Project Management for ERP success - and beyond
How our partnership with BBI Group helped make their implementation of Sage X3 a success.
Results at a glance
- Enterprise level business solution that will scale in line with BBI Group’s growth plans
- Removal of multiple business systems with a consolidated single corporate platform
- Alignment and standardisation of business processes across the Group A solution that covers all business processes across manufacturing, distribution and finance
- Data quality improvements through de-duplication, rationalisation and cleansing
- Effective performance analytics for the Group, individual member businesses, customers and product groups
To support their strategy and growth plans, BBI embarked on selection and implementation of a global corporate ERP solution (Sage X3), with UK sites the first to go-live.
The implementation of a new ERP system is no small task. It presents countless new opportunities – manual tasks are made much simpler, often fully automated, the key driver is unlocking value and improved decision making from business wide visibility of data and insights. Getting to that point, however, is no walk in the park. Such projects require significant commitment of people and capital, as well as a tenacity to get the job done.
When we engaged with BBI what started as a simple project audit turned into full hands-on project management. Our relationship with them evolved into a strong partnership and they even got a new, fully integrated ERP system out of the deal.
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 with us to provide an objective, independent assessment of the project.
We completed a number of interviews, documentation reviews, and discussions with BBI Group. This included their project management team as well as validating the vendor selection carried out prior to implementation. We presented the results of the audit along with recommendations for changes and improvements to the project controls.
Following the audit, BBI Group asked us to provide a project assurance role to support the implementation and the project team. The aim was 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 little to show for all of the effort and time spent . We worked together with the team to demonstrate a different approach to project delivery, and over the first six weeks of the engagement most of this was achieved. Building on this, we were asked to take full control of the project and all project management activities as the project continued at pace.
BBI valued our independent perspective; delivering the project, setting and managing expectations throughout and having those difficult discussions when necessary. This included challenging the business’ leadership team when needed, as well as ensuring commitment from the project team.
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. We also attended senior leadership meetings to provide updates and assurance on the project’s status. The core project team included BBI members, external contractors and consultants from solution vendors.
“Waterstons’ project manager effected a step-change in leadership, focus and engagement around the project, appropriately challenging our X3 supplier, the project team and my leadership team to ensure proper allocation of resource and mitigation of risks”
Our key priorities in partnering with BBI to enable their project success:
- Driving the project forward
- Establishing a driven and cohesive project team
- Regular and effective communication and collaboration at all levels
- Fact based decision making and challenge, holding all to account.
- Agreeing project outcome measures; “What gets measured gets done”
Thanks to the new approach and with a massive effort from everybody involved, the new ERP solution was ready to go live and did so successfully at the end of May 2019.
“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. Growth that we continue to support and offer guidance in future projects and roll-outs . Scalable, effective, consolidated and standardised, BBI Group’s Sage X3 implementation is ready right now – and beyond.
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