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The client is a world leader in the agricultural and construction equipment businesses.
Its product offerings encompass a full range of equipment from tractors and harvesters to skid steer loaders and hydraulic excavators for the construction industry.
In North America, all the client’s brands relied on disparate information systems that were increasingly difficult to maintain. To address the situation, the company launched a multiyear program to implement SAP as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. SAP would replace many legacy systems and harmonize a wide range of business processes—which, in turn, would increase the speed and accuracy of management reporting, improve the manufacturer’s focus on the customer and enhance the company’s agility. It chose Accenture to implement a change management program.
One of the first releases in the ERP program was the SAP warranty solution, which would be rolled out to the dealer network in North America. The manufacturer chose Accenture to help with the implementation because of Accenture’s knowledge of the solution and its recent experience in deploying the solution at another one of the manufacturing company’s affiliates.
As part of its role in implementing the warranty solution, Accenture was charged with developing and executing an overarching change management program. This program would cover the entire change life cycle for the manufacturer’s vast North American dealer network—from initial sponsorship assessments during the “blueprint phase” to post go-live support. The company believed a comprehensive and well-executed change program for the warranty solution would build confidence in successive SAP releases.
The main focus of the warranty release was to standardize warranty processes. These processes are critical for manufacturing companies, as they not only affect company profitability but also have a major impact on responsiveness to customers.
To help drive a successful roll out of the warranty solution, Accenture teamed with client leaders to develop an all-encompassing change management program that included role mapping, training, communications, stakeholder management and a ChangeTracking survey tool to identify teams requiring additional communications and support prior to and during go-live.
Training was developed while the new ERP solution was being refined. Accenture’s learning content development centers in India developed Web-based training enhanced by capabilities provided by Assima, a software simulation company.
Accenture also introduced MicroTek, an international provider of training facilities, to streamline the huge training delivery component. The manufacturer worked with MicroTek to organize 47 training locations located within 200 miles of 95 percent of its dealers.
To supplement training, Accenture designed a three-month communication plan leading up to the “go live” date.
One of the key success factors of the change program was the creation of a Change Management Advisory Board. Suggestions from the advisory board resulted in messages being tailored for two change networks: “internal” audiences and “external” groups comprising field service representatives who worked closely with the geographically dispersed dealerships.
As a result of the warranty solution implementation, the manufacturer’s warranty processes are now aligned with the parent organization’s processes and an integrated ERP system is being harnessed to enhance business competitiveness.
Accenture played an important role in the project in not only working with the client to create a master change program, but also in helping to build internal capabilities that were needed to sustain the change program after the warranty solution went live.
Innovative simulation-based dealer training, developed by Accenture, provided users with engaging experiences that built confidence in the new system. In the first week of use, the new system handled more than 7,000 submitted claims.In addition, Accenture facilitated valuable collaboration with specialized service providers such as Assima and MicroTek, which further contributed to the success of the program.
Finally, by working alongside the client’s change management team throughout the project, Accenture was able to share important knowledge with the client team that could be leveraged in future SAP releases.
In sum, Accenture’s role in teaming with the agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer to execute the change management program has been critical to the successful warranty solution launch and has helped the manufacturer leverage a distinctive capability that can drive high performance in a highly competitive industry.
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