessObjects Explorer systems. Because of an increasing amount of product data, and also because new media had opened up new channels in terms of distributors and dealers, B&W decided it was time to get a better handle on understanding its information.

“We have been a SAP customer for over ten years using ERP (enterprise resource planning), warehouse management, document management and plant management, ensuring our back end processes were as efficient as possible, but we had not used a BI (business intelligence) solution before," said Paul Fryer, business systems manager at B&W.

"Previously, all analysis was completed pulling data from SAP and analysing this manually in Excel. This was a lengthy process that often did not present the recipient with the required timely view, and was also prone to error," said Fryer.

To improve matters the company implemented SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer over the summer, and it has recently gone live with the platform.

Many of B&W's senior management and sales representatives now use iPhones and iPads in parallel with their desktop PCs, using standard applications from SAP, which means that accurate information can be gathered quickly and easily anywhere in the world.

Fryer said: "The flexibility and number of standard interface options from SAP has been a major aid to adoption. We now have a single version of the truth and can see where products are at any of our global sites."

He said the firm now had an improved understanding of demand, stock and sales levels, moving the business "to the next level". B&W brought in SAP provider Birchman to help with the roll-out.

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