Successfully Navigating the Turbulent Skies of a Large-Scale ERP Implementation Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Weaknesses:

The integration of the system and the blueprint of the system were mostly designed by third party analysts hence the system lacked employee involvement and participation in its designing phase. During the integration testing lots of problems arose because the business people contributed in writing work had disagreements on several points which caused delays in testing phase. To help employees understand the system, training sessions were arranged that were not as efficient as they should be because most of the employees were unaware about a change in the company and there was a lack of self-efficacy for training. Many users found difficulties in using the new system and to avoid delays they opt to use legacy systems even though the finance department was also using legacy system. At some points, the company had no proper control on the SAP functionality which caused a number of issues. The system was not streamlined which caused issues for some employees. For example, a sourcing agent could never approve a purchase order if there is any thing missing or different. The approval process requires five levels of authorization and for approval it is necessary that the order receives approval at every level.

Opportunities:

The Company had only implemented the BMIS system in one plant therefore; it has opportunities not to repeat the same mistakes rather they should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. The management got experience with first time implementation and they could effectively make it their competitive edge by implementing the system in other plants. The system could help the company to save millions of dollars per year as well as they could exploit other opportunities available in the market.

Threats: Employees have high resistance towards the change and many of them requested to avoid change, because they thought that it could force them to leave their jobs. The company implemented the system at only one plant which was fortunately become successful, however, there is no guarantee that the implementation would be successful at all the other facilities. For many users it was difficult to understand the system because they were not involved in the designing, implementation or validation activities. This could bring a sense of deprivation among the employees that the management had underestimated the importance of user’s information, and they could intentionally avoid learning about the system. Low self-efficacy of employees could destroy the overall system.

Continuation of BMIS project

The deployment of the BMIS project took place Bombardier Aerospace’s Saint-Laurent plant (for the Challenger 300 and Global Express Cockpit) after the successful implementation at Mirabel plant. This time the project was amended in several categories on the basis of their past experience. In order to understand the effectiveness of the BMIS implementation at Saint-Laurent plant, a SWOT analysis is conducted.

SWOT Analysis of BMIS implementation at Saint-Laurent plant

Strengths: This time the implementation plan was more organized, strong and well communicated with the staff. The management had recognized the importance of user preparedness. The vice president of the plan had actively participated in the implementation process, which had cleared the importance of the change to other employees. Users were prepared for the change through educational sessions and management training. It was assumed as a project of the entire workforce of the Saint-Laurent plant instead of considering it the project of IT professionals. With the implementation of this system at another plant, the position of Bombardier would become stronger with respect to the ERP strategy as compared to its competitors. Bombardier management had learned many things from their experience with BMIS at Mirabel plant which enabled them to successfully execute the implementation plan this time. Certified SAP developers were employed to use the SAP methodology with its full essence. A very high rate of accuracy (97%) was achieved as well as the stabilization phase was shorter than the expectations. The communication system was well developed where project team members tried to spend hours to communicate the progress as well as to ensure an effective ERP system for the users.

Weaknesses:

As many professionals were hired for successful execution of this plan, the specialized knowledge was remained in a few hands and hiring new people or transferring the knowledge to existing people was a very difficult task. Failure to transfer knowledge to other employees could pose a serious threat to the sustainability of the project. It becomes difficult for the users to sort out an issue on immediate basis because the project team was released from support responsibilities and Power and Super teams has not expertise equivalent to the project team. The ownership of the SAP was not fully transferred to the users and they were still in exploring phase which could slow down its progress and growth...............................

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