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SAP in 6: Leading change in the sector

Rabia Garib | Sept. 9, 2008
SAP is a multifunctional software which has been deployed at National Foods (Pakistan) with its basic six modules at National Foods.

During the implementation period, which is very critical, the company cut off one system and transferred all balances and materials to the other system, with all financial figures in a categorical order. Financials figures were moved to the financial section of the new system, management data was put together in management section and the figures of sales and balances was moved in sales and balances figures of the new system. The company kept both the new and old systems in running order for an entire month to tie up figures of both the systems in the end of the month. After a month of running dual systems, the company made the leap of faith. SAP fueled the infrastructure at the organization.

Change managers

It is a very critical stage when the chances of failures are greater than before, at peaks. Company has to go back to cut off date, if situation becomes worse. When things cannot be handled perfectly, everything has to begin from the very start, which is something that a company cannot afford to survive.

Danish gives the solutions to these problems, "If there are two initiatives that must be followed globally in any ERP implementations, they are high management involvement, and power users. We opted for both of them and it wasn't a bad decision."

"Because all operations are being derived from a certain place, the user operating SAP should have existing functional knowledge of projects, business skills and he should be visionary enough to see the changes that have the possibility in the future. Configurations should be made scaleable enough to cover other things in the years to come. That is why we made power user groups."

The company used its power users just for SAP project, and they do not work in any other except theirs. These power users help existing end users in this phase of parallel running of the new systems as well as the trainings.

There were four power users working in manufacturing module and one in quality management. However, in financial module, there is a huge team of seven people who handle costing, financials, and GL accounts. Therefore, the number of allotted users entirely depends on the complexity of a certain module. The more functions it has to perform, the more will be the users handling it. "You can never have success if you keep power team distracted in other projects -- they have to be the change managers that will inspire the innovation in the entire system."

Integrating business intelligence?

What's next for a team as capable as the one that is running the engine at National Foods? "There is no limit to what we can plan. The business intelligence and HR modules are both in the pipeline at the moment. If we have a production planning, we can also opt for product life cycle management easily and it is scalable to accommodate a larger sized company as well. There are several other options and the details of a particular module keeps extending."


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