Yes, our European Distribution Centers (EDCs) have already transitioned. However, not all countries and locations have. This will be implemented step by step according to a global rollout plan.
However, Business Transformation involves more than just converting to different corporate software. We are simultaneously simplifying and standardizing many processes in order to make our joint business still easier and more efficient.
In the future, you will receive most of the information from one single source, such as conditions and information regarding product availability. The central system will provide you with all the necessary data.
You will receive most of the information from one single source. The data quality will be improved on an ongoing basis. You will be able to track orders and compare products. We will respond quickly to your enquiries. Furthermore, delivery quality will improve even more and it will provide better insight into inventories and the inventory management.
You may not experience all the advantages from day one. However, this will come with time and the improvements will be here to stay – as our experience in other countries has shown.
Our global implementation plan has started and will progress in phases over the course of the next few years. So far in advance, it is hard to say when precisely each country deployment transition will take place. The plan is extremely complex and will need to remain flexible and undergo further optimizations over time.
The transition will only apply to products that are manufactured in specific countries. We will try to limit any impact to our supply chain, to the best of our ability.
We are currently planning to transition in the first few months of 2016. We cannot yet announce an exact date. This is due to the fact that the project is constantly being fine-tuned and optimized. We will certainly keep you informed and up-to-date, in order to ensure a smooth transition together.
It is possible that some day-to-day interactions with us will change. For example, shipping documents will have a different structure than the current version. Of course, we will keep changes that affect you to a minimum and, if you require adjustments, we will assist in this.
There may be slight impacts to orders and delivery time as a result of this initiative. However, this will only be temporary and for a short period. Minimizing the impact on our customers is our highest priority. Nevertheless, we would like to keep you informed of our plans so that we can address potential issues openly. If you would like to plan your own safety measures – aside from the measures we are taking – we are happy to provide support.
We are playing things safe: each change with be checked very carefully and multiple times prior to implementation. Best possible preparation is thus ensured.
One other thing is for sure: we will make every effort to ensure delivery – we will increase our inventories so that we are prepared for any unexpected problems.
Furthermore, we can use the experience we gained during the successful implementation in our other distribution centers. This will ensure a smooth transition.