Call for change

AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company, operates in many individual regions and markets. As it grew, this led to different ways of working, as well as varying processes and ERP systems.

After divesting its Specialty Chemicals business, the company set out to focus on paints and coatings with a global supply chain organization, one way of working and a common ERP backbone. The goal was to enable a simpler, smoother flow of information and work across the business, and enhance visibility across the value chain.

AkzoNobel launched PRISM, an extensive transformational program. It would move the company from 43 ERP systems and more than 1,000 applications to one ERP backbone and a harmonized application landscape.

"We redefined our system landscape and aligned business processes. Different parts of the organization are on one system with one way of working. This gives us a foundation to operate as one company, with a future-proof business and IT architecture."

— Aloys Kregting, CIO – AkzoNobel

When tech meets human ingenuity

Working together, AkzoNobel and Accenture defined common paints and coatings process standards and functionalities. Accenture then helped to translate these into a PRISM process template for use in both the paints and coatings business units. The pilot went live in only 10 months, and the global PRISM deployment was completed across eight regions and 30 countries over the next 15 months—an effort that focused on the oldest legacy ERP systems.

With the emergence of COVID-19, the last three local deployments had to move to a virtual work model. This significant and sudden shift was a challenge, but the project teams and the local AkzoNobel businesses adjusted quickly. By early 2021, the first of those three deployments was completed and work on the other two was underway.

"Aligning with stakeholders and managing change from day one was key. We freed up our best people and carefully selected our partners to build and deploy the PRISM template in record speed."

— Pabus Vos, Program Director – PRISM, AkzoNobel

A valuable difference

The PRISM program, which is still underway, is supporting AkzoNobel’s strategy of operating with precise business processes and driving simplification throughout the organization.

The initiative has rolled out global processes, one system landscape and one way of working. This is increasing efficiency and the value that AkzoNobel can provide to customers—and enabling AkzoNobel to operate as one truly global paints and coatings company.

In addition, the complex formulation-management and regulatory-compliance landscape has been harmonized and improved. This is enabling better insights and greater efficiency in the formulation of paints and coatings. It also helps to improve the company’s ability to comply with complex regulations. And with a common way of working and unified platform, AkzoNobel can better use its transactional data to create insights that drive its continuous improvement agenda, helping to improve customer service and reduce business and IT costs.

"To co-create with AkzoNobel, build a template and deploy it globally in just two years, we leveraged a core team with long running ERP experience. And pivotal to this joint success were the strong capabilities and close partnership of AkzoNobel."

— Bartel Flapper, Managing Director – Technology, Accenture

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