Web Development for TOTAL Specialties USA
TOTAL Specialties USA (TSUSA) is part of TOTAL the World’s 4th largest oil and gas company. The company produces and markets high purity solvent products to the Americas and is a market leader due to the environmental credentials of it’s product range.
The company runs part of a global SAP installation but found itself increasingly dependent upon office productivity tools such as Excel and Outlook for the management of daily operations. With a complex supply chain these tools lacked the business logic and transactional capability to truly serve the business. As a result, business processes were labor intensive with challenges in dealing with the necessary flexibility to offer the levels of customer service demanded by the company.
Commerceworks were asked to help by building a bespoke web app environment to introduce business process logic and transactional integrity across the business. The development work started with inventory and logistics, moving onto sales order management and product quality. The application called TOTAL Connect now covers most business areas for TSUSA with full integration with the corporate SAP system. This part of the project means that customers are able to enter their own sales orders that flow through to SAP, undergoing a complete credit checking process. Once the SAP Sales Orders are generated they flow back into TOTAL Connect until a Bill of Lading is generated which triggers a process to send the loaded product quantities back to SAP for invoicing. As invoices are sent immediately, time to cash is significantly improved.
As the supply chain has many organisations involved, integrated communications has been a major factor in the development. Customers are able to place and manage their orders through a customer self service portal and subsequent communications between 3rd party logistics carriers, storage terminals and laboratory testing companies are completely automated. As all parties have access to TOTAL Connect they are able to access data at source and all parties share the benefits. For example, when a product loads at a storage terminal, the terminal enters gross and tare weights of the loaded product. Once the product leaves the terminal, the transaction on TOTAL Connect is updated. The driver receives their Bill of Lading, Certificate of Analysis and Safety Data Sheet immediately and all documents are instantly emailed to the customer. TOTAL Connect then updates SAP for immediate invoicing, significantly improving time to cash.
The entire development is written in a Microsoft .net environment on a SQL Server database. Commerceworks provide hosting and management of the entire development including ongoing development. Agile development techniques have meant that software components are delivered in incremental steps based on tangible benefits throughout. This means that TSUSA has the capability to quickly respond to market changes, maintaining excellent levels of customer service.
Over time more and more business processes have been added to TOTAL Connect as the business has looked to repeat the benefits from process automation and business logic. As a native Microsoft application, TOTAL Connect still has deep integration to Office productivity tools for trend and what-if analysis. It’s all about using the right tools for the right job.
Through the partnership with Commerceworks TOTAL has seen significant productivity improvement, faster time to cash and cost savings through being able to run their business with a lower headcount. This successful partnership is ongoing as we work closely with TOTAL to repeat productivity improvements across other areas of the business.