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The Challenge

A leading manufacturer in the fields of mobility and energy was encountering many challenges from the sheer number of different processes and tools being used across its business. The organization has 17 industrial sites, 12 distribution centers, 7 R&D centers and 2,500 employees around the world.
To enable the senior management team to improve its decision-making, it was decided to roll out a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in all plants globally, alongside further reporting and business intelligence tools.
With a phased approach to the implementation, starting with a plant in the Czech Republic, and then moving to the Netherlands, the eventual aim was for the system to be rolled out across all plants globally.

Business Transformation

Cohesive was asked for assistance in setting up a Business Transformation Office, which included:
• Program and Project Management
• Agile Coaching
• Organizational Change Management
• Enterprise Architecture
• Data Governance Design
Cohesive ensured the implementation was being managed in a structured way between all of the involved business units, and the vendor that delivered the system. We helped by putting the right priority on the new configurations in the system to enable the client to have the system working to support the processes, and also by ensuring bug-fixing was done promptly for go-live, through a hybrid version of Agile and Waterfall Project Management and by setting up the right Project Portfolio Tooling. At the Program level, we were included in the company SteerCo and advised the client on the overall project.
Outside of the ERP system implementation itself, there were further issues to consider, one major one being the change to the processes that would be faced by the people who would be using the new system, and that data was potentially going to be handled differently. To mitigate the questions that were raised in the SteerCo, Cohesive setup an Organizational Change Management framework that included a “Change Readiness Assessment” which analyzed how ready each plant was to change its way of working to the new software.
Based on the results, the change side was managed, with Cohesive ensuring that people were adapting to the change and were trained in time on the new way of working. Further time was also invested elsewhere across the business to ensure the right people were involved in the project to make the adoption run more smoothly.

Data Management

Cohesive supported the setup of data governance according to the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBoK) standards, to ensure the migration of data took place in a structured manner, which can typically be a major challenge in implementation projects.
By setting up a team responsible for this, including Business Analysts and an Application Support Team, and by drafting a Strategy and executing this in a structured manner, Cohesive mitigated most of the risk by fixing issues related to data upfront, mapping it to the new system and migrating it on time, to avoid any unnecessary pressure right before, or just after, the go live.
The key factors and how they came together in a Global template, are illustrated in the overview here:

The Cohesive team involved in the project included the following:

Program Manager: accountable for managing specific business transformation programs and handles various aspects like planning, execution, and monitoring of the assigned project.

Agile Coach: Supporting and implementing Program Management Tools, facilitating scheduling and assignments, securing an Agile way of working through Change Framework and Agile Coaching and building repeatable transformation processes.

Project Manager: Responsible for leading individual initiatives within a program. They coordinate with different teams to ensure successful project delivery according to defined objectives, timelines, and budgets.

Change Management Consultants: Managing and driving organizational change during the transformation process. They develop communication strategies, and training programs, and ensure the smooth adoption of new processes, systems, or technologies across the company.

Business Analysts: Gathering requirements, analyzing data, identifying areas for improvement, and making recommendations for transformation initiatives. They work closely with the project managers and other stakeholders to translate business needs into actionable project plans.

Enterprise Architect: do the modelling needed to change the operating model, map business capabilities, and align technology to the organization’s strategic goals. They collaborate with other stakeholders, such as project managers and business analysts, to create integrated and scalable solutions aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

Functional Experts (SMEs): Functional experts from various business units or sectors are often involved in business transformation projects to provide domain-specific knowledge and insights.

Support Staff: Administrative support staff who are responsible for administrative tasks, documentation, scheduling, and other operational activities to ensure the smooth functioning of the office.

The Results

The benefits of having a uniform global ERP System, include the following:

  • Management can make better and more accurate forecasts and the business can make realistic estimates
  • Duplication of information is avoided when people stop working in parallel in Microsoft Excel or different systems
  • Benchmarking performance is enabled across plants, ensuring clear visibility
  • Dashboarding for predictive analytics to better manage finance
  • Industry 4.0 for predictive maintenance to optimize asset management
  • Enhancement of productivity by automating redundant processes, which allows synergies, further advantages and the reduction of costs

“What made this unique project so successful was that Cohesive was involved in all facets of the program across IT, People and Processes.
With the ERP system implementation, from supporting the business units with their requirements and how that would reflect in the process and system by including Enterprise Architecture, to testing and training together with the 3rd party software vendor.
But also, by being involved in additional aspects such as change management, data governance and C-Level sponsorship, these all contributed to massively increasing the chances of achieving a successful project outcome.”

Tim PenningsSenior Project Manager, Cohesive
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