Nestle SAP Implementation Year 2000

The article on SAP implementation in Nestle is one of the interesting case study. You may also be involved in ERP implementation in your company - as a consultant or an a user - you will hear this murmur,

"SAP implementation is very difficult in our company. The present software is the best."
"Our company has lot of politics. I don't think any other company has it. So will people agree on business process."
"Some division may reckon, SAP does not fulfil all the business processes. We can produce any report from our legacy system"
"Some will say, we don't have time to discuss or participate in the training. They will always say we don't understand or training is inadequate."

What ever the size of the company USD 100 million or multi-billion dollar - you will find two sets of people. One who think they can and other who cannot !!!

Nestle case is very good example, how much time they took to implement the solution and the lessons learned. Read more on

Problems encountered in Nestle. (Jeri Dunn, vice president and CIO of NestlŽ USA head of implementation)

  • Angry employees, costly re-engineering and long periods when it seemed the project would never end?
  • "When you move to SAP, you are changing the way people work," Dunn says. "You are challenging their principles, their beliefs and the way they have done things for many, many years.
  • Power base at the division or company levels across the region. So each one had their own ideas to it their way.
  • We had nine different general ledgers and 28 points of customer entry. We had multiple purchasing systems. We had no clue how much volume we were doing with a particular vendor because every factory set up their own vendor masters and purchased on their own.
  • Even before three of the SAP and the Manugistics modules were rolled out in late 1999, there was rebellion in the ranks. Much of the employee resistance could be traced to a mistake that dated back to the project’s inception: None of the groups that were going to be directly affected by the new processes and systems were represented on the key stakeholders team.
  • Nobody wanted to learn the new way of doing things. Morale tumbled. Turnover among the employees who forecast demand for NestlŽ products reached 77 percent; the planners simply were loath or unable to abandon their familiar spreadsheets for the complex models of Manugistics.

Lessons learned from implementation

If Dunn were to do it over again, she’d focus first on changing business processes and achieving universal buy-in, and then and only then on installing the software. "If you try to do it with a system first, you will have an installation, not an implementation," she says. "And there is a big difference between installing software and implementing a solution."

If you are a SAP or Oracle consultant, share your experiences on the project and how did you overcome resistance to change.


Santosh Puthran

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