Home Customers Case Studies Agropur Milks Its ERP Upgrade to the Last Drop

Agropur Milks Its ERP Upgrade to the Last Drop

Attachments:
File
 Download PDF Download PDF

Still running on 4.7 Enterprise in the Fall of 2009, Agropur wanted to upgrade before standard SAP maintenance ended and only had a short window of opportunity to do it.

Using Panaya, Agropur saved 45% on outsourcing costs, 50% on unit testing, 30% on project duration, and went live on time, and under-budget.

Upgrade Synopsis

  • Upgrade from 4.7 to ERP 6.0
  • SAP modules: FI/CO, SD, MM, WM, PP, QM
  • Technical upgrade
  • Upgrade driver: end of maintenance

Upgrade Benefits

  • 45% savings on outsourcing costs
  • 50% savings on unit testing
  • 30% savings on project duration
  • Go-live on time – with zero issues
  • Project completed under-budget

Company

Agropur is Canada's largest dairy cooperative. A network of more than 3,500 dairy farmers, Agropur prides itself on its customer responsiveness. 2.7 billion liters of milk are processed annually in plants across the United States, Canada, and Argentina. Each of Agropur's divisions is run autonomously and operates its own ERP system. The award-winning Fine Cheese division – the subject of this case study – is the smallest of Argopur's divisions with 450 employees. This division first installed SAP 4.7 Enterprise in 2004. With the help of Panaya, the Fine Cheese Division upgraded to ERP 6.0 in the spring of 2010.

The Challenge

Marie-Claude Alary, Manager of Business Process Systems Improvement for Agropur's Fine Cheese Division, knew it was time for a change. Still running on 4.7 Enterprise in the Fall of 2009, the Fine Cheese Division wanted to upgrade before standard SAP maintenance ended and only had a short annual window of opportunity to do it – during the end of winter. Alary's team also wanted access to new functionality in ERP 6.0, such as Adobe Forms, which was not available to them in 4.7. The problem? Her SAP team was a small one – they needed an efficient way to upgrade to ERP 6.0, which did not cause on over-reliance on outsourced support. Added pressure: the SAP system is the backbone of the Fine Cheese enterprise; no downtime beyond a weekend could be afforded.

The Solution

As they were planning their ERP 6.0 upgrade, Alary got a timely email from Panaya, featuring a paper on SAP upgrades that spurred her interest. "It was just a few hours later," Alary recalls, "that I got a phone call from Panaya offering to do a demo. I thought to myself, 'they're quick!'" At first, Alary's team was concerned that Panaya wasn't the best fit for their project, due to their 130 person user base. "We often look at third party tools for our project and ask ourselves, 'Do we really need this?'" explains Alary. "On a smaller project like ours, there's really not that many tasks to organize, so we typically don't get as much benefit from tools like these." Panaya's free trial, which included snapshots of Agropur's unresolved code issues, persuaded Alary to give Panaya a shot.

Implementation

Getting the Agropur team up to speed posed no challenges. Panaya trained the ABAP team in two hours; Alary trained the super users in just fifteen minutes. "We had a super user who was not very good with computers, but she found the tool very user friendly," recalls Alary. Agropur used Panaya to manage all the tasks during the testing process, something that came in handy after the upgrade when Panaya was used to show project auditors that the testing was completed to spec and all tasks assigned to the appropriate person.

The benefits of Panaya as a project management tool were immediately obvious to Alary. Prior to the project, Alary had engaged a coach to help her with the upgrade and manage the ABAP team.

"For him, just doing the task assignments within Panaya took a lot less time than we expected, and that really saved on project management costs," says Alary.

"If we had to identify all the tasks and assign them manually or with a spreadsheet, it would have taken a lot more time. Project managers are the most expensive people in the upgrade, so I saved a lot there."

Alary was not sure if unit testing with Panaya would work out, but the ability to identify and assign tasks during unit testing won her over, significantly reducing the anticipated testing time. When it came time for integration testing, there were no issues of importance to resolve - Panaya had already identified them during the unit testing phase. "We were able to improve our system and reduce the number of bugs," says Alary. "Now our live system is almost perfect."

Results

All told, Panaya saved Alary's team almost six weeks of time – 30 percent of the total upgrade. In addition to the project management savings, outsourcing costs were reduced by 45 percent. Unit testing was reduced by 50 percent, and integration testing by 30 percent. Perhaps most importantly, Agropur's ERP 6.0 upgrade project was completed under-budget. 

Alary believes one key to Panaya's success is its close partnership with its customers. "We're at the other end of the planet from one another, but it was all very transparent. The availability of the people from Panaya was amazing. I don't know when they sleep actually," jokes Alary.

The only problem with the project? It went so smoothly, everyone was worried that an unseen hammer was about to fall. "This project went extremely well, we just didn't believe it," recalls Alary. "We kept asking ourselves, 'What is going to come and hit us?' After we went live, we had no surprises either, it was like a perfect project." As planned, the Agropur Fine Cheese group took their ERP 6.0 system live over a long weekend in May 2010

Advice

Now live on ERP 6.0, Alary has a few lessons to share. One is to avoid over-reliance on outside consulting. Alary used her external ABAP partner judiciously, making sure that her internal team retained the most important know-how. Using internal team members reduced the knowledge transfer costs. The super users doing the testing already knew the transactions and how they were supposed to work, minimizing training time. "Don't be too reliant on external consultants," cautions Alary. "We took people from their normal jobs for four weeks; they were fully concentrated on SAP software. It may be a pain for the organization, but it really saved us time and money."

Of course, Alary has another piece of advice: use Panaya. "Panaya delivers!" says Alary. "Test, test, test and test, it's the best way to make sure you have a successful upgrade ... and Panaya is the right tool to support testing. At first, it looks too good to be true, but it really is that good!"

Next up for Alary's team? With their technical upgrade complete, they're investigating in some functional enhancements in ERP 6.0, including extending their warehouse management tools and improving master data efficiency with Adobe Forms. They're also looking into their SAP support pack timetable and how Panaya can help there. One thing's for sure: whatever project the Fine Cheese Division undertakes next, their "perfect project" will be a hard act to follow.

Tags: Topics: All Topics Topics: SAP All regions: All regions All regions: Americas All industries: All industries All industries: Food
 

About Panaya

Panaya ensures the continuous quality of enterprise applications, enabling companies to be more agile in addressing constant change.


Delivering safe and timely change in enterprise applications is a constant challenge. Nearly 70% of change effort is dedicated to ensuring that application change won’t break the business. Panaya’s Quality Management Cloud reduces this effort by 50% and more. Our Quality Management Cloud offers a uniquely simple solution for SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce customers. It combines change impact simulation, code remediation and collaborative testing tools for IT and the business. And it continuously analyzes millions of project activities executed in Panaya’s cloud, empowering clients with best practices derived from real-life experience. We call this “Cloud Wisdom”.


More than 1,000 organizations, including a third of the Fortune 500, use Panaya to scope and accelerate the delivery of enterprise application change, whether big or small, IT or business-driven. They enjoy projects that are at least 50% leaner, giving them the time and freedom to deliver more innovation - without compromising on stability or quality.


For more information, read our blog, visit our website and follow @panaya on Twitter.

big_contact

PSA

mercedes_hover

"We plan to use Panaya for all our future upgrade and support package projects."

Grégory Cagin, SAP upgrade programs Manager, SAP Competence Center

PSA Peugeot Citroën

Mercedes

mercedes_hover

"Eighty to ninety percent of our potential problems were taken care of by Panaya."

Sanjeev Sharma, SAP Regional Support Manager

Mercedes-Benz USA

Kingspan

Kingspan

"I don't think the users noticed an upgrade had even happened"

Barry Finn, IS Applications Project Manager

Kingspan

Central Vermont Public Service

Central Vermont Public Service

"How does anyone implement support packages without Panaya?!"

Shelly Hendee, SAP Support Team Manager

Central Vermont Public Service

Travel

TravelCenters

"It's not just the time saved, it's the results."

Jeff Obrzut, Manager of SAP Development 

Travel Centers of America

AlleghenyEnergy

AlleghenyEnergy

"Panaya was our one-stop shop for the project's analysis and task management."

Michael Eckert, General Manager of SAP Applications

Allegheny Energy

SummitElectricSupply

SummitElectricSupply

"Whether you’re doing your upgrade in-house or outsourcing it, Panaya allows you to hone in on the areas of SAP you need to be paying attention to."

David Wascom, CIO, Summit Electric Supply

MPS

mps

"No exaggerations, Panaya saved us 80 percent of our project time."

Syed Yaseen, SAP Programmer

Minneapolis Public Schools

Royal-Resorts

RoyalResorts

"We saved around 73 percent of what was originally budgeted for ABAP development."

Carlos Gomez, SAP Manger

Royal Resorts

Aluma Form

AlumaForm

"Without Panaya, I wouldn't have had a good idea of what to change; I wouldn't have known what was going to break."

Joan Waddell, ABAP Programmer

Aluma-Form

Centrica

Centrica_hover

"We even had some senior managers asking us whether we actually went live – several of them expressed their amazement at how quiet it was."

Mike Kemp, SAP Operations Manager, Centrica

agropur

agropur_hover

"Panaya looks too good to be true – but it really is that good!"

Marie-Claude Alary, Manager of Business Process Systems Improvement

Agropur

FEMSA

femsa

"Panaya enabled us to spend much less time in the testing cycle than what we have done in the past."

Francisco Flores, SAP Project Manager

FEMSA Empaque

Foschini Group

foschini

"Thanks to Panaya, our upgrade was a non-event."

Gerhard Mitton, Senior Department Manager

The Foschini Group

Newell-Rubbermaid

NewellRubbermaid

"We were not only on time, we slipped the upgrade in a year early."

Glen Griffin, Global Director of Application Development

Newell Rubbermaid

powell

powell_hover

"The money that we spent with Panaya was more than justified."

Bob Oldrati, Controller and IT Director

Powell Electronics

ColdwaterCreek

ColdwaterCreek

"It was like we were floundering around in the forest, and when we got Panaya, it was like all of a sudden we were given night vision goggles."

Rose Clark, Senior Project Manager, Coldwater Creek

JYSK

jysk

"Panaya gave us a crystal clear idea of what we would have to change."

Rune Skovsgaard, IT Director

JYSK