This article was originally published in L’USF mag in March 2022. The copy below is translated into English.
The Groupe Atlantic, which specializes in thermal comfort solutions, implemented S/4HANA® from 2017, but the standard solution was not able to manage a relatively complex process: the complaints of its distributors, a principle by which, each month, distributors issue credit note requests to benefit from the price offers drawn up by sales staff in our Salesforce CRM. “In S/4, as standard, we did not find a way to deal with this need, particularly that of data control,” explains Céline Vermersch, Business Process Owner for the Atlantic Group’s sales department. Previously, the company used a module developed in-house.
The Groupe Atlantic called on Vistex, an enterprise software provider to manage pricing, financial incentives, rebates, royalties and distribution channel programs. “The idea was to integrate the information from the CRM and control it directly in the Vistex module, in order to generate credit notes,” adds Céline Vermersch. With the solution, which went into production in November 2020, the claim process was simplified and automated, from the creation of the agreement to the receipt of the claim, via validation, accounting, and settlement.
In concrete terms, the claims management process allows a huge volume (around 300,000 lines per year for the Groupe’s three businesses) to be handled, with complex pricing accurately checked against contracts. It provides an overview of errors that can be sorted to distribute the work to internal teams. Claims can be entered into Vistex, using EDI or Excel, which allows large volumes to be processed quickly.
Credit notes are generated automatically when checks are positive and can be sent by EDI or e-mail in PDF format. “We have made our data more reliable and, by using the solution’s standard objects, the flows are fully integrated. In addition, the ergonomics are simple, and users find the same as in S/4,” adds Céline Vermersch. “For the customers, everything is transparent: They benefit from the same services and have access to Excel reports, as before.”
For the users (four for the moment, six others are planned in the short term), the change is more significant: “The functionalities are more extensive, they can set the parameters of the screens, carry out more in-depth controls and personalize the display. This introduces more complexity and information, but the users have quickly taken to the solution,” says Martha Do Vale Matos, IT Process Owner for the sales area.
For Frédéric Maindron, Director of IT domains at the Groupe Atlantic, the main point of attention in this type of project is support. The Groupe Atlantic had an unfortunate experience with an integrator who, in the end, did not have the skills to integrate the solution. The Groupe Atlantic then turned to the resources of SAP® and Vistex: “We were very well supported, from the pre-sales phase to support; we established trust with the SAP® and Vistex teams, who were very available, attentive and able to make proposals.” For the time being, the Groupe Atlantic has only deployed one Vistex module and is continuing the deployment, with few specific developments and the addition of new functionalities, in particular to further improve controls.
Business Process Owner – sales part of the Groupe Atlantic
Martha Do Vale Matos
IT Process Owner – Sales part of the Groupe Atlantic
Director of Information Technology Groupe Atlantic