An ERP project is more than just purchasing new IT systems. It will create an opportunity to achieve efficiency and real-time reporting – and first of all – the growth of business. Innoman’s productive ERP project service enables the entire staff to get a better idea of the whole, how everyone’s work affects other people’s tasks.
The execution of an ERP project in its entire scope will require experience and resources. People at Uusioaines Oy recognized the need for help and the benefits to be gained via outside assistance. They chose Innoman for their outsourced resource to carry out the ERP project whole from a staging post to another, in order to maintain the schedule planned for the implementation to achieve the targets set for the project.
Open cooperation enables us to build a solid foundation
At Uusioaines, a need for a new information system became concrete in summer 2019, when the parent company Foamit Group Oy purchased a Swedish foam glass manufacturer Hasopor AB. Along with the growth in the group of companies, it became more necessary than ever to develop the operating modes and processes. Similarly, the information technology solutions used at that time did not provide sufficient efficiency and transparency from the sales of the company up to invoicing and financial administration. Marketing, production, purchasing, logistics and warehousing took place in between, however, not as a coherent process chain.
Innoman’s share in Uusioaines Oy’s ERP project started with the system requirements specification and system suppliers’ competitive tendering. It was the need of Uusioaines to combine the service, products, processes and staff related functions into a working whole by means of the right software selection. Innoman helped Uusioaines to select the software solution, and ensured the successful completion of the project via good management of projects and change.
– We had a need for transition into systems that enable real-time reporting and data, instead of collecting data from Excel files. This meant also changes in the daily work of the staff, this was clarified by Valtteri Raunio, the financial manager of Uusioaines Oy.
The renewal of the enterprise resource planning system entails more than merely installing new programmes for the employees. It is a demanding process in itself, where pre-planning and commitment to change are the preconditions for success.
– In order to make the information technology system to be selected to serve its purposes maximally, it will be necessary to analyse both the client’s processes and the operating modes used in the daily work. The analysis and specifications to be carried out at the initial stage will have a key role, to avoid pitfalls and to be able to complete the project successfully and in a controlled manner, Innoman’s Mika Ropponen tells us.
– In the case of Uusioaines, I was organizing a tender for system suppliers. However, before that stage, there was a need for openness and cooperation. Specifications regarding how things are being done at the moment, and how they should be done in the target stage, required cooperation and teamwork to obtain the common goal, including challenging, continues Mika.
Need to define targets and benefits in precise terms
An enterprise resource planning system as a purchase is a major investment, and besides this, it will also format the staff’s habits they have accustomed to. Additionally, changes were about to take place at Uusioaines, along with the new Foamit product.
-Of course, the transition from old to new requires a lot from a company, especially if there are business related changes involved in this transition. This is the reason, why we make things concrete. Calculations will be prepared for the owners of the company about the way in which the investment will pay itself back. The ways in which the turnover will increase and how the warehouse management will develop, and invoicing will be speeded up will also be identified. Along with the new enterprise resource planning, processes will be updated. We prepared a new process description also for Uusioaines as early as at the pre-planning stage. There we took the intensification of sales efforts required by the new product into consideration, Mika Ropponen sums up the preliminary work done.
After the completion of system requirement specifications, competitive tendering regarding ERP solutions was carried out for Uusioaines, to select the system supplier. After the purchase selection, in Innoman the responsibility for the project was handed over from Mika to Kari Häkkinen, specialized in implementation.
Step by step towards the goal
Valtteri Raunio and Kari Häkkinen were partners in the team implementing ERP; nevertheless, the process was not only Kari’s and Valtteri’s show. The project group established practically included the entire staff of Uusioaine´s office, consisting of ten persons. This way, we were able to establish a working, direct and up-to-date dialogue.
– It is important to communicate to staff the benefits of third-party involvement. Along with consultants, the benefits to be obtained from the new system will be given specific shape, and with outsiders’ eyes, it is easier to see things that one’s own staff may be ‘blind’ to. This for its part will help to achieve the staff’s commitment to the project. I know from experience that successful projects have certain cornerstones repeating itself. Communicating with the staff is one of those, Kari ascertains.
The experience gained by Innoman is valued for the successful completion of an IT project that people often find even ‘frightening’.
– Kari was active through the renewal process. He reacted to variables, took care of keeping the schedule of sprints and taught us all that this is not only about an IT project. Experience and expertise helped from several perspectives, Valtteri says about Kari Häkkinen’s role.
– The ERP project of Uusioaines was interesting and challenging, too. During the ERP project Uusioaines and Hasopor were merged, which had an impact on the resources of Uusioaines. Keeping the schedule, however, was such a significant aim, and we didn’t want to delay it. Determined approach, continuous follow-up of the progress of the project together with good cooperation, were the prerequisites for the success, Kari Häkkinen sums up the ERP project of Uusioaines.
The ERP project as a whole lasted for about a year. The implementation of the system took place according to the plan in the beginning of March 2020, and for Innoman’s part, the project ended on March 18, 2020.
Five theses for a successful IT project:
- Proper preplanning pays for itself already during the project
- Anticipate risks involved in the project, carry out a risk survey
- Identify the personnel resource situation: tighter the resources are, greater the risk of delaying the schedule
- Be humble when facing changes, but strict with reacting
- Define clear targets and follow-up for the project
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