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AngloGold Ashanti (AGA), one of the world’s foremost gold exploration, mining and marketing companies, holds a portfolio of operations and projects on four continents and has a worldwide exploration program. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company has 21 operations in 10 countries.
The company’s executive team decided to implement integrated systems that could support a strategy of instituting a common set of business processes (such as financial, supply chain and maintenance-related processes) across its global operations to enable real-time insight to drive innovation and operational excellence. The company selected SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as its enterprise resource planning software. A single global ERP would help verify alignment on the common processes.
The key challenges of the SAP ERP implementation included:
Varying sophistication in use of ERP—the company had previously operated in silos, with some countries demonstrating maturity and experience in their use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, while others significantly lagged behind. The principle of standardization required collaboration between the different countries to agree on a solution that was suitable for the company as a whole.
Multiple legacy systems—AGA had decided that the level of support its aging systems required was unsustainable. Moving from multiple legacy systems and multiple ways of working to a single system with more standardized ways of working would prove a significant change. Constraints on business resources—designing and building a system that met the needs of the global business—would require a significant investment in terms of resources. The project would require resources to be released from the business for prolonged periods of time (sometimes 2-3 years).
Language and culture—language and achieving common understanding across diverse businesses and geographies required significant effort.
AGA engaged Accenture as its primary systems integrator due to Accenture’s 30-year history in developing and delivering SAP services and its team of more than 31,000 SAP specialists, as well as an industry-specific SAP accelerator called Accenture Enterprise Services for Mining.
Working closely with the client team, Accenture completed a pre-design phase to determine the project’s key principles and global business process governance framework.
Based upon the Accenture industry solution for mining, Accenture facilitated the development of a common global design with standardized business process flows, using industry practices.
Drawing upon its global footprint, its market-leading experience in SAP ERP implementations and knowledge of the mining industry, Accenture delivered a common set of business processes for AGA’s approximately 4,500 users across the world. Well-established project management principles and processes confirmed that all of the go-lives were delivered on time and within budget, while also meeting all audit quality checks.
The new system benefited AGA with:
Improved visibility across the business in terms of operations and reporting.
Improved consistency in managing operations and engineering work across global business units and locations due to a business process framework established for the company and embedded into the ERP system.
Improved controls in the purchase-to-pay, record-to-report, work management and project accounting processes.
To prepare AGA’s employees for the new processes and ERP solution, Accenture provided approximately 55 training courses delivered in 54 classrooms in English, French, Spanish, Brazilian and Portuguese. Accenture held design workshops simultaneously in all languages with real-time interpreters relaying information to delegates via headsets and translating questions to presenters.
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