Kuala Lumpur, May 22 - Without much fanfare, SAP and DKSH commemorated 25 years of collaboration in Malaysia recently.
DKSH runs SAP on its entire supply chain in 31 out of the total 36 markets it operates in. The balance five, which are new acquisitions, are progressively being migrated onto the SAP platform. DKSH's global platform is likely one of the world’s largest business applications running on SAP in Asia based on its data volume and the number of reports being generated.
And most of that is happening right here in Malaysia at its Corporate Shared Services Centre (CSSC) in Technology Park which handles group IT, business process operation (BPO) and some human resource functions.
The CSSC handles about 45,000 transactions a day, translating to 60 million transactions every year, shared Michael Hutab, DKSH group chief information officer. "It’s not always an invoice but that’s one of the more tangible or visible things,” he said.
“We are handling 550,000 customers on this system and we have programmed our system for more than 1 million SKUs [stock keeping units]. That’s a massive amount of information that we’re running out of this country and it's supported by lots of other tools around it,” said Hutab, crediting SAP as the a major part of that support.
“There are roughly 200 IT staff here ensuring us a reliable IT environment throughout the globe. This is a high-volume operation and the reliability and stability of our system is key to our success. To ensure business continuity we also have a state-of-the-art disaster recovery facility roughly 35 or 40 kilometres away,” said.
DKSH may not be a name consumers are familiar with, but the brands under its care sure are. From healthcare brands like Pfizer, Roche, and even Tiger Balm, to consumer goods like Mead Johnson, Quaker, Snickers, M&Ms and host of others, DKSH provides what it calls "Market Expansion Services".
As the term suggests, DKSH helps other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets. Publicly listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2012, DKSH is a global company headquartered in Zurich. With 780 business locations in 36 countries – 750 of them in Asia – and 30,320 specialised staff, DKSH generated net sales of CHF10.5 billion in 2016.
It established its first branch office in Malaysia in 1923. DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd was incorporated on 24 December 1991 and listed on Bursa Main Board on 13 December 1994. Today, DKSH Malaysia employs a workforce of more than 4,000 specialists across 30 business locations nationwide, serving more than 180 clients and 16,000 customers. The company generated RM53 billion in net sales last year.
In the world of IT, sometimes the older and bigger companies are at a disadvantage in terms of embracing technology due to legacy systems among others. But in DKSH's case, said SAP Malaysia managing director Terrence Yong noted that the company has embarked on "digital transformation" even before that became a catch phrase.
As part of its omni-channel strategy, DKSH is expanding into ecommerce. As it walks down this path, its partnership with SAP can only grow stronger.