​DuluxGroup paints a future of procurement in the cloud

DuluxGroup turned to SAP Ariba to implement a cloud-based automated process for managing the company's suppliers and staying on top of its spending.

DuluxGroup has been involved in the manufacture and marketing of paint-related supplies since 1904, and is the largest manufacturer of paint products in Australia.

While innovation has been front of mind for the development of its products, its back-end systems, such as procurement, got left behind.

As part of an aggressive plan to digitise its business, DuluxGroup partnered with SAP Ariba in a bid to create a simple, integrated process for managing its end-to-end spending.

"Direct procurement is complex, and to do it right, we need an integrated platform that allows us to automate our processes and collaborate with our partners around the globe in an efficient way on everything from design and sourcing to forecasting and manufacturing execution," DuluxGroup head of procurement Ian Griffith said, speaking ahead of SAP Ariba Live in Sydney on Tuesday.

Integrating Ariba's solutions for direct spend with its SAP Integrated Business Planning system, DuluxGroup aims to completely digitise its extended supply chain. Griffith noted that this will start with integration with its product design and R&D processes, all the way through to manufacturing execution.

"DuluxGroup recognised a need to overhaul its purchasing process to bring it into line with advancements in our manufacturing systems," Griffith told ZDNet. "Our legacy purchasing system was highly manual and inefficient, with each purchase order or invoice needing to be manually entered into SAP."

Griffith said DuluxGroup had kicked off a successful process to roll out electronic data interchange to its major vendors, but found it to be only practical for significant suppliers, leaving a large number of suppliers still interacting via the company's legacy system.

Listing the benefits DuluxGroup is hoping to achieve as the company continues to use Ariba, Griffith said his company is looking forward to being able to quickly, and accurately, source all of its required materials and services via a single platform.

He said through adopting Ariba, DuluxGroup has driven efficiencies in supplier management, improved lines of communication, and further developed its relationships with its key suppliers. He touted the last benefit as the most significant, given the critical importance of the supplier network in driving DuluxGroup's success as a business.

Utilising the cloud, DuluxGroup is expecting faster time to market, real-time supplier collaboration, better product cost management, and complete supply chain visibility.

"The cloud gives us the advantage of one direct interface to SAP Ariba, from which any number of suppliers can interact with DuluxGroup," Griffith added.

DuluxGroup manages a portfolio that includes Dulux, Selleys, Yates, Cabot's, British Paints, Berger, and B&D Garage Doors & Openers.

An Australian Securities Exchange-listed company, DuluxGroup reported AU$72.7 million in after-tax profit for the first-half of the 2017 financial year, on revenue of AU$881.2 million.

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