Free Essay

Problems and Solutions During Pre and Post Implementation

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By joelj15
Words 1538
Pages 7
Problem (Issue) Statement
Introduction
Bombardier had an acquisition based growth strategy, first of all it went on to become a key player in the Transportation industry. Then it slowly diversified into the Aerospace industry too. It went on to become the third largest designer and manufacturer of commercial aircraft in the world, followed by Boing and Airbus. Its Aerospace industry was further organized into four product and service lines which included services such as aircraft charter, fractional ownership of business jest, aircraft maintenance and pilot and maintenance training. Bombardier’s rivals were doing very well and it had to face fierce competition from companies like Embracer and Gulfstream.
In addition to all these, the aerospace industry was very volatile as airline travel was subjected to economic and the socio-political conditions as well as the willingness of the public to purchase the airline tickets. Moreover regional and low-cost carriers were growing much faster than their legacy carrier counterparts.
Business Problems
As the company now was offering a range of products and services and had a global presence their growth by acquisition strategy was giving troubles and posing challenges for the firm. Bombardier used to inherit the data, processes and systems of each company it used to acquire which in turn created inefficiencies in data sharing and labor mobility. The cost of information systems ownership also used to get multiplied due to the increased burden of managing a number of systems. There were problems related to process delays, sequential activities, low inventory turnovers price inconsistency and supplier proliferation. The biggest issue the company was facing was of low visibility of inventory and lack of integration between its legacy systems.
Problems with the Legacy Systems
Bombardier Manufacturing Systems (BMS) was unable to cope with inter-site dependencies, persistent pressures of costs, rapid introduction of new products. This BMS was MACPAC based and it was getting difficult to operate it and manage data accuracy with this legacy system. Manufacturing system had to update in order to flourish in future. Stand-alone and user developed databases failed to communicate the employees about the implications of data errors and omissions on the rest of the organization.
Solution
They implemented common roles and responsibilities and common company values and also incorporated six sigma tools for the evaluation of the processes. They envisioned an integrated organization to facilitate seamless sharing of common data across sites using a single set of unified systems and processes. It was rather a business transformation than mere a technology implementation.
Failure of the previous ERP implementation attempt - BMIS Project
To do away with the unsuccessful ERP implementation which was carried out earlier a BMIS project was started. This failure was due to an outdated company vision, weak sponsorship model and insufficient involvement of the internal employees. Wrong delegation by the managers to the workshops was also observed. Mirabel misery where business side was reluctant to take ownership of the system
Solution
A BMIS steering committee was created which started having monthly meetings, making decisions on the direction of the project and kept reviewing the status of the implementation. This was focused on Bombardier’s Aerospace’s operations and the processes that supported manufacturing, procurement, finance and the engineering data required to support these processes. Formation of Functional councils took place which was to determine the role and direction of the respective functions in the proposed organization, review the processes and make rapid decisions on the concerned issues affecting their functions. They helped in ensuring inclusivity of the management and providing ample opportunities for the facilities to express their ideas and opinions. This resulted in a visioning document defining the KPIs (key performance indicators) for the successful running of the business. Another outcome was that now the quality conformance process inspection in the manufacturing process was scheduled at all the stages rather than only in the final stage. More focus was given on the analytical stuff than mere clerical work. Automation was one such solution to this effect. All levels of management were made responsible for passing the information related to project vision and progress. In the BMIs project team the employees to consultant ratio was brought down to 10:1 from the previous 1:10.
Phase I: Mirabel – Pre and during Implementation Issue
The first roll-out was limited to the SAP modules implementation only to inventory management and this focus was not given throughout the company. Reducing cycle time and improving the liquidity in inventory levels. Bulk purchases were preferred over total acquisition costs. Data cleansing was a major risk at the outset of this project. Late decision was taken to go with SAP workbench. Testing was another issue. Tracking project status was also an area of concern. Preparing the users for the use of the system on Go-Live by power users, but the problem was some of the power users themselves were not very confident and competent to do this job. The training material was not very handy. They were too technical and detailed and had very less information regarding the roles of the employees and only talked about transactions. Users were not fully aware of the impact of their tasks on other people of the organization. Work structure changed as new roles and responsibilities were defined by the implemented system so there was opposition to that. Lack of time and pressure was there to attend these tutorial sessions apart from their regular routine work. Sandboxes and Brainwashing Effect.
Solution
Parallel implementation of the BMIS was carried out. New roles and responsibilities were developed. Shift of the employees from planners or buyers to sourcing agents. This role made sure the oversee of the acquisition process. Material Resource Planning Technology was adopted creating more time for analytical activities. To reduce the data cleansing risk, decision was taken that the data cleansing would be done by the business itself under the guidance of the data cleansing team. This data was shared with the BMIS team which in turn used to prepare and convert the cleansed data. This process included extraction, mapping, staging and consolidation of data before uploading it to the target systems. Working closely with SAP, having an SAP representative on site helped them in the successful implementation of the SAP workbench. To carry out the integration testing properly cross functional teams were built which made sure that different sections/ business scenarios would work in tandem with each other. A scorecard system was implemented to track the project status throughout. These scorecards included activities completed, key upcoming activities, project risks etc. War Room was used frequently as the GO-Live date loomed. Power and super users used to help the end users in a classroom environment. Third party was hired to prepare the training material.
Phase I: Mirabel –Go live issues
No issues in the first few weeks immediately after the go-live date but eventually there were issues related to non-availability of the power users to guide and help the end users. In some departments users were more interested to know their new roles and responsibilities rather than how to complete transactions. SAP having the functionality to fax purchase orders to suppliers automatically thereby creating problems as MRP engine. A full general ledger was absent in the SAP module. Business was reluctant to assume ownership of the system. The new system had not streamlined all the process. A small thing as small as approval process became so exhaustive which became an issue. Some of the system functionalities had to be de scoped to meet the deadline criteria for Go-Live.
Solution
The MRP engine problem was remedied by holding purchase orders in a pool and sending them in bulk, once in a week unless the order was really important. The change management team developed ‘Day in the life’ training documents following the go live, it was like an additional course and training material post initial training. An initiative was taken for measuring the impact of the system on business performance. SAP used to flag a user and help him enter the required information. So the opportunity for human error was drastically reduced.

Phase II: Saint-Laurent – Pre and during Implementation Issue
The project scope seemed to have become less for the employees who were reaping enormous benefits from the implemented system. Project was still organized by functions and not by processes. The project structure was still not always understood by the business side and was perceived as too complicated. There were no buffers in place for potential contingency events. The specialized knowledge was concentrated in a few individuals and in case they left, who would replace them was an issue. Failure to transfer the knowledge was also an issue. There was difference in opinions of the project team and the business about the support needed weeks after go-live. Moreover there was passiveness in the support staffs. Contract management, contradiction between the local (cheapest contractor) and the global savings (having the whole process automated) were some of the other relevant issues.
Solution
Help desks or SAP Competency Centers were in place to deal with any technical problem. Post Go-live the business had a contingency plan to keep the production running in case any problem would occur.

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