1. How to streamline the materials procurement and sales processes for a joint venture company when the two parent companies run different software.
2. How to encompass the new joint venture within an existing Envision database.
For those of you who read the Rusada Newsletter at the end of Q1 in 2013 you will have seen mention of some business to business integration that we were working on for one of our clients. We can now give you some more information.
The two companies involved are Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) and Agusta Westland (AW) and the work undertaken was to create interfaces between the AW parts system in SAP and the ADA requisitioning system in Envision from Rusada. Both companies have joined forces in the Middle East to form Agusta Westland Aviation Services (AWAS) focusing on helicopter maintenance, modification, component repair and parts procurement / sales. The challenge as alluded to above was that AW operate in SAP but ADA operate all their operational functions in Envision. Visibility of spares throughout the procurement and stock accounting cycle is paramount such that the end user has full knowledge of individual processes and due times. Both organisations were happy with their current systems and so an interface needed to be designed. They therefore approached Rusada as experienced integrators for a solution.
Coordinating the project with SAP we took a different approach to the problem by developing a set of web services that act as the data transfer mechanism between the two systems. In this approach, the middle layer exposes a set of business data from each system and then populates the appropriate relationships between the systems. For example, a purchase order raised in Envision for a part and quantity passes that same information to SAP via the web-service and by return SAP passes back a complimentary internal order number and a stock status or promise date (in fact, whatever information deemed necessary for the maintenance of the request). The beauty of this approach has the following advantages…
1. Should either system have design changes applied by upgrades to new versions, the web service should remain unaffected. If it IS affected, then changes can be pre-empted and delivered without core changes to the respective business systems.
2. The web service is system agnostic, the same service can be used to ‘plug in’ to any other system.
3. Additional data requests can be provided in a matter of days (or even hours) and not months since the business systems are unaffected.
4. Data exchange can be live.
5. The use of web services such as these can effectively bypass web portals currently used for placing parts orders, updating warranty data etc. through manufacturer portals. This then gives additional benefits..
a. Elimination of duplicate entry – freeing up valuable resources for other work
b. Elimination of mis-keyed data, drastically reducing errors introduced through translating information from paper to system and screen to system
c. Faster response through the supplier network, increasing productivity
d. Accurate daily AOG data since the supplier is keyed in to the system.
e. Suppliers receive the big picture and feedback on parts usage in order to improve the supply chain.
6. Since Envision supports the management of multiple companies within a single database, the ability for ADA to create a separate company within the system is straightforward. This enables a single repository of data but with entirely separate accounting controls.
The development and timely delivery of business critical tools such as the B2B Web Services is resolving issues in real time for clients such as Abu Dhabi Aviation. It has helped enable the formation of a significant joint venture between two of the leading companies in the rotary wing world. AWAS now have a robust solution with a single centre of accountability that maximises the efficiencies and power of two leading business systems.
By taking this approach, Rusada believe that clients both now and in the future will be able to think differently about their businesses and finally be able to link together.