Southco is primarily engaged in designing, manufacturing and selling access hardware and latching devices. Their current portfolio of access hardware solutions includes over 25,000 standard catalog products and more than 50,000 custom products that meet the changing needs of customers.
With 2,000 employees, Southco serves customers around the world in the marine, automotive, RV, consumer electronics, and enterprise hardware industries. Over the past 60 years, they have become a global leader in Engineered Access Hardware. Southco began converting to SAP in 2007.
Southco processed large external file uploads, such as outsourced payroll files, as well as vendor files and more traditional finance Journal Entries. Excel was their preferred software for data manipulation and they needed a way to easily and accurately upload that data into their newly implemented SAP system.
They desired a financial spreadsheet loader similar in function to their previous customized spreadsheet loader. Prior to learning about Z Option’s GLSU solution, Southco had already built an LSMW program to convert legacy AR and AP data files and work had begun with a contractor to custom build another program to convert legacy General Ledger account balances into SAP. However, they were eager to avoid another internal customized software which was expensive and time-consuming to program.
“I haven’t seen or heard of anything better than GLSU for loading financial data into SAP. At a class last year, a gentleman from another company could not stop talking about Z Option – and he had some really complex formulas going on. There is simply no limit to how you can use GLSU, if you’re familiar with Excel.”
– Steve May, SAP Business Analyst, Southco
At an SAP User Conference, an attendee from Southco noticed that Z Option was well-referenced and decided to take a closer look at GLSU. “We liked the fact that GLSU let us do things ourselves rather than having to work with a developer,” says Steve May, SAP Business Analyst, Southco.
“After speaking to other users and examining Z Option and GLSU, we found GLSU to be extremely user friendly out of the box,” May continues. “While other programs required a high level of technical knowledge, Z Option’s Excel-based GLSU perfectly fit our needs. After testing GLSU successfully, we told the developer to stop what he was doing, and we would just take it from there with GLSU.”
While their previous spreadsheet loader required a programmer to make changes, GLSU has flexible templates that enable users to quickly and securely modify templates without having to rely on IT. “That saves us the money spent on the developer’s time and resources,” May notes.
Multiple Uses: Initially, GLSU simplified the large legacy data file conversions from their previous system. Steve estimates that they loaded about 15,000-20,000 data lines, without ever encountering any issues with resources or response times. Once Southco’s European and Asia Pacific operations are deployed on SAP, GLSU will be used to once again transfer large volumes of GL legacy data.
Easy to customize: Southco uses GLSU in a variety of ways, including processing payroll, Visa card expenditures, vendor invoices, and profitability analysis adjustments. The Finance department frequently uses the dropped headers functionality to process multiple documents within one template – often as many as 20 to 30 documents are included in one template. In addition, plans are in place to build additional custom warning messages when running GLSU pre-validations for AP invoices.
Efficient: GLSU eliminates the need for a custom LSMW program and the associated time and effort of engaging a developer. More workload can be handled by fewer people. Instead of repeatedly keying in the same data, they reuse templates, save them and rename them to the current month.
“In the recent economic turmoil, we’ve had to reduce headcount, and GLSU has helped us manage with limited resources.”
– Steve May, SAP Business Analyst, Southco
GLSU fully complements the validation capabilitie in SAP and contributes to better analytics, according to May. Entering data is now easier and much more accurate, which has delivered increased productivity.
Secure sign-on through SAP ensures that the same robust security features of SAP are found in GLSU. GLSU has also helped control costs. “In the recent economic turmoil, we’ve had to reduce headcount, and GLSU has helped us manage with limited resources,” May says. To continue to save time and effort, Southco has targeted new and future uses for the GLSU software, including:
With the proven success of GLSU, Southco has purchased Z Option’s Budget Loader to meet a requirement to load planned values from an external planning software program. According to May, “We haven’t seen anything we can’t do with Z Option.”