DB’s budget, time constraints keep SAP R/3 on tight track

Dominion Breweries plans to keep a tight rein on the implementation of SAP's R/3 to ensure it goes live according to plan in July next year. Group GM information systems John Hert acknowledges DB had some concerns about SAP implementations going over budget and over time. He says the greatest danger with the product is that so many things can be done with it. The challenge is to stay within the project limits.

Dominion Breweries plans to keep a tight rein on the implementation of SAP’s R/3 to ensure it goes live according to plan in July next year.

Group GM information systems John Hert acknowledges DB had some concerns about SAP implementations going over budget and over time.

He says the greatest danger with the product is that so many things can be done with it. The challenge is to stay within the project limits.

“We’re very well-focused on getting it on budget and on time. We will be very, very carefully managing the scope of what we do put in. The first phase is to replace what we currently have. We’re not looking at the added benefits that come with a product like SAP at that stage.”

DB will look at those as part of the second phase, however, including Inter-net trading and datawarehousing.

Hert says DB definitely sees itself as being in charge of the implementation and will be using Ernst and Young consultants.

DB is replacing a Cobol-based system which it has been running for 14 years and which is not year 2000-compliant.

Hert says it gave DB the opportunity to look for a wider enterprise system.

“The alternative would have been to upgrade the existing system to a Unix version at a reasonable cost to the organisation and no added benefits whatsoever.”

Hert says DB was looking for a product that would allow much tighter integration between areas like manufacturing, distribution and sales. Its parent company in Holland (Heineken) has SAP as its preferred system for its breweries and Hert says “nine out of the top 10 breweries” in the world use it as well.

“We were looking for a system that allows us to change very quickly and rapidly, and that probably wasn’t the case with the incumbent system.”

DB will run R/3 on an HP NT machine and an Informix database.

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