Case Study 01
A corporation that transformed cumbersome government involvement into an asset
A global entertainment company with separate ERP solutions across three regions and several more ERP solutions across various business units decide to migrate a portion of their business to SAP. Each implementation met their go live deadline. One of the greatest success factors was the uncommonly strong stakeholder ownership and project leadership. Government restrictions in the Asia region presented its challenges, which was eventually managed to become an asset to the methodology of the implementation and part of the future on-going release strategy programs.
Annual revenue: $41 billion
Regions: United States and Asia
Reason for ERP implementation: company merger & new business
This global entertainment company with multifaceted assets (Film & TV production & distribution, theme parks & resorts, real estate development, consumer products and much more) sought to consolidate its regions between the US and Asia for the development company and to set up a new ERP for its new theme park in Asia.
The implementation began in the United States, on an 18-month time line. This division upgraded from JD Edwards One World to SAP as the two development companies merged into one business unit. Tammy Amirault attributes the successful, on-time deployment to the strong project management. “We brought in people who knew how to manage people to deliverables,” she said. “Leaving your success completely up to a System Integration firm does not allow for the company to control its own destiny; and you have to own your own destiny in order to successfully manage through the issues and demands of such a large scale transformation project”.
While the U.S. Implementation succeeded due to the strong management team, its greatest challenge was the lack of business process ownership. Since the two divisions were merging and a new one established in Asia; the global process owners and VP level decision makers were not named; creating many vulnerabilities in the process decision making, global standards and impacted delivery dates. Fortunately, the high-quality of the mid-level and lower-level managers compensated, but ownership should never be left to chance. Ensure that your
ERP is a great success by identifying your global Business Process Owners and providing them the time to stay allocated to the project
By the time the company launched in Tokyo and Hong Kong, it had a proven process for ERP implementation that allowed it to set and meet a 12-month time frame for each territory. One key to both the Hong Kong and Tokyo implementations was the presence of ERP consultants who already knew the company specifics; as well as; early-warning signs of ERP pitfalls and how to overcome them. This project placed those resources in country and ensured they spoke the local language and understood the cultural differences.
“Every ERP project experiences pitfalls. Not only because of the company’s transformation goals but also due to the length of time of the project – as business challenges and focus can change over the course of the project,” said Amirault. “I believe it’s the human asset of each project team that is the secret sauce to an ERP project success. It’s the heart and souls of the people, who show up daily to tackle the issues, put in the extra-long hours, overcome the project's pitfalls and address the weekly challenges head on. It takes a while to find those people, but once you do; they deliver.”
Hong Kong presented a unique challenge. Due to the region's governmental regulations, it took some time to understand and address those requirements but eventually those regulations were baked into the overall release management program and became part of the overall program management methodology. Amirault quotes” bringing the internal and external audit teams into the project check point process allows them to be part of the solution and help to design a program that will pass the compliance and audit check points; why not have them have a seat at the table? You have everything to win and nothing to lose”.