In early 2018, BBI Group contacted us after Exponent Private Equity, with whom Waterstons have worked previously, suggested that we might be able provide an independent audit of their project to implement Sage X3, that had at that stage been in progress for 12 months.
The ERP implementation project objective was to deliver a fully configured and functional solution to support ongoing operations and future growth. After more than a year underway, it became clear that the project required additional resource, so BBI Group engaged Waterstons to provide an objective, independent assessment of the project.
A number of interviews, documentation reviews and discussions with BBI Group, their project management team and their vendor were carried out, and the results of the audit along with recommendations for changes and improvements to the project controls were provided.
Following the audit, BBI Group asked Waterstons to provide a project assurance role to the implementation and to provide support to the project team and the project management, in order to accelerate project progress and ensure appropriate project controls were in place.
The initial challenge was to re-engage the project team. They had already been working on the project (on and off) for some time, with insufficient progress. The first step was to demonstrate a different approach to project delivery, and over the first six weeks of the engagement most of this was achieved. Following this initial success, Waterstons were asked to take full control of the project and all project management activities as the project continued.
Waterstons’ project manager provided an independent perspective to the business; delivering the project, setting and managing expectations throughout and having the difficult discussions required when necessary. The project manager was able to challenge the businesses leadership team when needed, as well as ensuring commitment from the project team was provided and ensuring the right things were being done, for the right reasons.
The project had a very high profile within the business; such that the CEO, all the executive directors and a non-executive director were members of the steering group, which met fortnightly. Due to the high-profile nature of the work, Waterstons’ project manager also attended senior leadership meetings to provide updates and assurance on the project’s status. The core project team was made up of internal client resources but also included external contractors and consultants from the vendors involved.
There were many challenges along the way, but Waterstons’ involvement allowed for the following activities to take place:
- Driving the project forward
- Establishing a cohesive project team that was working together
- Regular and effective communication and collaboration at all levels
- Using facts to make decisions and to challenge at all levels
- Agreeing measures; “What gets measured gets done”
With intensive effort from all involved, and following the new approach Waterstons’ project manager put in place, the new ERP solution was finally ready to go live at the end of May 2019. Such a step-change in business systems is never without its challenges, but the go-live was successful and the BBI Group was able to benefit from improved, consolidated processes, better quality information and data for improved analytics, and support for future growth. Waterstons’ project manager was also able to provide ongoing support and guidance beyond the original ERP go-live.
“Waterstons’ project manager delivered as smooth a ‘go-live’ of an ERP system as I can remember and I wanted to convey our thanks not just to him but also to Waterstons”
With the new enterprise solution in place, BBI Group now has a platform upon which to build for growth, which will scale in line with the Group’s strategy. Scalable, effective, consolidated and standardised, BBI Group’s Sage X3 implementation is ready right now – and beyond.