Client: Engineering Group seeking to merge two closely allied Companies within the portfolio.
- Acquisition Integration
- Time critical project with fixed deadline for business systems merge.
- Complex live ERP systems across both businesses requiring data merge
- Different business processes needing to harmonise
"This is like two trains running on two different tracks with different engines and different payloads. We need to bring everything onto the same track safely without losing any speed and we cannot stop in the station as our customers won't wait!" was how this project was described.
Changing IT were able to support to the business to carefully plan the business merge. We worked with the business stakeholders to carefully work through and document any detailed assumptions and "rules" to be applied during the data conversion.
Part of the challenge with the acquisition integration was that resource planning and savings were to be timed with the merge of the two business systems and the business financial year ends, so no flexibility or movement was acceptable.
All processes were documented carefully to ensure clarity as well as provide a training framework.
IT systems were an important factor - "the engine" to use the train analogy, but the wider business project to bring together the people and the cultures were also vital success factors for the project. In this we were able to work with the internal teams and stakeholders to ensure each project stream was aligned.
By carefully mapping out the plans, we were able to ensure good communication within the core Project team, to be certain testing could be carried out within the strict timetable.
Data mapping was a big challenge. With certain items, customers and suppliers common between the businesses to be merged, and rationale had to be developed and agreed, so that duplication was avoided. As an example this was to ensure any common customer accounts had orders, cross references and accounts receiveable information merged, so that "post merge" all this data would display under the single "common" account.
Accounting systems had to be harmonised to bring sales, purchase and general ledgers together, merging balance sheets and ensuring reconciliation of financial records and ledgers at every step.
A successful switch over to a single operating system was achieved on time, on plan and on budget.
Financial records and ledgers were reconciled, to demonstrate to the business stakeholders and auditors that the merged data and all the various detail records supporting the ledgers was in tact and clean for audit trail purposes.
No unplanned downtime was incurred and startup for the merged systems was a smooth troublefree experience for all.
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