SATS Ltd, Singapore’s leading in-flight catering services provider, has moved from its legacy on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to a modular cloud ERP to enhance business and operational efficiency.
Harmonising over 250 business processes and data structures, the transformation has provided SATS with better insights and visibility to accelerate decision-making.
It has also enabled more efficient integration with business operations to augment its supply chain capabilities.
SATS chief financial officer Manfred Seah said the conversion had helped the company to "remain steadfast and preserved" through many changes and complexities during the pandemic and recovery.
Previously hosted on the SAP ECC (central component) ERP system, the company had experienced several challenges from low visibility, expensive maintenance and customisation, largely non-standardised business processes and disharmonised data structures.
“The system landscape was getting more cumbersome and also difficult to integrate with other applications,” he added.
The company's tech team was looking for a solution to achieve a range of benefits including financial automation, data quality and governance, analytics capabilities, efficient production and supply planning, better management of ecosystem partners and information technology (IT) operations for an enhanced user and employee experience.
SATS decided on a complete transformation from SAP ECC ERP to S/4HANA private cloud, and a software-as-a-service model, hosted and maintained by SAP, to build a strong scalable ERP foundation that could harmonise common processes across their business units.
With the new ERP solution as SAT’s digital core, Seah said he could get a clear idea of the true cost of production and could improve decision-making through transparent data and insights.
He added that the firm witnessed improved synergies between disparate entities, like harmonised ways of working between Aviation Catering and Singapore Food Services within their food solutions division.
S/4HANA could largely address the integration issues and connect with other SAP systems like Ariba spend management solutions for invoicing, Concur expense management solutions for employee expenses, and human experience management suite SuccessFactors for employee details and workflow.
Moreover, they could also integrate with other management systems used in warehouse inventory, flight information systems, supply-demand planners, human resource systems that reduce manual forms and offline processes through the Fiori Analytics app and so on.
As the firm is exploring more use cases, it credits SAP for improvising operations with clarity and flexibility, without much need for extensive customisations as earlier.
Seah said that this transformation is a step toward their bigger goals of consolidating the aviation catering market with a digital supply chain and the air cargo handling market with a digital cargo platform.
SATS was also working towards developing digital travel retail capability for passengers, he added.