Reference case

Successful SAP project implementation

Serge Vigoureux Blue Chip Boutique Leader Management Information & Systems Connect on Linkedin
Key messages
  • SAP project implementation at Sumitomo
  • Process improvement
  • Providing end-user support

ERP implementations are a complex and rare endeavor for most companies. Getting experienced people on board to manage the project and to assist internal staff in all project phases, from analysis up to the operational running of the new system, allowed Sumitomo Bakelite to realize such a venture successfully.

Sumitomo Bakelite Europe NV

Sumitomo Bakelite Europe NV, located in Genk, specializes in the production of phenolic resins and polyester for all kinds of applications. Together with Vyncolit NV in Ghent and Sumitomo Bakelite Europe, S.L.U. in Barcelona, they form the European division for these types of products as part of the global Japanese head-quartered group.

In 2018, Sumitomo Bakelite Europe had a consolidated turnover of 190M Euros, realized with 327 employees.

A new project approach

After an initial partial go-live in one of the plants, Sumitomo Bakelite decided to change the project approach for the subsequent implementations of SAP ECC in their production sites. With the help of TriFinance, the project plan and change management tracks were reworked and elaborated and the project scope was revised and revalidated. Due to a lack of internal resources, TriFinance was requested to take over the project manager role and to provide operational subject matter experts to assist the internal key-users in their project role for the following modules : FICO, MM/LE, SD, WM and PP. The goal being a time & budget-managed successful implementation in the 2 other companies of the group.

Successful project management

Internal project management was entirely taken over by the MI&S Project Manager. The experienced support given by TriFinance resulted in improved insights into the company’s requirements allowing the implementation partner to deliver a better fitting system to the Sumitomo Bakelite production plants, starting with the largest plant in Genk.

During the project realization, the TriFinance project team assisted the key users in the creation and execution of test scenarios, by providing end-user support and in assistance of the inventory and transactional conversions before go-live. The project was successfully launched 7 months after the new project started.

The TriFinance team remained in support of the Genk operations in finance and logistics until the stabilization of the internal workload, realizing some additional process improvements.

Following this first go-live, a roll-out project was started for the SAP implementation at the Barcelona plant. Again, the MI&S Project Manager was responsible for this subsequent project, now with a mixed team of TriFinance and external local consultants and internal Genk key users to assist their Spanish colleagues. Bringing the local staff up to speed into the new processes and ways of working was the main challenge, yet the roll-out was successfully executed within 5 months.

The TriFinance project management has realized a challenging combination of the site in Genk in hypercare modus and consecutive roll-out to the production facility in Barcelona in a successful way.

Wim B. - Chief financial officer

The learnings for our Project Consultant

Dorien was one of the TriFinance team members focusing on, but not limited to, the MM/LE-module. Dorien had previous experience in SAP projects, but it was the first with such a large scope and she was challenged on different skills. She needed to dive into her functional knowledge of the mentioned modules and also could exercise her knowledge of Spanish. Being part of the project team also asked for a continuous challenge on the required soft skills with specific attention to communication and change (ao to give training). Working closely together with the project manager taught her a lot about project management in real-life circumstances.