Foliot Furniture

Foliot Furniture Fast-Tracks Growth with SAP and oXya


We selected oXya because of their extensive SAP experience and knowledge. Also, they were committed to becoming an integral part of our team.
Mélanie St-Martin, Business Solutions and IT Director, Foliot Furniture

Challenge

Aging ERP lacked performance, agility, and integration to support growth and advanced business analytics.

Solution

Foliot Furniture runs accounting, sales, production, and distribution on SAP S/4HANA ERP.

Outcome

Enterprise-wide data access and analysis reduce production costs, speed inventory turnaround, and deliver enhanced digital services.

Based on solid values and engineered performance, Foliot Furniture has nearly 30 years of manufacturing experience for the hospitality and educational housing communities. Committed to producing high-quality furniture using innovative technologies, Foliot has enjoyed rapid growth and expansion throughout North America.

When the company sought to expand into new markets and provide customers with a digital experience via online services, its aging enterprise resource planning (ERP) system stood in the way. The legacy ERP lacked the performance and agility to support future growth and was not integrated with other systems, making it difficult to extract and analyze data.

Foliot selected SAP S/4HANA suite to reengineer and automate accounting, sales, production, and distribution. Foliot also sought a managed services partner to assist with planning, migration, technical support, and operations for the SAP S/4HANA project and subsequent ongoing support. Foliot chose oXya, a Hitachi Group Company and a leader in SAP technical services, managed services, and cloud solutions. Mélanie St-Martin, Business Solutions and IT Director, Foliot Furniture, explains, “We selected oXya because of their extensive SAP experience and knowledge. Also, they were committed to becoming an integral part of our team.”

SAP: Transformational Change through Integration

SAP S/4HANA would support and improve the way Foliot designs, manufactures, sells, and ships furniture. Toward that end, SAP would provide users with Fiori-based simplified screens via workstations and mobile devices, and integrated reporting and analytics to support better decision-making. The in- memory SAP HANA database also would provide stability and performance improvements.

From its Montreal data center, oXya managed the SAP migrations and now handles day-to-day operations of Foliot’s entire SAP platform, including servers, operating systems, databases, networking, and security. oXya collaborates closely with Foliot’s team and other SAP applications and systems integrators.

“We appreciate that oXya’s assigned support team for Foliot and their data center are both a short drive from our offices,” says St-Martin. “We’re in constant communication with oXya and it’s clear they are invested in our success.”

Foliot Furniture
Foliot Furniture
Industry
Manufacturing
Applications
SAP S/4HANA • PP/DS • EWM • SD • FICO • MM • CRM • VC Variant Configuration
Database(s)
HANA • Sybase • MaxDB
PRD DB size
500gb
Platform
Private Cloud
Outcomes
  • Improved data flow supports better decision-making
  • Data and task duplication eliminated
  • Revenue growth rate increased

Plan and Adapt

Foliot has rolled out SAP to three of its four factories. The first migration at the head office located in Saint-Jérôme, Québec lasted 15 months and covered 49 processes, 11 modules, and 200 custom enhancements.

St-Martin recalls, “It was like we were burning down the business and rebuilding from scratch with a completely new set of processes and language.”

Foliot orchestrated a ‘big bang’ go live to SAP primarily over the weekend to minimize business interruption.

“Good planning and a timeline that everyone respects are critical,” reflects St-Martin. “The unexpected is bound to happen so you need a strong team that can adapt quickly, learn from challenges, and keep marching toward the goal. We also made it a priority to celebrate success along the way.”

It was like we were burning down the business and rebuilding from scratch with a completely new set of processes and language.

Engaging the Entire Enterprise

A communication and event plan was created to generate company-wide excitement about SAP and support team members during implementation.

St-Martin notes, “Since SAP S/4HANA was going to affect virtually every corner of Foliot, we needed an organized way to spread the word. We held an expo, published internal newsletters, posted flyers about the project throughout the facilities, and distributed t-shirts to our 500 employees. We held meetings to communicate the vision and answer questions. This helped get everyone involved from HR providing us with space for training to finance collecting data.”

Foliot’s management team supported the project extensively and participated in numerous meetings.

They even agreed that the SAP implementation serve as the annual theme of the company.

“The SAP team needed recognition and support since they were working long days and nights,” says St- Martin. “On Fridays, we gathered around the fire pit for a barbecue and drinks to keep the vibe positive and enjoyable.”

On Fridays, we gathered around the fire pit for a barbecue and drinks to keep the vibe positive and enjoyable.

Team Spirit Drives Testing Plan

In preparation for the first rollout, Foliot’s SAP S/4HANA tested almost all the business processes, documented instructions, and prepared training materials.

St-Martin says, “We used KPIs to manage, prioritize, and measure testing and results. They kept us on track as we worked at an incredibly fast pace. We put in about 1,000 hours of testing.”

To generate team spirit, St-Martin and her organization created a workspace that simulated an ice rink. “In Canada, we’re big hockey fans, so during testing cycle, we gathered our teams in a large circle,” recalls St-Martin. “The data experts, key users, and consultants would sit outside the circle to assist effectively and help resolve issues while contributing to a great atmosphere. We used a scoreboard to track our progress. It made things fun and brought us closer together.”

They (KPIs) kept us on track as we worked at an incredibly fast pace. We put in about 1,000 hours of testing.

Shining a Light on Testing and Data Preparation

The first migration provided valuable lessons for the rollouts at the Las Vegas and Mirabel, Québec factories.

For example, in preparation for the first roll-out, about 80 percent of the business processes were tested prior to the SAP launch. In retrospect, all the processes should have been tested to avoid the issues encountered during implementation.

Also, data cleansing and conversion to align with SAP processes took more time than expected. Starting data preparation, validation, and a data governance plan sooner would have streamlined the migration and reduced data integrity issues.

Additional training also would have enabled more users to become self-sufficient sooner instead of relying heavily on super users and business process owners or consultants.

Improved Data Flow Drives Efficiency

The SAP S/4HANA project has provided Foliot with several positive business outcomes, including:

  • Data extraction and analysis across the enterprise in real time
  • Better inventory management and visibility
  • Duplication in data and tasks eliminated
  • Increased visibility into order status
  • Better support growth
  • Better visibility of customer orders
  • Costing and profitability analysis

St-Martin states, “We now have a clear, central view of our processes so we can quickly identify opportunities to improve efficiency and quality. We drill down by cost, revenue, inventory, speed of delivery and more. With improved data flow and access, we provide what our team members need to make more informed decisions.”

With fixed fee delivery, oXya has provided all their services on time and within budget.

A Partnership of Trust

Another positive outcome has been the oXya partnership, according to St-Martin. “When we were working well into the night with the SAP cutover, oXya was with us. And when we faced challenges, oXya was always honest with us and open which set the base for a trusting, easy relationship.”

With the implementation completed, oXya monitors the environment and alerts Foliot about any urgent concerns. Foliot and oXya also meet weekly to address any open SAP items.

“With fixed fee delivery, oXya has provided all their services on time and within budget,” notes St- Martin. “It’s reassuring and makes everything simpler.”

Expanded Digital Services

Having implemented the newest version of SAP S/4HANA, Foliot is now preparing to upgrade to the latest version of SAP and implement enhancements, such as the SAP Analytics Cloud, transportation management, and other capabilities.

St-Martin says, “With our next SAP upgrade, we’ll further expand the digital experience for our customers and align our processes more closely with SAP standards. It’s another step in our continuous innovative business improvement.”

About Foliot Furniture
Based on solid values and engineered performance, Foliot Furniture has nearly 30 years of manufacturing experience for the hospitality and educational housing communities. Committed to producing high-quality furniture using innovative technologies, Foliot has enjoyed rapid growth and expansion throughout North America.

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