United Biscuits seeks TCS’ assistance to roadmap

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United Biscuits seeks TCS’ assistance to roadmap
United Biscuits seeks TCS’ assistance to
create and implement an SAP upgrade
United Biscuits
(UK) Ltd.
Retail & CPG
SAP Upgrade
In order to remain profitable and competitive in the snack industry, leading
British food manufacturer United Biscuits (UB) created an up-to-date
business model that relied on a flexible and agile system comprising SAP 4.6C
and Business Warehouse (BW) 3.1 at its core. The environment also had a host
of non-SAP systems such as Manugistics, WMS, EDI, Lotus Notes, and
UB found the need to upgrade its SAP systems, prompted by the expiring
product vendor support contract for the current versions of SAP and BW
systems, and to better leverage the functionality of the latest versions,
leading to enhanced profitability and optimised costs. UB approached TCS to
complete a pre-upgrade and functional assessment and create an upgrade
roadmap for the company.
United Biscuits is the UK's leading biscuit
company, producing several of the
country's best-loved sweet and savoury
snack brands. The main brand under the
company’s portfolio is McVitie's, which is
the UK’s top biscuit range, comprising such
household names as Jaffa Cakes, Chocolate
Digestives, Penguin and Hobnobs. Other
products include snacks under the Hula
Hoops, Twiglets, KP and McCoy's banners.
The company also retains a presence in
Northern Europe, with operations in The
Netherlands, France and Belgium.
Business Situation
Biscuits are one of the biggest markets in the UK retail
trade, with a current market size of £2.1 billion. As the
leading biscuit manufacturer in the UK, and the third
largest in the world, UB's goal is continue to grow its
brands and customer base. The company therefore
was focused on upgrading technology and processes
wherever possible, in order to maintain the growth in
profitability while increasing the efficiency of the
service it provides.
UB intended to implement a number of strategic
business initiatives including lean systems, HR shared
services centres, P2M, Contract Management, Recipe
Management, compliance with statutory requirements
like HRMC (XI/PI), centralised reporting and
dashboards. These could be enabled by upgrading its
SAP systems and implementing leading edge
technologies like Business Intelligence (BI) Accelerator.
The upgrade made business sense for the following
• No extended support for SAP BW (older version)
and other BW LIS structures after 2006 – a major
problem to a business critical system
Obtaining extended support for R/3 would be
Better leverage of the new functionalities in the
upgraded system
Make the process of integration easier due to the
availability of SAP Netweaver platform
Offered future opportunities to drive efficiencies
and aid software rationalisation within UB
Future scope to implement tightly integrated
business planning software
Enabler for a number of strategic projects, the
licenses for which had already been included in
the upgraded version.
UB was looking for an IT partner which could own the
end-to-end application management of the core SAP
and its interfacing systems during this upgrade. The
company approached TCS to complete a pre-upgrade
and functional assessment and create an upgrade
roadmap for UB.
TCS Solution
The TCS team took end-to-end ownership of UB’s SAP
systems as well as the interfacing systems including
Manugistics and Warehouse Management System
(WMS). The team conducted a pre-upgrade assessment
and also analysed the impact of the upgrade on the
existing functionalities, both in SAP as well as the BW
system. As part of this study TCS also presented UB
with a comprehensive system blueprint document,
which proved to be a great asset for UB in the absence
of any such previous documentation.
TCS also conducted a functional assessment of the
system and presented the new product offerings to
UB. This assessment helped determine any mandatory
changes required, in addition to potential future
opportunities. The team also presented new
functionalities offered by upgraded versions of SAP
and drew a relevance matrix for UB to choose from
available product offerings. Impact analysis was
conducted and a comprehensive checklist of business
scenarios covering all the business lines of UB was
created. These scenarios have become a reusable asset
that UB continues to use for future upgrades.
TCS leveraged its SAP CoE for expert guidance and
technical consultation for speedy resolution of issues.
TCS also successfully deployed its Global Network
Delivery Model (GNDM™) during project execution to
utilise expert offshore capabilities. The onsite team at
Liverpool, UK, worked seamlessly with the offshore
team to carry out project-specific tasks.
The team used standard SAP project implementation
methodology – ASAP, for project execution. TCS’
Quality framework (iQMS) was also used to review and
track all project deliverables ensuring minimum
post-delivery defects. TCS’ in-house solution
accelerators like the ACE tool were used for
pre-upgrade assessment of customised components,
which reduced the elapsed time drastically and
provided ready-to-use information for impact
assessment and upgrade road-map. This tool proved
to be very significant towards the success of this
With the successful and seamless execution of the
project with a minimum downtime for business, TCS
was able to meet UB’s strategic need to upgrade its
The upgrade of the SAP landscape provided the
following benefits to UB:
- Improvement in the reporting performance and
added flexibility to the current reporting
- Better and more reliable connectivity to the SAP
systems, thus resolving some earlier interface
- Ability to harness the full benefits of the BI
- Quicker response to resolution of issues due to
optimisation of interface management- More
stable systems, reduction in overall incidents and
decrease in number of interface failures
“The SAP upgrade from 4.6c to ECC6.0
was one of the most critical projects faced
by UB in recent years, considering the size
and impact it could have on UB business
UB awarded this project to TCS based on
the confidence in TCS’ ability to deliver key
SAP projects to a high standard.
TCS was one of the main factors helping us
to reach this important goal. TCS have
continued to contribute to our larger
initiative, and we have been very
impressed with the quality and the
commitment of the TCS managers and
team assigned to the project.
- Joe Robinson,
Applications Services Manager
About Tata Consultancy Services
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