Systems Audit and Operations Success for a Global Personal Care Industry Giant

Helping one of largest personal care companies increase ROI from their significant enterprise systems investments and in expanding their workforce' SAP software utilization.

Explore the Service

In order to maintain the system, there are 5 things that every company needs to continue to focus on:


Continue to update and roll out to new employees


Help desk/super-user assistance


Periodic audits are needed


Data constantly becomes obsolete or needs cleansing


Systems are never complete, if you show an ever adapting system you gain credibility with the end users.


Our consulting team understood that lack of integration expertise, functional and technical, was an issue. They brought that expertise to the audit process. The audit included the below Delivery approach.

  • Scope Agreement
  • Build Team
  • Document high level issues & define baselines
  • Agree on success measures
  • Understand existing Supply chain strategy
  • Data analysis & Identification of issues
  • Execute agreed master data changes
  • KPI Reporting Measure Delivery
  • Sustain

Along with the above delivery approach, S4B created its proprietary 3-phase audit. Phase 1 was to gather data, organize the audit and define its deliverables. Basic project management skills were used such as timeline creation, stakeholder registers and creating meeting minutes databases. Other areas of focus during phase 1 were: understanding the Deodorant categories, sourcing strategies and structure.

Phase 2 included all SAP master data validation and manufacturing site details. Master data information included items such as obsolete data cleansing and third party manufacturing data vs in house manufacturing data set up. Items such as frozen periods, shutdown calendars and production calendars were validated during the manufacturing site audit.

Finally S4B wanted to make sure that the above process was sustainable. This was accomplished by training all of the individuals on the above process and verifying that the training was understood and agreed upon. All of this training was created and rolled about by S4B working in tandem with the consumer goods company. Significant training was created and centered on the custom disaggregation process. The current process was not easily understood. S4B created and rolled out detailed training that significantly reduced their business waste. Reports were also created to validate that the audit was creating value for the company and to track ongoing improvement.

Technical situation

This company had a very complex structure that includes many different processes, manufacturing technologies and products. The individual teams responsible for these products were working in silos and had their unique way of functioning.

Due to this, and the large size of the workforce, implementing uniform standards and processes was a challenge. Some of the key areas of concern were systems customization, on the job training, insufficient testing and not enough user training. There were also issues within the company having different production sites on different SAP platforms. This was a known issue and was being addressed with an implementation project but would not be completed until the following year. Promotional planning system set up along with the 3rd party sites associated with those promotions demand not getting captured correctly was identified as an issue. The end users were not aware of the master data set up differences between internal plants and 3rd party sites.

At the same time the allocation of demand from top down was not understood and was then identified as a major roadblock. These demand allocations are related to product transitions and their set up. The set up issues generated significant business waste. The final situation identified was that the sourcing strategy for the category was not replicated in the system correctly. This in turn caused inventory to be deployed to incorrect locations thus causing increased inventory, last minute production changes, and increase in deployment costs.

Solutions4Business evaluated the current processes, interviewed all stakeholders, and identified additional issues. These issues are mentioned below:

  • Material Transition errors (Custom Disaggregation factors)
  • False forecast demand signals and process’
  • Transition management non existent
  • Internal sites missing supply network map

Business situation

The above personal care company made a significant investment in expanding their utilization of their SAP software functionality.

As the implementation project proceeded and they rolled it out to their end users, it became very clear to them, that the SAP software was working as designed but their employees had become accustomed to software that was easy to use. Functionality was not the main issue but usability had to be addressed first to ensure employee buy-in and create a healthy Return on Investment.

Learning and development was another area seen as needing additional inputs. Training, when conducted, was not specific to a set of business goals.Resistance to change also became apparent to the leadership team. Due to heavy work related to seasonality and end of year commitments, the teams were not available for non revenue generating activities.

Company profile

The company involved in this case study is one of the top five Personal Care and Foods Companies in the world. This case study is based on the company’s Deodorant category which is one of the US’s largest, based on Market share. They intend to continue to build the deodorant market with innovation and education. The company focus is also what is right for the environment, the people they serve and their business.


As a result of Solutions4Business executing its proprietary and robust Enterprise Systems Audit Process, the deodorant category observed many benefits which included an immediate increase in Customer service and inventory reduction. Forecasts were now viewed as accurate and up to date.

There was
1.7 million
dollars of finished goods forecast corrected.

Innovation launches were executed flawlessly and innovation launches/transition forecasts were corrected and confirmed. Training sessions where user focused and proved to be better understood. The communication/confidence levels between end users from different function areas were noticeably improved.

Given a complex and unorganized operational scenario, solutions4business consultants ensured that a large workforce was motivated and trained to adhere to standardized processes and use a common system for critical planning and production activities.

Other benefits include

  • Clarity on roles and responsibilities
  • Documented and updated Training
  • Reports in place to track and monitor performance
  • Focus on functionality of system
  • Engagement of employees on system issues

Customer Voice

“My experience with Solutions4Business has been in one word; Outstanding! I have had many experiences over the past couple years working with Solutions4Business and in every instance the responsiveness, attention to detail, and deliverables have far exceeded all of my expectations. Most recently I worked with Solutions4Business to complete an SAP/APO audit project of the AP/Deo Category. During the project, Solutions4Business was extremely conscientious of my time. They used efficient methods of gathering information, validating networks, and executing the agreed changes; the time investment on my part was exponentially returned in terms of Customer Service increases, Inventory reductions, Increased system utilization and a significant reduction in the amount of time spent weekly planning manually in APO. I would highly recommend Solutions4Business to any company looking for an outsourced audit solution with very little time and effort commitment on their part.”

- Demand Planner, Fortune 100 Consumer Goods Company

North American Sales:
+1 (855) 345-7742 (Toll-free)

General Info:

Media Inquiries:

Partnership Inquiries:

Current Job Openings:
+1 (856) 553-5577

Solutions4Business Headquarters:
250 Pehle Ave Suite #200,
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663 United States

Request a Call Back