Our client, an engineering, mining services and industrial manufacturing Group, decided to use an industry downturn as an opportunity to address certain ERP and process failings and inconsistencies across their various companies.
While there would be some cost for them to do this work, senior management felt that the work they did now would better place them to take advantage of the eventual upturn.
Their scoped project included consolidating various instances of their primary ERP from multiple databases to one database, as well as improving and changing the ERP setup and configuration in order to provide consistent operational and financial reporting across the legal entities. There was also a requirement to implement the primary ERP into an older acquistion that had been resisting the change.
We were engaged to help them develop a plan for the database merge, the configuration changes and the ERP roll-out, as well as assist with ad-hoc business process assistance and management of each project within the overall program.
- The first step in the process was to determine the range of projects to be included in the program of works. We facilitated discussions with selected businesses in the group, concurrently performing a review and assessment of their current ERP structures and how they fit the current and future needs. This was necessary in order to determine both the suitability of the proposed projects to be included, as well as to discover whether any additional tasks or projects needed to be considered. The output of this step was a detailed Recommendation Report.
- Based on the report we provided in step one, the business agreed to proceed in our suggested manner. We helped them determine consistent operational and financial coding structures to be used across all the legal entities; recommended which ERP databases could be merged; suggested which businesses would benefit from project accounting rectification; and came up with an achievable order of businesses. Businesses requiring ERP rectification were prioritised by urgency, while businesses which were to receive new ERP implementations were later in the program.
- Once the program of works had been confirmed, each project was given a broad outline and timeframe, subject to changes based on the business needs throughout the program.
- We then commenced the schedule of works, delivering each project in the program alongside key business staff.
- In conjunction with the businesses, we delivered eighteen different projects within the program of works, ranging from development of new operational and financial reporting code structures; project accounting changes; process streamlining; consolidating or eliminating ERP databases; system program scripting; database software upgrades; implementation of new software modules with business processes; consolidated financial reporting; and investigation of supplementary software systems.
- Through code standardisation and process streamlining, the business were able to get meaningful real time data from the ERP. This meant senior management could get finally get timely financial and operational data, allowing them to make business-critical decisions with confidence in the evidence.
- Project accounting changes allowed the relevant entities to obtain a project by project P&L, helping them to manage and increase margins during difficult times.
- Recalcitrant acquistions were finally moved onto the business-wide ERP, ensuring that all business entities were reporting and operating consistently and allowing senior management full visibility across operations.
- Entities that had previously used Excel to fill functional gaps, were able to move all processes into the ERP and remove Excel systems. This reduced the need to manually reconcile or rekey data and increased overall accuracy.
- For the first time, the Group had clear and accurate visibility of across-entity stock holdings.
- With clearly-aligned processes and systems, when business improved six months later, our client was in a very strong position. They were able to provide better service to their clients, as well as efficiently and productively manage a much bigger order book.
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