How a global manufacturer overcame ERP hurdles




A global manufacturer of pipe, tubing and cable acquired several of its competitors. That gave it 45 sites across the U.S. — and 14 were using the same 30-year-old enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that controlled operations, procurement and accounts payable. The outdated system was nearing the end of support, so the company needed to consolidate and upgrade the ERP across all 14 sites.


The manufacturer needed a more modern and streamlined way to control operations, procurement and accounts payable across 14 sites.




Grant Thornton established an implementation team and project management office to work with the company’s core team of 20 SMEs, and the company chose an Oracle JD Edwards solution tailored to its needs. “What makes this solution different is that it was designed for manufacturing,” said Grant Thornton Transformation Director Doug Thompson. However, the company knew that multi-site implementations can be hard to manage, as they had gone through a few similar projects that were largely deemed unsuccessful by internal participants. “I always say that bad change management sounds like raised voices and slamming doors,” Thompson said. To drive successful adoption and results, Grant Thornton project management and change management specialists used the empower.x readiness module to measure change readiness for each business team up front, then again after training as a confirmation of progress and preparation. The team used the empower.x communications module to track updates to employees, the training module to organize education, the impact assessment module to assess outcomes and the dashboards to look across all of the solution’s modules. “As we got near the cutover date, we were able to use the dashboards to really show them their progress,” Thompson said. “That was a significant help in determining the ‘go’ criteria from our leaders."




“We’ve had three successful launches now, and we’re about to do four more sites in four weeks, using the same tools,” Thompson said. The program’s success inspired the manufacturer to update ERPs across all U.S. sites, to streamline reporting and processes for accountability. Thompson explained, “empower.x has enabled us to put metrics around change management, and in a much easier fashion.” empower.x capabilities saved the change management team an estimated 15-20% of its typical work by standardizing and streamlining activities. Now, the team doesn’t need to depend on spreadsheets to track the various threads of change readiness, communication, education and more. The communication module’s calendar display offers one clear view of past and upcoming messages. “Overall, empower.x provides greater awareness and visibility of what's happening in the change practitioner world, and what change methodology is doing for you," Thompson said.


The manufacturer achieved a more streamlined implementation with success that inspired it to expand implementations across more sites.




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