Asda pilots SAP system for Walmart


A UK pilot project of SAP, installed by Asda, will be rolled out across the world by parent company Walmart.

The Profit project started in January 2008 and the first of three stages went live in June 2009. The company has now decided to introduce it to other branches of Walmart in North America and Puerto Rico

The SAP BusinessObjects system is designed to replace Walmart's legacy system, which it used and developed over 30 years. The new system runs on an IBM mainframe hosting a DB2 database and AIX Unix application servers.

Asda wanted to achieve one version of the truth for its financial information, improve automation and reduce the complexities around compliance. Working with partner Deloitte, Asda reduced year end close time to only four days, streamlined payment processes and improved reporting capability to the group head office.

"The SAP implementation gave us the ability to improve our methodology for valuing inventory under the retail method of inventory accounting," Walmart said in its financial report this week.

"We have improved our ability to measure inventory at more granular levels."

Introduction of a new system has meant training 600 UK users how to use the BI reporting tool. This proved useful for the US roll-out and also helped to pinpoint modifications required.

Now the American implementations are underway, the second stage of Profit is being planned for early next year. This will involve Asda building on the current project by looking at SAP's procurement systems and improving back-office efficiency.