Dr. Dirk Oevermann, who heads up IDS Scheer’s consulting operation, hosted a discussion with two customers, Zak Mars of GraceKennedy and Chris Meiser of Tallard Technologies, about their best practices with ARIS for enterprise software roll-outs. There is an ARIS SmartPath model for implementation, using templates/frameworks and consulting services; originally targetted at small and medium businesses, they’re now finding traction with it in large businesses as well. This morning’s panel included two medium-sized companies that used ARIS SmartPath for their SAP implementations.
GKFoods (part of GraceKennedy) has a widely distributed food manufacturing and distribution organization — 5 manufacturing facilities, 6 sales and marketing organizations, 8 major distribution centers from their corporate headquarters in Jamaica — and decided in 2005 to bring in SAP to replace the 9 different systems then in use, providing better visibility into their operations, reducing redundancy and more fully integrating their operations. They credit ARIS SmartPath with allowing them to meet their 18-month target for roll-out to 12 companies, and since their implementation, have leveraged what they built through another major acquisition and the build-out of other integrated functionality such as sales force automation and vendor payment automation. They plan to use the same templates and best practices to continue this growth in 2008 with another new acquisition plus undergo an SAP version upgrade as well as the implementation of capacity planning and HR modules.
Tallard is a value-added distributor of hardware, software and services in Latin America, with 300 employees in 8 countries and a network of 1000 resellers, retailers, VARs and integrators. They implemented SAP and IDS Scheer starting in 2000, and since then have grown from $40M to $220M in revenue; managing that growth across multiple countries and 3 languages has been a key challenge. ARIS SmartPath helped them to align their business processes across the regions. They use the ARIS toolset to design and document their overall business processes in a centralized repository, ARIS Web Publisher to provide enterprise-wide access to the process documentation and attach manuals, and ARIS for SAP NetWeaver for SAP process design. They learned some valuable lessons, particularly that of obtaining executive support: first promoting process modeling as a tool to improve sales and efficiencies, and second as a tool to document and train internally. They also found it essential to hire dedicated resources, such as a business process architect, and provide adequate user training in order to facilitate active use of the tools.