Mobilising a global ERP transformation for a metals recycling company

Our customer is a global leader in the metals industry. The company has a multi-billion-dollar turnover and operates across more than 250 sites across the world. 


Having grown through local regional acquisitions over a 100+ years history, the company has developed as autonomous regional organisations. Given the global nature of the company and with the majority of sales conducted through their global trade organisation, they needed a global ERP system, with common processes that can be adopted by all, to enable a global position report on material to better exploit the market. Moreover, the local regional IT systems that support the core business were becoming unsupported and will reach end-of-life over the next three years. The programme’s purpose is to enable the organisation to have globally integrated business processes and real-time management of key business decisions to improve customer and colleague experience. The programme had a number of key objectives to successfully transform the organisation. 


  • Visibility: Support the core value of transparency through end-to-end visibility, operating from a single source of truth 
  • Customer Experience: Deliver exceptional customer experience 
  • Work Smarter: Embracing technological change to work smarter, not harder. Dynamic systems that change with business needs 
  • People Development: Enabling employee growth opportunities by transforming and standardising the current processes 
  • Thinking Ahead: Replacing aging software with a future-proofed system designed to meet the needs for the entire business 
  • Profitable Growth: Enable profitable growth by building a system that is flexible and provides timely and relevant information 
  • Standardisation: Sharing of best practice to establish standard processes to improve quality, production and morale 
  • Efficient and Effective: Streamlined process to eliminate wasted time and effort through the use of a global system and processes. 

Using our skills in both shaping change and delivering change, Project One worked with the customer to transform the business’ systems.  


The project started with a Concept Phase, where c40 interviews across the business were conducted, exploring the requirements and opportunities an integrated ERP may provide, supported by the creation of a value chain model defining level one and two processes. The value chain was used to define and agree what was in and out of scope.  


The processes in scope were then sequenced into delivery phases. The value chain provided the basis for the initial design phase work, which defined the in-scope processes to level three and formed the basis for the RFI and RFP documents. 


The RFIs and RFPs were issued to Vendors and System Integrators, and after a rigorous review and rating of responses, those preferred were invited to formal presentations of their proposals and client references were taken up.  


A final selection session was then conducted with members of the steering group. In parallel, a detailed business case was produced, and an initial business impact assessment was conducted.  


We also developed a data strategy, application integration strategy and defined and created appropriate design authority governance. Then followed a period of pre-mobilisation activity in preparation for the first phase of the detailed design sprints, and team members on-boarded. 



The key challenges were: 


  • Freeing up key customer resources to act as Global Process Owners throughout the programme  
  • The lack of technical staff the customer had and the need to urgently recruit  
  • The federated model meant there was no central IT function, which is now being addressed following the appointment of a new global CIO  
  • Integration of the various SAP S/4Hana modules and the specialised weighbridge software that was key to the solution  
  • Development of the business case which revolved around a number of themes: IT cost avoidance; detailed bottom-up benefits; and benchmarks  
  • Lack of IT savviness, and experience of implementing a global fully integrated ERP system with standardised global processes, while moving to a ‘cloud first’ strategy. 



Project one partnership  


Working with the customer, Project One enabled the vision of becoming a unified global organisation with consistent processes across all regions. Together we challenged current ways of working and enabled the Enterprise Leadership Team to kick-off a wide Business Transformation Programme, thus enabling the greater benefits that could be achieved. 



Project One adding value  


  • Exemplary programme management and thought leadership  
  • Experience of defining and mobilising global programmes from concept to delivery  
  • Ability and experience in orchestrating and structuring a programme to deliver the vision of a global ERP system  
  • Expertise in running an effective procurement process for Vendor and System Integrators selection 
  • Guidance on engagement with Vendors and Suppliers  
  • Innovative approach to building the business case  
  • Strengthen internal technical and architectural expertise, providing governance and control and developing appropriate strategies  
  • Agnostic position, not affiliated to any solution providers. 

When delivered, the solution will have a profound effect on customers and suppliers with the introduction of customer and supplier portals. This will allow an element of self-service and drastically reduce the manual effort currently performed.  


The programme has enabled the customer to review its IT support needs on a global basis and introduce efficiency in its operations, to create standardised ways of workings and establish the process ownership that a global organisation requires. Moreover, it will be far better equipped to maximise its profits by understanding its global stock position, cost of sales and thus optimise the global trade process. 

“Thank you to the Project One team for all your work in helping reach this week’s Board decision to approve the business case and appoint the Software Vendors and System Integrators. The Board was very impressed with the quality, thoroughness and overall professionalism of the material. Project One provided a very capable team, with great contribution from all.”

Global CEO

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