Case study Manufacturing,Distribution and transport

System and process gap analysis

Consolidating different ERP systems for a single and complete version of the truth

Having two ERP systems over 3 sites was proving inefficient for Intersnack. They approached Waterstons to help them determine which of the systems should be adopted, or if they should look for a completely new ERP solution.

The Drive for Consolidation

Intersnack UK had two different ERP systems over three sites. The Intersnack Group used a different ERP system. There was a desire to consolidate the UK business systems and decisions were required around whether one of the two UK systems or the Group system should be implemented. To reduce risk to UK operations, a gap analysis was required to identify issues and recommend actions that would ensure a successful future for the UK Company and that the correct investment decisions were made in terms of hardware; software and resource.

Gap Analysis

To derive an optimal solution, the project covered three phases.

  • Phase one; involved an analysis of systems usage over the three UK sites, and in particular how the legacy systems matched the business requirements. (example overleaf)
  • Phase two; analysed three potential target solutions, which included one of the legacy systems, the Intersnack Group’s system and a hybrid of the two. Visits were made to the Group to understand the use of their system. In addition Waterstons met with both potential product vendors.
  • Phase three; assessed the gaps between the previous two phases and Intersnack UK’s specific requirements and produced a detailed report of recommendations.

Managing The Process

The Waterstons' team was led by an experienced Project Manager fully accredited in PRINCE2 project management.

  • Waterstons worked closely with Intersnack and the vendors to ensure each system and every department was well represented
  • The Waterstons' team were highly motivated to ensure the success of the project

Process and System Review

A critical part of the Waterstons' approach is the review of current systems and processes. This provides the fundamental foundation for a subsequent gap analysis. Combining Waterstons’ experience with their structured approach allows for gap analysis projects to be executed efficiently and effectively. The figure below provides an example of one of Intersnack UK’s processes identified in the beginning of the project.

Waterstons are able to understand how a business operates and define what processes and systems are in place. It is common for companies to have challenges around the level of standardisation and integration and Waterstons are able to help prioritise these challenges and provide recommendations to move forward. Recommendations will incorporate both quick wins and long term strategic activities.

An ERP System Selection

Selecting and implementing an ERP system is a major investment and decision for any organisation, so it is critical that the correct system is chosen.

As part of the ERP selection, certain infrastructure decisions have to be made. Through Waterstons’ own experience and knowledge, we are able to guide clients through these decisions. The figure opposite highlights a simplified version of Intersnack’s infrastructure requirements.

Process and system assessment is frequently carried out by Waterstons and we have established a deep understanding of process challenges over a broad range of markets. Waterstons have worked with Intersnack UK for several years and through this have been able to establish a specific understanding of their business.

Risk Management

Waterstons provide business case support by identifying risks and their mitigations, in addition to high level costings and return on investment.

Several risks were identified regarding the possible Group system implementation. Suggestions on their mitigations as well as a project plan were provided. This ensured that the whole Intersnack Group were aware of issues to be considered before, during and after implementation.

Being highly experienced in the market of systems and infrastructure solutions, in addition to Waterstons' vendor independence makes this possible.

Results

Intersnack UK’s legacy system and the system used by the Intersnack Group were fundamentally the same in terms of functionality.

There were business benefits in terms of economies of scales; readily available in-house expertise and great potential for improved business intelligence across the sites, all of which accrued from the introduction of an integrated and standardised global system. It became apparent that the system used by Intersnack Group was the correct solution for the UK.

The approach that Waterstons took ensured that the gap analysis was efficiently managed and completed in a timely manner.

An independent review of the processes and systems provided Intersnack with an overview of each site’s operations, in addition to the levels of integration and standardisation of processes.

The comparison of the UK operations with the Group provided Intersnack evidence to support one group-wide system.
A project plan was provided to guide the way for a future implementation.

Through Waterstons proficient approach I was able to stay close to the project findings as they happened. This provided me with a clearer and in depth understanding of our business systems and processes, thus giving a clear view with regard to the correct solution which was different to thoughts at the start of the project
Michael Weatherhead Finance Director