Case study: SAIC

Technology integrator for the US government

How SAIC was able to generate complex plans with a whole set of aggregated parameters across multiple locations.

The Company

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) is a US-based technology integrator and counts more than 20,000 employees. They provide solutions in IT, software, cyber-security, advanced analytics, and engineering.

The Logistics Department of SAIC supports procurement for the US defense, space, federal civilian, and intelligence markets and, among other activities, procures critical material to deployed military personnel worldwide.

The Challenge

SAIC’s teams receive demand signals from multiple locations. That makes forecasting demand and planning inventory levels comprehensively a really tough job. SAIC wanted to be able to plan faster and in a more accurate way.

The legacy planning tool’s annual maintenance costs were high, and it was not well integrated within the ERP system. This caused a lot of extra manual steps in the planning cycle, with spreadsheets maintained on the side.

With additional contracts increasing the planning footprint, it was found that the annual software costs would double (past 6 figures) to support the new lines of business.

In other words, SAIC’s planning process and the costs it generated didn’t give them the opportunity to scale their operations as they wanted to. FrePPLe was then selected based on a successful proof-of-concept project initiated through Agility ERP, SAIC’s ERP service provider.

The Solution

As Agility ERP experts had already implemented Openbravo at SAIC’s premises, they provided essential support during the deployment of frePPLe.

FrePPLe’s ease of ERP integration allowed SAIC to dramatically improve data integration and streamline the planning, eliminating the manual steps and redundant spreadsheets. When planners walk into the office in the morning, they find the data they need from Openbravo ERP. Throughout the day, they publish back to Openbravo any stocking and purchasing decisions made in frePPLe.

This enables them to apply specific constraints to a common pool of products, with planned purchases that meet specific criteria automatically pushed to the ERP.

SAIC planners find that frePPLe’s user interface is very efficient: after pulling together all of the information needed to review the generated forecast and plans (suggested purchase orders, warehouse transfers, and production orders), they can then manually override values as needed, prior to sending them back to the ERP for execution.

In addition, they were able to add their own customizations inside frePPLe. They were eager to develop their own extensions and have also collaborated closely with the frePPLe team on some generic product enhancements.

For instance, the option to “plan globally” such that a purchase requisition is generated only when the entire network is short in order to avoid overbuying.

“We were able to automate a lot of the planning process,” says Ed Hand from SAIC. “FrePPLe is also very easy to customize and well-integrated with Openbravo ERP. Some features considerably reduce the maintenance of planning parameters.”

Frepple now supports 5 SAIC lines of business.

For example, one contract includes managing the logistics of tires supplying parts to the troops in more than 60 countries. This means handling 400 different types of tires throughout the globe and delivering within very tight deadlines.

Another contract places SAIC in charge of operating the logistics for chemicals, packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants. During the past 10 years, they have delivered more than 42 million packaged petroleum, oils, lubricants, and chemicals around the world.

This is all possible at a fraction of the annual cost of the decommissioned legacy solution. The pricing model is adapted to the actual utilization of the software, allowing users to scale their supply chain process smoothly, independently of the number of different contracts or lines of business.

According to John Fandl from Agility ERP, “the item per location pricing model perfectly reflects the value they get for the price. It is adapted to the reality of SAIC’s business in which some contracts only comprise a small number of item per locations, while others include large numbers. Traditional planning systems tend to force a separate software license for each contract, while frePPLe provides a single, scalable contract, and a centralized, IT-friendly, web-based software implementation across multiple database schemas.”

SAIC has a long history and culture of effectively using and supporting opensource tools and applications, including with Openbravo. FrePPLe represents a continuation of that practice.

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