26.03.2008 | Serbia

S&T Serbia implements SAP for Direct Trade and Direct Group

Improved support for strategic and operational management

Direct Trade is the leading distributor and logistics provider in the Balkans for tobacco products and so-called Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) — products used on a daily basis. Direct Trade offers a range of services to companies, including complete delivery chain infrastructure, logistics and storage, from four distribution centers in Serbia. Since 2003 the Direct Group has been an exclusive distribution partner for British American Tobacco (BAT) and officially represents the world’s best BAT distributor for 2007.

Direct Group is also distributor for Telenor products and electronic recharge services. Together, the two companies (Direct Trade and Direct Group) cover more than 20,000 retail outlets, with more than 5000 deliveries a day, and employ around 450 employees. Their combined turnover is 220 million euros.

Both companies have quality management systems which are run in accordance with the requirements of the JUS ISO 9001-2000 standard. To improve its business processes, the company required an efficient IT solution for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and entrusted S&T Serbia with the implementation of a comprehensive SAP system.

“As the leading provider of logistics, we selected the market leader in IT services for this important project. Its successful implementation proves this was the right decision. During the SAP implementation project, we faced big challenges and one of the biggest was combining SAP with an internally developed hand held remote sales support system, to form one functional entity. The project was realized professionally and led to successful production. The SAP implementation project has provided us with a modern information system which will enhance our business performance as well as providing support for future business” explained, Rade Ležaić, Head of IT for the Direct Trade/Direct Group companies, and SAP implementation project leader.

Up-to-date Information

Thanks to the implementation of mySAP ERP, systems previously overstretched in their use by different logistics centers, have been replaced by a modern and efficient central solution. SAP modules for Sales and Distribution, Finance, Controlling, and Materials Management were installed and the project was completed within twelve months. In that time, Direct Trade’s management objectives were achieved, such as improvement of IT support to business processes and information system security. Further company objectives were also realized: the provision of appropriate and accurate information and the optimization of strategic and operational management and decision making processes. Christian Rosner, CEO of S&T: “S&T Serbia is the leading provider of IT services in Serbia. Our specialists there are able to draw on a vast amount of knowledge and experience, particularly with regard to the SAP world.”

IT Market in Serbia

According to IDC, the Serbian IT market has been growing rapidly and is predicted to continue to expand in the coming years. A recent research study from IDC estimates that the Serbian IT market grew 18.3% year-on-year in 2007 to exceed $568 million, and could reach $646 million this year. The main drivers behind this forecast include economic growth, reforms and the streamlining of government administration, foreign direct investment, restructuring in the business sector, competitive pressures and the country’s approaching EU accession.

Hardware continues to dominate the IT market in Serbia, accounting for almost two thirds of total IT spending in 2006. IT services represented an 18.4% share and software the remaining 17.0%. This market structure reflects the market's immaturity and is expected to change over the coming years as Serbia catches up with the more advanced economies of the region.

S&T in Serbia

S&T has been active in the Serbian market since 1996. The company currently employs more than 100 employees in two offices (Belgrade and Novi Sad). Its well known clients include Telekom Serbia, Telenor, Public Enterprise of PTT communications “Srbija”, Alpha Bank, the Ministry of Science, Lukoil, Serbia Broadband and Electric Network Serbia.