Coastlines NZ rides the surf into the cloud with SAP

Coastlines NZ, a supplier of surfboards and surfwear to retailers globally, has launched on an integration process with SAP to move its manual systems into the cloud.

With staff across the world in countries including France, Portugal, China, and Bangladesh, New Zealand-based company, Coastlines, realised it did not have a holistic view of its operations, and needed one if it was going to continue handling orders from multinational retailers.

Coastlines supplies surfboards, wetsuits, clothing, and accessories to retail groups including French retailer Carrefour; Portuguese conglomerate, Sonae, Decathlon, and Sportzone; Animal in the UK; and Torpedo7 and Super Retail Group in Australia.

Coastlines CEO Sean Kennedy said the initial task to find a solution that would allow the company to run all of its operations in the cloud was setup five years ago, but it was only 10 months ago did the company narrow down its decision to use SAP for its Business ByDesign suite.

SAP Business ByDesign, which is being implemented by SAP's New Zealand partner Soltius, will allow Coastlines to consolidate its core project management and finance operations to an integrated cloud business platform.

"We've been struggling for a long time. We're little and [our customers] are not, so with SAP we need visibility to be able to do what they expect us to do, or what we promise them what we're going to do. We might not be very big, but we have to have a big toolbox," he said.

Kennedy also said: "Capital Office, MYOB, and manual spreadsheets were good for business last century, but they can't cope with where we need to be tomorrow. We looked around for a several years and finally chose SAP."

While the implementation of Business ByDesign is still its infancy, and the system is not set to go live until the end of this month, Kennedy believes there's still at least another year to go before completion, the anticipated results are expected to show soon.

"Our projects have very long lifecycles. It can take up to two years from the initial idea to the time we deliver the finished goods. With staff in four countries and growing, we can now have up to 120 projects running at any given time," Kennedy said.

He also believes the suite will allow the company to view problems and results in real-time.

"Currently we can only manage after the fact when things have happened and they've gone wrong, and we'll see the results later," Kennedy said.

"What we're trying to do now is see the symptoms before it goes wrong, so we can act and then stop it from going wrong, stop the loss of time, the loss of money, and the loss of customer by being able to see the weather forecast than seeing the weather."

In the next phase, Coastlines will rollout the CRM functionality of SAP Business ByDesign across the business. 

"The final goal is to have full visibility and confidence from the supply chain that we can do what our customers needs. Within reason, if we can get everybody on the same page we can reduce cost because there'll be less ambiguity with information, and overall we move faster."