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SAP ERP Software Tapped By 3M

The adhesives giant already uses SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence software extensively in the U.S.; now it's replacing multiple legacy systems with Business Suite 7.

For more on business intelligence, see Intelligent Enterprise.

In a bit of good news for a company recently beset by management turmoil, SAP announced Monday that 3M, the global tapes, adhesives, abrasives and specialty chemicals manufacturer, has chosen SAP Business Suite 7 as its global enterprise applications standard. The phased rollout is expected to replace multiple legacy applications over the next few years.

3M is a major win and essentially a new ERP customer for SAP. Well known for consumer products ranging from Scotch Tape to Post-it notes, the manufacturer has also extended into the health care, security, electronics, and graphics businesses.

In the process it has inherited a hodgepodge of manufacturing, supply chain, and customer support systems from acquired companies. The company uses SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) software extensively in the U.S., but it has only a handful of SAP transactional applications in use.

3M is said to be unifying its IT landscape on SAP Business Suite in order to better orchestrate business processes and gain clearer insight into its global operations.

"We undertook a thorough evaluation to determine the best-suited business software that could further improve customer intimacy, service delivery and power each of our divisions and regions of operations with industry best practices," said Ernie Park, 3M's vice president and chief information officer, in a statement issues by SAP.

The gradual rollout was described as an economical approach tied to a long-term plan. Initial implementations are underway in Europe, where SAP's Advanced Planning & Optimization component is being installed. Most of the company's legacy applications in the Asia Pacific region will be replaced by the SAP ERP component of Business Suite 7 over the next few years, according to SAP, though no details were made available on which vendors or systems would be displaced.

BI software will also figure in the global deployment, supporting decisions that cut across multiple divisions and regions. The broader software agreement will enable 3M to integrate and extend BI best practices developed in the U.S. to other regions through a global rollout template, according to SAP.

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