Nyrstar is implementing SAP enterprise resource planning to replace ten legacy systems.

Formed in 2007 through the spin-off of a business by Zinifex and Umicore, Nyrstar is the world's largest producer of zinc. It operates smelters and mines on five continents.

The company chose SAP to help deal with the complexity of the merger and the sprawl of its business.

Following the merger, Nyrstar ran duplicate systems for raw material procurement, sales, hedging and metal accounting. However, the duplicate systems and processes for procurement would at times cause Nyrstar to purchase materials from a single supplier using different names and prices for those materials.

The firm also lacked a single view of its metal sales. This confusion, it said, trickled down through all processes, leading to inefficiencies within the organisation and "would have limited the delivery of synergies resulting from growth and acquisitions".

To help solve these problems Nyrstar has implemented the SAP ERP Financials package, the SAP Best Practices for Mining package and the SAP Treasury and Risk Management system.

Nyrstar said the systems will help it handle its complex raw materials contracts, and also allow the company to capture all transactions within the supply chain and transfer them to its exposure management process.

It said it is also now better equipped to minimise the impact of metal price volatility on its business, with increased visibility across all metal flows and centralised management of global risk exposures.

The roll-out has helped deliver a simplified IT architecture through retiring ten legacy systems, it said. Nyrstar has been able to centralise and globalise its commercial operations too. A single sales and marketing organisation works from one database and integrated processes, and the global purchasing function has been consolidated in its headquarters.

Phil Palmer, chief information officer at Nyrstar, said: "By operating a lean, efficient, dynamic and flexible business we can focus on building a strong and sustainable future."

Photo: Andreas Fruh