ERP implementation for a Global leader in metal recycling

A global e-waste and recycling service provider was undertaking a global process and system consolidation following years of acquisition and rapid customer growth. After selecting the ERP platform to run the future organisation an ERP implementation partner was required to lead the programme, vendor management and global working teams through the process of design, implementation and benefits realisation. 

Challenge

Their largest challenge was structuring, ordering and effectively resourcing the scale of change they needed to complete to attain the targeted benefits realisation. Areas of significant change included: 

 

  • The consolidation of global processes after several regional company acquisitions through the 2010’s inherited different working processes and systems 
  • Designing and delivering ERP customisation to accommodate their target business processes including coverage for bespoke tier-1 client processes and country specific requirements aligning to local legislation 
  • Building Agile delivery capabilities through the global change champion and delivery groups within the business to work with their ERP supplier on MVP definition and an iterative product roadmap 
  • Adoption of the new system inclusive of training, customer migration including periods of parallel operational processing of orders and effective delivery to new processes. 

 

They needed to complete this transformation activity as they had been identified as holding significant risk through inability to effectively audit a single global source of information, having to provide global customers different products, processes and reporting country-by-country and not being able to pull global performance reporting from a single source. 

 

Whilst they are a global name and leader in the e-waste and electronics recycling industry the Leadership Team recognised the need to drive continual efficiencies, deliver quality services to customers and remain competitive on customer pricing. Several new entrants to this global industry and market were seen as a medium-term threat unless they could adapt to emerging customer expectations for global, consistent information provisioning, services and competitive pricing. 

Approach

Project One was approached as an ERP implementation partner and to support business transformation and change management through this transformation programme. Through several phases of work, the programme delivered on its strategic objectives; 

 

  • Project One supported their ERP vendor selection and contracting processes with the aim of delivering both flexibility for unknown requirements and timelines whilst agreeing sensible payment milestones for the vendor to keep them engaged and committed to delivery of outcomes throughout. 
  • Kicking off the programme several joint ERP vendor requirements workshops were run with an MVP product requirement set alongside the list of future capabilities required from the ERP vendor and processes requiring definition by the business to allow for 100% of clients globally to be onboarded to the new system. 
  • Project One led the definition of Agile project delivery methods alongside the ERP vendor which were adopted to provide traceability of ownership, decisions and delivery status for requirements and product readiness. These processes were also extended to support wider product delivery and run product test and support tracking across the business by the time of this programme’s conclusion. 
  • Alongside product readiness, several plans were created and executed across site readiness, user training, change impact assessment and execution and customer migration. 

 

The end-to-end program took several years across design, product readiness and implementation culminating in ongoing customer migration. The business required time to be allocated to existing customer and process SME’s within the organisation and have them empowered, capable and unburdened to migrate customers effectively to the new platform over time. 

 

There were several challenges encountered through this programme including: 

 

  • The ERP vendor struggled with resource capacity to keep up with the requirements delivery, change requests and live support issues throughout. This was managed partially through the setup and support provided to an internal product owner to continually prioritise the vendor workstack as well as supporting them with options for resourcing to keep things moving effectively. 
  • The organisation’s global process SME’s needed significant support to ensure processes were indeed applicable as single, global future processes with the absolute minimal tailoring to clients or local needs only in exceptional circumstances. The scale of this effort was underestimated and hampered by a legacy and culture of tailoring products to customer demands instead of offering, and holding to, standardised global service offerings. 
  • Software release management was immature and needed support to embed continuous feature testing processes, regression test packages and controlled release management processes for the production build of the ERP. 

 

An interesting challenge was managing the programme in a consistent way given the global differences in individuals, expectations, time-available and capability as the product and customers were migrated to the new solution country by country and site by site. Another interesting challenge was the need to incorporate the global subcontractor processing network into the programme. Several contractors were also competitors in other service areas and there was a constant need to train people without giving away the bespoke solution elements or intellectual property in delivery.

Outcome

Our customer and their customers are now largely working from the new platform and, above the initial brief, have their own customer-facing digital self-service portal receiving positive feedback from customers. 

 

The business has benefitted from the new system providing much more consistency and control to materials processing, based on contract setup, to deliver efficiencies and reporting at a global level to its customers. 

 

As well as operations, groups including sales, finance and product sales teams are benefitting from global standards for data, reporting and SLA’s removing several roles for manual data cleansing and consolidation to provide any kind of global reporting. 

 

Project One has left this customer with an increased capability for delivery and understanding of system development processes. Relation and expectations of their ERP vendor have never been better and the internal development teams maintaining the self-service portal for customers are interacting with, and closer to, the global business leaders more than ever to deliver change effectively. 

 

 

Project One value add 

 

  • The customer needed Project One to shape, lead and delivery their global operations, process and finance transformation 
  • Project One brought the experience, structure, dedication and leadership required to run this programme 
  • Wishing to take the opportunity to upskill capabilities of their own staff, our programme leaders partnered and supported internal managers drive required delivery. 

Project One have been the cornerstone of the project’s success. The dedication, expertise, and leadership have been instrumental in navigating the complexities of such a large-scale transformation. Project One exercised extreme will and perseverance, rallying the entire organisation towards a common goal and ensuring that every obstacle was turned into an opportunity for growth and improvement.

The work Project One delivered has set a new standard for excellence and has paved the way for a brighter, more efficient future for our company.

IT Director

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