With size comes diversity – the WUG2011 – an insider perspective

By Clinton Jones on October 14, 2011

The largest Winshuttle User Group meeting, held in Chicago just concluded and we had the great opportunity of being able to bring together a wide variety of members of the community from diverse industry sectors, members of the Winshuttle support organization, product engineering personnel from overseas, the product management team, and members of the Winshuttle Partner network.

Not only did members of the community speak about how they use Winshuttle products but there were also exhibitions of upcoming functionality and some important announcements regarding new functionality in the standard products. Of particular interest in sessions that I attended, were the interesting ways that fairly long standing customers were using the Winshuttle Transaction together with Microsoft Excel.

Scott Hanlon of medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn, talked about how they use Winshutte products to augment PLM in their organization. Scott demonstrated many different facets of the challenging PLM space that Winshuttle is used in and shared experiences on how their global operations rely heavily on collaboration, consistency and clarity with Winshuttle being leveraged in key areas to continuously assist in the streamlining and maintenance if key business processes.

Kentner Cottingham of outdoor equipment and apparel retailer REI, described how they implemented SAP Retail “Procure to Pay” (P2P) – Integration of “One Click” User Forms to augment SAP Procure to Pay (P2P) processes which traditionally involved time-consuming manual work within SAP or required 3rd party forms solutions and intensive IT resources. This session focused on REI’s SAP P2P forms solution built within Microsoft Excel. The Excel based tools integrate with the strengths of Winshuttle to provide retail merchant teams in REI with simple and familiar interfaces for creating and managing purchase orders as well as allocating product to their retail locations.

A duo from a well known household food brand covered off SAP Order to Cash (O2C) – Wholesale and Distributor Ordering with Winshuttle Studio. Their presentation and demonstration covered Processing Order to Cash which typically involves many key integration points and SAP business processes involving massive IT development and deployment support when implementing automation. In this session we were able to get a firsthand look at how one of the largest food & beverage companies in the world uses Microsoft Excel, VBA, and Winshuttle to process more than 19,000 manual SMB orders each year.

Victor Lemay of the Insight corporation who I had worked with on the run up to the meeting spoke on how his group transitioned from IT-centric development to business-led FICO process innovations in the realm of data clean up with a particular focus on transactional data relating to short payments from customers whose master and reference data was out of data at the time that sales orders were processed. In a matter of days Insight was able to remediate over 4,000 aging sales orders with short payments with a pack of Winshuttle scripts that extracted data from SAP and dumped this into Excel where a set of Microsoft Excel based rules and formulae made a determination as to what the next step should be. A simple click of an update button then updated the languishing orders and avoided the collections and tax department wasting valuable time and resources on following up on records that had long since been resolved outside of the system or which had arisen as a result of out of data information. This exercise along saved the company over $60,000 in data processing fees alone.

What all four of these presenters brought home to me once again is the tremendous breadth of applicability of Winshuttle products to the full spectrum of SAP system usage. In the four sessions I attended we had world class operators using the products in PLM, Procurement, SD and Finance and in many different transactional functions of each of those areas.

You can pick up the slide decks from these presentations at http://community.winshuttle.com/wug-archive


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About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.


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