Problem, solved.

Zodiac Pool

New transparent process for managing global portfolio improves reporting and saves time.

“Fujitsu RunMyProcess allowed us to create not just an application – it became the motor behind numerous applications that drive the entire company.”
– Oren Nadjar, Global CTO of Zodiac Marine & Pool.

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Background

Zodiac Marine & Pool is a worldwide leader in pool equipment, pool-care products, boats, and treatment solutions for the marine and building industry. Established in 2007, the company is present in the U.S, Europe and Australia, employs 1,300 staff and reported revenue of 400m euros in 2012.

Problem

To maintain its market leadership, Zodiac Marine & Pool constantly expands its product portfolio to provide the most innovative solutions for its customers. But managing a global portfolio can be a difficult task which needs full transparency of the process.

To add a new product to the range, the Zodiac data manager had to fill out a new product creation Excel form that was then forwarded for approval to various departments. But this paper-based process was difficult to track and the data manager was required to spend valuable time contacting different departments to trace the request status. The process was also complicated by Zodiac’s large product range, as each new product creation process varies depending on the product type. “We didn’t always know where we were in the process – it was confusing and led to time delays,” shared Oren Nadjar, Global CTO of Zodiac Marine & Pool.

Zodiac was searching for an automated solution that would be easy to integrate and provide process analytics. The company approached Paris-based Google Apps reseller Cirruseo, who suggested Fujitsu RunMyProcess.

Solution

The developed application, consisting of seven validation steps, was developed in 20 days. The process is launched when the data manager completes a new product request in the company’s ERP software, Oracle. The entered data is automatically added into the process with a Fujitsu RunMyProcess Oracle connector. The data manager can also launch the process by entering the data directly into the application.

The new request initiation is then completed by the project manager, the Master Data Manager (MDM). The MDM is asked to select the item type and whether the product should be purchased or can be made. The process varies depending on the selected product type: for example, selecting ‘finished good’ reveals additional questions such as ‘physical attributes’ and shipping attributes.

Once submitted, the new product request is sent to the supply chain analyst, who completes the product categories. Once submitted the MDM receives a notification and can either reject, modify or approve the request. If validated, the MDM is required to manually enter new product data into Oracle.

Depending on whether the product needs to be purchased or made defines the next steps. If the product should be purchased, the demand is forwarded to the purchasing department who verify whether the suppliers have the product in stock. If not, the process is placed on hold until the product becomes available. If the product should be made, the notification is sent to the planning manager, who completes the request with the product information.

Once the planning or purchasing departments have submitted the required information, the MDM receives a notification with the product request summary that can be approved or refused. If the request is approved, the application notifies the marketing and finance departments, which submit financial data into Oracle. The process is terminated once all information been added to Oracle and validated by the MDM.

To help avoid bottlenecks in the process, the Fujitsu RunMyProcess application sends a reminder notification within two days if no answer has been received from an assigned manager. If no response has been received two days after that, the assigned task is transferred to the superior manager.

Benefits

The application was successfully implemented in December 2013 by the U.S. department of Zodiac Marine & Pool. Today, more than 40 employees of Zodiac U.S. can access the Fujitsu RunMyProcess-based application from their computer desktops. This automated solution helps Zodiac achieve maximum transparency of the process, improving reporting and saving time.

Thanks to the Fujitsu RunMyProcess-based application, Zodiac was able to improve the reporting of its process. The application dashboards provide up-to-date information on the number of product requests at a specified time, by product type and the average duration of the process. “The application didn’t just automate the process, it drastically improved transparency and reporting – we now know exactly how many articles are ordered, and when and how long it takes to validate,” said Oren.

“Our previous paper-based process and the process today are like day and night in terms of tracking and reporting”. He added.

The developed solution also integrates Google Apps, allowing users to access the application easily and securely using their Google ID. The standardised user interface helped to integrate the new solution into the department. “The application integrates numerous workflows, between different departments, but the users don’t notice it thanks to a single login and similar user interface,” explained Oren Nadjar.

Following successful implementation of the process at Zodiac U.S., the group is currently working on adapted versions of the application for the European and Australian regions. “Fujitsu RunMyProcess allowed us to create not just an application – it became the motor behind numerous applications that drive the entire company,” concludes Oren Nadjar.

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