Hachette writes a new chapter on growth with Keytree

Enterprise technology expert, Keytree, has been selected by Hachette UK to deliver an SAP-based transformational programme throughout the Hachette book distribution operations, as part of an aggressive growth strategy.

Throughout the past six years Hachette UK has undertaken a strategic programme, removing over 150 legacy systems and replacing them with new best in breed solutions.

This next phase in this programme is a complete overhaul of the Hachette distribution operation, including new order to cash and warehouse management systems, automated picking technology and a multi-million-pound investment in a new state-of-the-art distribution centre. This will span both Hachette Group and third party publishers.

Following a thorough review of the market, Keytree was chosen as an implementation partner for this project, based on its extensive SAP expertise, particularly with regards to user experience and engagement. There was also a keen cultural fit between the teams at Keytree and Hachette.

Using SAP ERP and CRM on HANA solutions, Keytree will play a major role in this development as it will deliver a system that helps improve cost control, and automates and accelerates the entire process. This programme support the continued growth of Hachette UK and deliver significant improvements to the already high standard of service that Hachette provides to its publishers and customers.

Operating in a complex and dynamic supply chain publishers require quick, intuitive and reliable access to information from the distribution systems. This can include items such as live inventory position, current sales orders, pricing or items requiring publisher approval. To equip publishers with the tools to thrive in the modern supply chain Keytree will also develop an intuitive, modern mobile application for publishers providing a seamless link with the distribution systems and processes.

Commenting on the project, Chris Emerson, COO, Hachette, said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are making a clear commitment to the printed book market and this new distribution centre will be one of the most technologically advanced facilities in Europe. That means we need the best software to make it work for the Hachette Group and our publishing partners. By combining technology such as SAP with the expertise of partners like Keytree, we will grow the distribution business and our market share."

Lesley Morgan, CIO, Hachette UK added: "Our legacy Vista system would not be able to deliver the cost savings and customer service improvements being driven by our new distribution centre. The opportunity to overhaul our IT operations and processes and implement modern, market-leading solutions is perfectly timed and will make a real difference to publishers."

John Andrews, public sector and commercial services lead, Keytree said: "Technology continues to disrupt industries such as publishing but investments, such as those being made by Hachette, turn that disruption into opportunity. Figures show that buying physical books is once again on the increase, and Hachette is now well placed to exploit this growth and consolidate its position as a leading publishing group and distributor."

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