Bookseller leads SAP way

Whitcoulls is leading the way in a transtasman SAP project brought about through the purchase of Whitcoulls and Australian bookseller Angus & Robertson by British book retail giant WH Smith.

The New Zealand bookseller implemented its SAP system, a version of the vendor’s flagship R/3 product pre-configured for retail businesses, in 1999. The software is about to be implemented at Angus & Robertson using expertise gained in this country.

“Angus & Robertson’s SAP will leverage off the system we have running here,” says Whitcoulls IS manager Mike Strange. “We’re establishing a central SAP team, with the kit based here and the team a shared service.”

The team won’t be a Whitcoulls one, but will operate as a WH Smith Asia-Pacific shared services team, Strange says.

Whitcoulls has advertised for an SAP support manager to oversee the team. An operations manager, appointed earlier this year, will report to the support manager.

Whitcoulls advertised for an applications manager in March, but that job was shelved after “some re-thinking” and was redefined into the support manager position, Strange says.

Applicants for the support manager job are being assessed. The successful candidate will manage a team that will be responsible for coordinating SAP project planning, project resource allocation and implementation as well as technical and operational systems management, software enhancement and maintenance and maintaining group standards and processes.

Earlier this year Whitcoulls signed an outsourcing deal with SAP provider Oxygen for its accounts payable operation.

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