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ERGMed: Refinery information system

Accenture helps ERGMed design and select vendors for an integrated refining production information system to enable high performance.


ERGMed manages one of the largest refining complexes in Europe and is Italy’s biggest exporter of petroleum products.

ERGMed’s first refinery, ISAB Sud, is situated on an area of more than 400 hectares in the southeast of Sicily, and has a balanced refining capacity of 11 megatons per year and a conversion capacity of 7.5 megatons per year. The second refinery, ISAB Nord, occupies an area of about 350 hectares and has a balanced refining capacity of eight megatons per year and a conversion capacity of 30 percent due to a catalytic cracking unit.

Both refineries are linked through pipelines and operate as one combined production facility.


In 2007, ERGMed embarked on a project to develop an integrated “Refinery Information System.” To successfully execute the project with minimum risk and disruption to the business, it was designed as a multiyear program with a number of smaller steps.

The first task was to conduct a feasibility study, assessing the company’s existing business and IT capabilities as well as comparing them to industry benchmarks and leading international practices in order to identify gaps and major areas for improvement. Based on the findings of the assessment, an information technology road map for its refining function would need to be defined and it would need to institute a comprehensive IT and business transformation program spanning its business, IT and people.

Business objectives included:

  • Improving its operational performance against industry benchmarks.

  • Achieving economic benefits through operational excellence.

  • World-class asset availability.

IT objectives included:

  • Standardizing its IT architecture and applications while aligning them with ERG’s broader policies and standards.

  • Adopting enabling technologies such as service-oriented architecture (SOA).

People objectives included:

  • Leveraging procedures and technologies to improve the safety of its workers at refinery sites.

  • Develop and maintain the behaviors, skills, capabilities and knowledge that would ensure ERGMed achieved its strategic goals.

Through this program, involving both production and asset management, ERGMed aimed to provide itself with a solid foundation from which to become a high-performance business.

However, such a program would not be without challenges. Several different applications, vendors and technologies would need to be managed and integrated, a number of “mission-critical” business processes would be affected by the program, top management expectations would need to be managed and the company’s IT function would need to ensure that adequate effort and resources would be in place to simultaneously manage the many concurrent projects envisioned.

ERGMed realized that to achieve its goals, it would need to team with a system integrator—a trusted ally who could take responsibility for managing the entire project. The service integrator it selected would need to be software- and vendor-independent, able to combine industry knowledge with technical and integration skills and capable of teaming up with specific software vendors.

These factors, together with a proven track record and structured approach to managing complex transformation programs in large organizations, made Accenture the ideal system integrator.


From the outset, Accenture developed a comprehensive solution blueprint, incorporating all major applications, architecture and integration components and ensuring alignment with ERGMed’s ultimate business objectives. To ensure consistency between the various projects, Accenture helped define a clear set of key performance indicators as well as standardized reporting structures, data models and integration guidelines.

Leveraging our deep industry experience, Accenture collaborated closely with ERGMed to select the most appropriate solutions and vendors for each area. To this end, the Accenture team developed criteria for the selection of potential software vendors that could deliver the components of the overall solution. These criteria were weighted based on ERGMed’s strategic priorities and feedback from the respective business owners. The vendors were then given an opportunity to present their solutions to ERGMed. Accenture supported the rating of each vendor as well as providing estimates on the implementation effort and total cost of ownership over five years.

Accenture then helped develop an implementation strategy and work plan based on business priorities, estimated effort, constraints and interdependencies. A clearly defined baseline was prepared to ensure that appropriate metrics were established, thereby enabling proper tracking and control of the progress and benefits against the original business case.


Through its collaboration with Accenture, ERGMed has positioned itself to succeed with its Refinery Information System program, transforming its business, IT and people to enhance its competitive effectiveness and become the leader in its market.

A clear assessment of the company’s existing infrastructure and systems, based on Accenture’s deep industry experience and industry-leading organizations’ practices, has given ERGMed a clear indication of where it needs to focus its efforts and investments to achieve the highest return in the shortest time frame—while remaining closely aligned to the company’s overall business strategy and goals.

The strategy and road map created by Accenture has enabled ERGMed to confidently execute the changes to its IT infrastructure and systems with minimal risk and disruption to its operations.

Key performance indicators and reporting structures will help ERGMed track the progress of the program and demonstrate the value realized to key stakeholders throughout the program’s execution. Furthermore, the appropriate vendors and solutions identified by Accenture allow ERGMed to accelerate the implementation of the program.

By teaming with Accenture, ERGMed is able to define a clear path from its current state to it becoming a high-performance business.

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