Assignment 12. 1996-1998
XYZ AG / Machine tools
Replace the entire IT infrastructure worldwide with an integrated ERP system and implement a b2b system within 18 months; increase productivity by 40%
This is the same company that underwent restructuring in 1993 (Assignment 7 below) and into which another business was integrated in 1994 in the scope of another assignment (Assignment 9). The company had four different facilities that were originally four separate businesses. That resulted in four nearly opposing corporate cultures, four completely different and incompatible ERP systems, different network standards, front ends, reporting systems, etc. What’s more, each of the originally independent companies attempted to get the upper hand in decision making using methods that were sometimes less than transparent. This made the launch of the new IT systems (none of the existing IT systems had been rolled out) chiefly a post-merger integration project. As usual, warring parties come together when faced with a common enemy or – as in this case – a common task that appears insurmountable and will require their last reserves. Then, there is no time for infighting. The launch of the new system came in the form of a ‘Big Bang’ because it was a do-or-die situation. This was the first time that this global company was able to implement a complete solution, including accounting, in real time. After completion and transfer of the necessary data from the old systems, the new system was able to make do with only 5% of the amount of data that the old systems had originally required. Part of the assignment was also to arrange for financing for the entire project (hardware, software, services) since the company was not able to finance the project from current cash flow at the time.