Process Review, RFI Preparation, ERP Selection & Project Management
The client is an emerging Building Materials trading Company started in the year 2019. Initially started its operation with one branch in Dubai, the Company now has its presence in other emirates with over 08 branches. The client is expanding its foothold in the region with an extensive portfolio of products and is in line to become one of the most renowned Building Materials companies in the UAE. After firmly establishing its presence in the local market, the Company is considered as a major source of supply to the African countries in addition to GCC countries.
Since inception, the Company has been using Odoo, a cloud based SAAS model ERP platform to manage their operations. The implementation of the said ERP was done within a month due to which functionality gaps and lack of workflows mapping existed leading to many internal control weaknesses. Moreover, as the Company expanded and transactions grew, the Management and the users were facing extreme difficulty in accessing data and reconciling information.
With the Management and users fed up with issues in the legacy ERP system, decision was taken to replace the same. However, with the year-end approaching, the Management wanted the new ERP system to be rolled out within 02 months and to Go-Live from the start of the year. The biggest challenge faced was to cover all the scenarios arising during the retail sales at the showrooms and to cover the same in the implemented ERP.
Another challenge faced was to clean the inventory master data, structure the same according to the Managements requirement for analytical reports and upload in the new ERP. In addition to the above, reconciling and matching of inventory quantity and the corresponding value to the closing stock was another challenge.
Meticulous planning was done prior and during the kick-off sessions to allocate the right number of days and resources for the following three critical stages of the project:
1. Blueprint preparation
2. User Acceptance Testing
3. Go-Live Preparation
The completion dates for each of the above stages were arrived at by working backwards from the Go-Live date of 2nd January 2022. Teams were identified and deadlines were allocated to them for specific tasks. Delay logs were put in place with weekly ERM review of current status, impact assessment and to find solutions for achieving deadlines in case of delays in covering tasks.
The approach was based on risk and impact assessment of each task planned during the project. Based on the same, we identified the key areas that need to be addressed with priority. The first one was to identify and develop a detailed “Inventory Hierarchy” and relevant parameters. We spent a whole business day discussing with the entire team at the client for finalizing the inventory structure. The second task was to discuss in detail and cover every scenario that could arise in the Retail Sales showroom, assess the impact in other departments/modules and identify the solution in the ERP. The third and final task was to identify the high-risk areas in the Go-Live preparation and data upload tasks and design multiple control checks and validations to ensure the data uploaded is in order, verified and confirmed by the stakeholders before Go-Live.
By focusing more on the key and primary tasks in advance, we could develop a streamlined inventory structure accommodating the demands of not only the departments at the client but also the analytical requirements of the Management. A detailed Blueprint document was created covering the solution mapping for all the scenarios identified during the review.
UAT was conducted in two stages during the project, initially on individual modules and then on an integrated mode covering the entire process steps from start to end touching all the modules. Priority was set on the issue logs populated and were resolved prior to the start of Go-Live preparations.
The closing data required were prepared on the first of January and uploaded on the same day working for continuous 24 hours. The system went live at all the retail outlets on 2nd January 2022. Post Go-Live the day-to-day and less priority issues were resolved during the post Go-live support period of 30 days.