BJ’s Wholesale Club Simplifies Rebates and Improves Customer Experience with Instant Access to Sales Documents

The complex structure of rebate programs which require multiple pieces of documentation are the reason rebate payments to loyal customers are frequently delayed. In this webcast, hear how BJ’s, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, simplified its rebates program and improved customer experience by enabling sales document management solution that provided:

  • Instant access to all rebate program documents online.
  • Ability to package rebate documents for quick dispute resolution.
  • Reduce storage costs and improved system performance with a best practice-based document management solution.
Speakers: Jonathan Zink, Financial Analyst – Vistex Group, BJ's Wholesale Club Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Please fill out the form to view the webcast in PDF format: [marketo-fat form="909"]
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BJ’s Wholesale Club Simplifies Rebates and Improves Customer Experience with Instant Access to Sales Documents

The complex structure of rebate programs which require multiple pieces of documentation are the reason rebate payments to loyal customers are frequently delayed.

In this webcast, hear how BJ’s, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, simplified its rebates program and improved customer experience by enabling sales document management solution that provided:

  • Instant access to all rebate program documents online.
  • Ability to package rebate documents for quick dispute resolution.
  • Reduce storage costs and improved system performance with a best practice-based document management solution.

Speakers:
Jonathan Zink, Financial Analyst – Vistex Group, BJ’s Wholesale Club
Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer, Dolphin Enterprise Solutions

Please fill out the form to view the webcast in PDF format:

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Dolphin Corporate Overview

DCODolphin takes an integrated approach to maximizing enterprise-wide performance, helping organizations manage the data that fuels the business and the processes that run it.We offer a unique combination of SAP add-on software solutions and business consulting services that help companies increase performance, reduce risk, and lower the total cost of ownership of SAP systems.

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Simplify Your SAP Landscape and Reduce Costs with a Modern Content Management System

SAPinsider, April 2016
Dr. Werner Hopf and Vishal Awasthi

SimplifiedConentManagementROIAs more organizations look for ways to simplify the SAP landscape by moving to SAP HANA and retiring aging systems it’s time to look for a more modern approach to content management as well.

In a this Q&A with SAPinsider Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and CTO Vishal Awasthi discuss how organization can adopt modern content management strategies that will enable organizations to remain agile for future growth and change.

Dolphin’s lightweight, service-based Content Archive Service (CAS) enables companies to store unstructured data wherever it makes the most sense for the business, in the cloud or on disk, yet still access it easily from SAP applications – thus lowering storage costs and simplifying access.

Customers who have adopted the Content Archive Service have saved 50% on maintenance costs for legacy ECM systems and report that the solution is much easier for both the IT department and users to manage.

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Journal Entry Processing for Dolphin Process Tracking System

Improve Journal Entry Processing with Automated Input, Workflow and Document Management

Dolphin Process Tracking System for Journal Entry (JE) solution breaks down the silos of information that make it difficult to create, manage and control journal entries in SAP systems. The solution helps organizations:

  • Automate and track complex journal entry approval chains
  • Digitize and enforce the inclusion of journal entry supporting documentation
  • Quickly escalate journal entry approvals during critical financial close periods
  • Comply with fiscal regulations such as SOX
  • Report on and measure the efficacy of the entire journal entry process

For companies that want to ensure greater transparency and auditability of their financial close process, it provides a better way for companies to complete journal entry approvals and mitigate the associated risks. With this solution, organizations can create, track and report on journal entries directly in the system of record, SAP.

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Johns Hopkins University Data Archiving from Start to Finish

Running SAP systems since 1997, Johns Hopkins University had never archived any data. When performance issues started impacting their users, the University was told that that they should consider archiving. Some of the challenges the University faced were:

  • Too many records in the tables
  • Queries on transactional data were slow
  • System administration was taking too long and costs were too high
  • Storage needs and costs were increasing
  • Starting to see system performance degradation
  • Unique data issues in ECC, BW, and SRM systems

Solution

The University developed an Information Lifecycle Management strategy, which defined the policies, processes and tools for data and information from conception to destruction. They turned to Dolphin to help them with the project which included:

  • User friendly access to archived data
  • Transparent access to archived data
  • Archiving in ECC, BW and SRM
  • Ability to retrieve archived workflows with the documents
  • Defined residency and retention periods based on the type data
  • Ability to perform ad hoc queries

Results

Johns Hopkins continues to see success with their archiving project, which was rolled out in phases, gradually adding more arching objects. The University is especially pleased that the end users have been able to adapt to the new system so quickly and with very little training. The project provides:

  • Reduced DB size
  • Dramatically reduced the DB rate of growth
  • Additional archive objects added easily
  • 30% reduction in table size on average
  • Greater than 350M records archived and growing
  • End users satisfied and have had no problems accessing data

Big Lots Reduces the Problems of Big Data and Sales Audits

Shortly after Big Lots, the nation’s largest broadline closeout retailer, implemented SAP IS-Retail the company noticed that its retail stores were generating a lot of data.

In fact, data was growing two to three times faster than what the company had initially estimated, and would reach 30-40 TB by the end of the year. This incredible increase in data volume was already causing performance problems, which would only get worse over time. Due to the year-round, high pressure nature of the retail business, the company needed to find a solution immediately and it needed to be able to be implemented quickly, during the company’s very short SAP system maintenance windows.

In addition, the large amount of data that was being generated with each retail sales transaction also made it difficult for the company to retrieve data for sales tax audits. The data extraction process was very manual and complex. Each audit inquiry required seven separate steps to extract data from both the SAP BW and the SAP ECC systems. To be able to respond within the 2 week time frame provided by auditors, the company needed to find a better, faster solution for extracting data.

Solution

Big Lots engaged Dolphin to help develop a Data Volume Management strategy to control growth of data in the SAP BW and ECC systems, enforce data retention requirements and improve performance. The solution provided:

  • Secure, low cost storage for archived data
  • Nearline storage for fast retrieval of archived data for analytics
  • Common infrastructure to support both BW and ECC
  • Fast and easy retrieval of data by users
  • Simplified reporting for Sales Audits
  • Data retention compliance with business requirements

The solution was implemented in phases. In the first phase, the company controlled its data growth by archiving its business complete data. In the second phase, the company addressed the performance issues by adding fast and flexible retrieval access to the archived data and custom reports. The sales tax audit report was created as part of this phase.

Results

The company was able to stabilize data volume growth in both the SAP BW and ECC systems and improve user productivity through faster system performance and elimination of manual steps in reporting. Benefits of the solution include:

  • Stablized database growth
  • 97% reduction of data with archived and nearline technology
  • Reduced time to complete sales queries to 5-10 seconds
  • Improved Sales audit responses to 1 day from 2 weeks
  • Improved sales reporting 200%
  • Reduced data growth rate by 90%
  • Increased user productivity with faster system performance and automated reporting
  • Satisfied retention and tax reporting requirements

Managing Data through Corporate Transformations

DataInformed, August 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf

Pick up the business section of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today and what do you see? It’s hard to go more than a day without spotting a news item about a company merger, acquisition, or business unit divestiture. All three are typically viewed as favorable strategies for achieving growth and improved profitability, but in today’s age of big data, executives have a lot more to worry about than final regulatory approval.

Managing the transfer of intellectual property (IP), where much of the value of a deal may be derived, has always been a concern. Now, with the ubiquity of big data and the rise in cloud computing, this concern is greater than ever. Each business transaction carries its own challenges and requirements to meet the desired outcome, but there are important steps that can be taken for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures that will help to ensure that the big data changing hands does not turn in to a big problem.

Read more of the article on DataInformed.com

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Managing Explosive Growth of SAP Data across Multiple SAP Systems

A world-renowned manufacturer and retailer of revolutionary consumer electronics needed data strategies that would enable them to manage its explosive online retail growth while keeping customer data secure and available for reporting and audit requests. With 25 Billion transactions per year, the company’s existing infrastructure could not support the volume of data and system performance, stability, and functionality were being negatively impacted. The data volume also posed a significant risk, because the company was responsible for keeping the data secure for long periods to support tax and data privacy audits.

To manage its enormous volumes of data, the company needed a comprehensive data volume management strategy that would enable it to:

  • Move static and business complete data out of production systems into archive storage
  • Scale to support potential future data growth
  • Support analysis with fast, flexible access to historic sales data
  • Secure legacy data according to current legal requirements
  • Enforce data retention policies for fiscal and consumer data
  • Enable fast response to audit inquiries

Due to the volume of data, the company needed an aggressive archiving strategy to keep production systems running at optimal levels. In addition, new privacy regulations required the company to go back through historical, archived data and ensure that it met current consumer data privacy standards.

Solution: Archiving to Hybrid Storage with Data Retention & Audit

Dolphin provided the company with data strategies that would 1) help it meet current demands and scale to meet future growth and 2) stay compliant with retention and audit requirements. Key capabilities include:

  • Implementation of Standard SAP Archiving Objects with PBS Archive Add On modules for seamless access
  • PBS Nearline storage for fast access to archived sales data used in analysis
  • Dolphin Data Management and Archive Management Cockpit for encrypting production and archive data
  • Dolphin Archive Retention Cockpit to enforce corporate retention policies
  • TJC Audit Extraction Cockpit (AEC) for flexible audit reporting

Dolphin used an aggressive archiving strategy and a hybrid storage model. Frequently accessed sales data was moved to nearline storage for additional compression and fast access. Dolphin also employed data security and encryption to protect sensitive customer data and added audit tools to facilitate responding to fiscal and legal requirements.

Results

The company has been working with Dolphin for almost 10 years to keep their data growth under control. To date the company has realized the following benefits:

  • Archived more than 250 TB data
  • Improved system performance
  • Compliant with data privacy and security regulations
  • Improved response time for internal and external audits

 

Building a Sound, Risk-Proof SAP Data Retention Policy

Learn how to build a secure, reliable and cost-efficient SAP data retention management policy as part of your governance and ILM strategy.

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Archive Retention Cockpit (ARC) for SAP

ARCManage Retention and Disposition of Archived SAP Data and Documents

Increased regulatory requirements have legions of legal and records retention people clamoring for a way to manage the volumes of data and documents inherent in doing business. Companies are being forced to retain business records in a compliant mode safe from alteration or deletion for specified periods of time and thereafter, dispose of them. Records kept longer than the defined retention period may become a legal liability, not to mention incurring spiraling storage costs and being a data management burden. A recent Supreme Court decision (Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, No. 04-368) involving business record destruction has endorsed the notion that a formal record retention policy which is in accordance with regulations and is strictly followed clears the business from the liability of expired records.

Although SAP Data Archiving and ArchiveLink provide an excellent framework for controlled, unified storage of data, there are no out-of-the-box capabilities for applying corporate record retention policies to this data set. The SAP data archiving framework allows for the definition of a residence period for data archiving objects that controls when a certain data set can be removed from the database and serialized to data archiving files. However, this does not control when and how to dispose of records from the archived files. Problems inherent in an ad hoc retention management process are the lack of process tracking and the non-support of dynamic record selection (for disposition and hold).

Your legal department may have already taken the first important step by formulating an enterprise-wide record retention policy. From an IT perspective, you may have taken another important step by implementing standard SAP data archiving and ArchiveLink based storage for incoming/outgoing business documents. This brings business critical process data and documents into a controlled framework where lifecycle management policies can be implemented.

Dolphin developed the Archive Retention Cockpit providing a portal to manage the retention and end-of-life disposition of documents and data in SAP. It is compliance driven, a totally SAP based application, and supports any ArchiveLink certified repository.

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SAP Data Retention Tool (DART) and Dolphin Audit Solutions

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.19.14 PMPrepare SAP Systems and Data to Meet Financial, Regulatory and Compliance Audits

To respond quickly and accurately to different, rapidly evolving financial, compliance, and regulatory audits, organizations must ensure SAP® systems and data are ready to meet multiple, sometimes conflicting requirements. Dolphin helps organizations meet audit-related challenges by leveraging native SAP capabilities and implementing industry-leading SAP add-on software solutions to optimize and automate complex audit processes.

The SAP Data Retention Tool (DART) is just one of the solutions that Dolphin implements for our customers. DART part of your SAP general ledger module and extracts the audit information needed by the US IRS Rev. Proc. 98-25, German tax legislation, and other financial audit requests.

For companies with complex, multi-national, or high-volume audit needs, Dolphin can provide a comprehensive audit solution that is tailored to meet specific audit requirements across multiple jurisdictions and retention periods.

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Global Aviation Electronics Company Retires Legacy Systems and Retains Data

During the initial go-live with SAP systems, a global leader in aviation electronics and communications for government and commercial applications, decided to move only its current master and transactional data over from its legacy systems. Legacy data, it was decided, would be kept in the pre-SAP legacy systems, so the company could comply with its long term data retention requirements.

It soon became apparent, however, that the license, support, and maintenance costs for keeping these legacy systems running were too high. As time passed, it was also becoming difficult for users to extract data from these legacy systems when necessary. The company was concerned that the knowledge of how to access the legacy systems and data would be lost over time.

Solution
Dolphin designed and implemented a Decommissioning solution that allowed the company to output critical information from a variety of legacy platforms in their native format. This framework allowed the company to retire multiple legacy systems and significantly save operational costs year over year.

  • Legacy information was converted to ASCII format and parsed for key attributes
  • Key attributes were then transferred to SAP and stored in the company’s Archive environment
  • Legacy information was linked to key information in SAP for easy user access

Results

The company has realized many benefits from retiring these legacy systems and retaining legacy data in a more modern, compliant archive storage, including:

  • Immediate and ongoing cost savings from reduced license, maintenance, and support costs
  • Easy access to all legacy information directly from SAP applications
  • No user training required, as the solution leveraged the company’s existing archive Required no training
  • Satisfies all retention requirements
  • Knowledge transfer to internal team to repeat process for “new” legacy systems

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Cobra Electronics Improves Time to Payment With Easy Access to Sales Orders

Cobra Electronics, a leading global designer and marketer of communication and navigation products, found that customer billing questions were impacting the company’s time to payment. Resolving billing questions often took multiple calls and the staff had to search for and assemble sales order related documents from many areas.  This problem was even greater when large customers had billing questions, as delayed payments on large orders significantly impacted the company’s cash flow.

At the time, the company would manually key in all order information, hand write the SAP document number on each order, the copy the order, file it and then send it to be scanned and indexed in SAP applications.

The company wanted to automate this process to reduce the manual, time consuming parts of the order entry process and reduce the time required to respond to billing questions. The goal was to be able to answer questions in a single call. To do this the company would need to be able to:

  • Search for and instantly access all sales order related documents – bills of lading, credit memos, sales orders – regardless of where they resided in SAP.
  • Access customer-related non-SAP documents that are covered under Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) policies.

The new solution would replace the existing, homegrown imaging system with a solution that would be capable of managing all customer order related documents and flexible enough to scale to meet the needs of other business process areas.

Solution
Dolphin implemented a solution that included Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Receivable, Dolphin Document Navigator and Output and Dolphin Cloud Archive Service. The solution, would enable every sales representative (SR) to have a complete 360 degree view of all sales order related documents by enabling:

  • Intelligent scanning of sales orders
  • Linking of scanned images and bar codes to SAP transactions
  • Searching for customer-related documents across all of SAP
  • Ability to select and assemble all customer-related documents in a single PDF
  • Ability to print, fax or email selected documents

With this information close at hand, sales staff can easily engage customers in a real-time discussion and answer inquiries or resolve disputes on the spot.

Results
The solution was implemented in 37 days using very few IT resources. Thus far the company has significantly improved time to payment. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced time to resolve customer billing inquiries from 3 days to minutes
  • Faster payment and reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
  • 50% reduction in time to resolve collection issues
  • Instant access to customer-related documents from SAP and non-SAP systems
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Faster audit response time
  • Improved compliance with secure document retention

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Harness the Potential of Unlimited Data Storage

SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 2015.

Organizations are collecting data at an ever-increasing rate. In the past, it was simply too expensive to store every bit of data, but the real-time processing capabilities of SAP HANA makes it possible to lift this limitation.

In this article, learn how a data storage strategy based on SAP HANA allows you to retain virtually unlimited amounts of data at a fraction of the cost, enabling you to answer previously unanswerable questions about your business.

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