An Australian-based multi-national required the ERP implementation and re-structure of a recently acquired $140m Electrical contracting and service business. The re-structure included establishing a centralised back office for Payroll, Accounts Receivable and Payables. There was a need to minimise the manual and spreadsheet based systems, as well as to introduce Inventory control processes.
Our brief was to deliver these changes in a three month timeframe.
- Prior to acquisition, four distinct legal entities operated four disconnected Accounting systems. After the purchase, they were restructured into one legal entity operated four legacy systems. These four legacy systems needed to be combined and transferred into the new ERP.
- An initial Current State Process Review occurred in all four business locations, supplemented by formal discussions with senior management to determine the common business process going forward.
- After various negotiations the Future State process, that would allow for the common database process for all four business units, was developed and accepted by management.
- As part of the restructure, the general ledger and business unit coding for the business was adapted into the common Group structure. This process held many challenges as the electrical businesses had previously performed P&L reporting at a much more granular level.
- The restructure involved moving Administration functions from the branches to a Head Office Shared Services team. This caused a lot of apprehension among the staff, as there was an awareness that redundancies could occur. This change had to be treated with sensitivity and care.
- A failed ERP implementation twelve months prior had created a company-wide fear of further change. This was considered when planning the change strategies to be used throughout the project.
- Complex electrical Enterprise Bargaining Agreements existed across three Australian states. We had to digest each and ensure that the new Payroll system was able to cater for all the EBA requirements.
- Minimal stock control had been in place for a stock-hungry business. A full stock-control system had to be developed and implemented. This had to include both the business and the systems-based ERP processes.
- Full ERP training was included for users in all locations, covering both the system process and the related business process. This occurred over a tight, three week period.
- The ERP cutover also delivered the process integration of the four differing business locations. This occurred within the three month time-frame and within budget.
- After complex internal politics and processing differences were resolved, Head Office Shared Services operated successfully for Payroll, Accounts Payable and Cash Management.
- The efficient and effective change management program accommodated employee role changes and process improvements. While there were redundancies and role shifts, we ensured that all staff were aware of their new responsibilities.
- We worked with Payroll staff to ensure all EBA requirements were successfully covered and there were no issues from Day 1 of Payroll processing.
- Full stock control was implemented after a “hunt and gather” stock-take identified all items. The business was educated on how to manage the stock, through both business and system processes.
- Overall, the new ERP greatly improvement the functionality available to the Construction and Services groups, allowing them to manage projects and service work more efficiently. There was a much-needed improvement in each Project manager’s understanding of operational margin management.
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