Reference case

ERP project management in a complex setting

Key messages
  • ERP project management in a complex setting
  • Good communication is a key factor
  • The right combination of expertise

We recently supported IKO with challenging ERP implementations after the acquisition of a new company. Our expertise in ERP Project Management was key in this complex setting.

Background of the organization

IKO is a Canadian multinational that produces and distributes waterproofing and insulation materials and has its European headquarters in Antwerp. The headquarters supervise all main corporate functions except IT, which has a global template.

In recent years, IKO has been implementing its worldwide ERP system - JDE -throughout its subsidiaries in several waves, of which the first European one went live in July 2021.

As a growing company, IKO is always looking for new acquisitions that are added to the JDE system. In 2019, Axter France was acquired, a company already using JDE as their finance system. Axter has several entities in different continents and realized approximately 100 million Euro turnover yearly with 250 employees.

Scope of the project

It seems logical that the French JDE would have been brought on the global JDE footprint of IKO, but the CFO Europe took anr audacious decision. Given the time constraint to go live in less than a year and given the lack of well-trained JDE consultants, there was serious doubt that integrating Axter into the IKO-JDE platform was possible. That doubt was only reinforced by the need of integrating the local ERP software (Industria) into the new FICO software as well.

Because IKO only bought one division of Axter, the company had to be split the company into two separate entities, resulting in key users getting involved in two major projects.

The decision was therefore taken to implement Business Central (BC) as a finance system and to get enough local consultancy expertise to support the organization. For expense management, a specific software was implemented and integrated into BC.

In a second wave of JDE, Axter will however be brought onto the central JDE ERP. In the meanwhile, it will be integrated smoothly in the IKO organization and be prepared for migration to JDE.

Success formula: the right combination of expertise

TriFinance supported these implementations by engaging both an experienced project manager and an experienced consultant who focused on the global chart of accounts and on reporting. The project manager organized, communicated and planned all activities, maintaining an overview of the project. Due to Corona, meetings were held online, making this alignment even more challenging.

The combination of functional expertise and knowledge of financial systems was of real added value to support the local French finance team.

Together with a good local BC partner who was familiar with specific French functionalities for payments, a performant team was formed where good communication was a key factor for success.

The project went live on time and within budget.

Even in these strange Corona times, there was a good and positive atmosphere in the group, a prerequisite to getting such complex projects a success. Project and change management from a functional perspective is what we brought in.

Julie Van Tuyckom, project manager TriFinance