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Bombardier

Over the years Bombardier has seen significant success through its business strategy of growing by acquisition however,
this strategy has also caused the company to face many problems. One major problem that this strategy has created is
that of inefficient communication within its IT system. These communication issues have occurred due to the fact that
every time Bombardier acquired a new company it also inherited the data, processes and systems associated with each of
them. In doing this Bombardier has created communication barriers that make it difficult to share data between
manufacturing facilities.
Also, “labour mobility suffered due to the fact that skills required to operate information systems were not transferable
between facilities.
The symptoms of this communication problem included process delays, sequential activities, low inventory turns, supplier
proliferation, price inconsistency, multiple bills of materials.

In order to fix this problem Bombardier decided that it needed to replace its legacy information system applications that
supported Bombardier Aerospace’s manufacturing activities, (Bombardier Manufacturing System) with an ERP System.
The reason for this was because BMS was based on a MACPAC platform which was showing a great deal of aging, was
difficult to operate, the data accuracy was appalling and the future development of the company was being impaired.
Also, BMS was unable to adapt to changes taking place within the company, was struggling to cope with increasing inter-
site dependencies, had persistent pressures on cost, and many other issues as well. With that being said, Bombardier
decided that an ERP system was the best way to realize its strategic vision

First ERP Implementation:

Cost the company $130 million


Was discontinued mid-project in 2000
Reasons for failure included:
Focusing the implementation on inappropriate business processes
An out dated company vision
A weak sponsorship model
Insufficient involvement of internal employees

Second ERP Implementation:

Known as BMIS (Bombardier Manufacturing Information System)


Began in 2001
Was headed by a group of senior managers
Envisioned an integrated organization “One Company”
Purpose was to support Bombardier Aerospace’s operations
Focused on the processes supporting manufacturing, procurement, finance, and engineering data required to support
these processes.
Was the first project launched to realize a wider ERP system
$363 million was budgeted for the project
Upon completion it would support 9,500 users
Development required 400 users
Estimated savings of $1.171 billion
A project charter was authored by the Senior Project manager and documented the following:
The motivation for the project
The proposed plan for realizing goals
The charter also secured ongoing approval and funding for the project through the detailed analysis.
When implementing the ERP system a second time Bombardier found issues in both the training and go live stages.

Issues in Training stage:

During the training stage Bombardier found a number of issues which included the following:
1. Training Material relied too much on tables and descriptions instead of screen shots of the system, ultimately making it
hard for trainees to follow
2. Material did not reflect an understanding of the business
3. The system was not user friendly
4. Descriptions and Exercises were too detailed and difficult to follow
5. Focused too much on transactions and not the roles
Along with these issues users also expressed reservations about the timing, material, and focus of the training.

Issues with Go Live:


1. System was shut down for 3 weeks in order to implement the new system
2. Support staff was withdrawn from the business too quickly after implementation
3 Users complained of delays when it came to the answers of their questions
4. Management encouraged staff to continue using the old legacy systems and bypass SAP to solve problems
5. There were ofter functionality issues with SAP
6. Users were not fully trained when it came to transactions
7. Too many manual corrections to General Ledger rather than allow SAP to pick up on the mistakes
8. Managers did not use the reporting functionality available in the system

As you can see from the information above, there were quite a few issues in regards to training and going live. These
issues were ones that Bombardier quickly addressed so that the business could work more efficiently. In addressing these
issues Bombardier implemented the following solutions: additional courses and training materials were issued to users as
well as one day refresher course for several users. Also, management issues Day in the Life' training documents. These
documents outlined a typical day for a particular role as well as a focus on the most commonly executed transactions. By
addressing this issues Bombardier was able to make users happy and fix inefficiencies and is now ready to move on to its
next major roll out, this time at the Saint-Laurent plant.

Saint-Laurent Implementation:

After addressing issues during the first phase of the project Bombardier was ready to start the next phase in Saint-
Laurent. When it came to managers at this plant, although they understood that users had learned significant lessons
during phase one and were more prepared this time around, they believed that in order to be successful the project had
to be their project not the IT department's. With that the Vice President at the Saint-Laurent plant took charge of the
project to ensure that it was implemented successfully as he strongly believed in the necessity of the BMIS for
Bombardier's future growth. During the implementation the VP made sure that everyone was on the same page and
inspired other team members to get actively involved in order to be successful.There was a lot of dedication and team
spirit amongst team members as they felt the implementation was a collective effort and that everyone was contributing
to attaining the project goals. However, although there was a lot of positive and happy employees there were also some
complaints. These complaints included issues with the deployment strategy, communication being somewhat
transparent, and the scope of the project being too small.

the second ERP was a tremendous success. From a process perspective, some of these successes were: timely
implementation, appropriately staffed employee/consultant ratio, appropriate business models, and a plant by plant
implementation approach. Bombardier also brought learned experiences to improve the next plant implementation.

Creation of Functional Council: Having champions for the project early on was critical to help lift it off the
ground. Furthermore, it allowed Bombardier’s other facilities to express their opinions and ideas and sign-off on process
documentation.
· The BMIS Project Team: This team was established which focused on the preparation and deployment of
BMIS. Several of the company’s most experienced employees were also recruited for the team. These employees were
recruited to work full time on the project.

· Stand Alone Team: A dedicated ERP team solely focused on managing project communications and user training.
Unlike the first ERP, the company designated “go to” guys and internal experts for the project.

· Integration Team and Testing: Validated the design carried out by the various functions. They identified integration
points where a process crossed functional boundaries, and sought to resolve integration points that could cause potential
conflicts. This Project team tested work steps that touch other areas for proper functionality.

· Data Management: Project prioritized cleansing data and data separation. The BMIS team was responsible for the
preparation and conversion of cleansed data i.e. extraction, mapping, staging and consolidation.

· Implementation Testing: Four cycles of testing: The first cycle test the activities within a sub-area of the system,
such as purchasing. Second cycle involved members of the integration testing team working through previous scenarios
with manually created data. Third step was integration testing. Fourth, used the established work steps and converted
data to carry out user acceptance testing.

· Tracking project status: Bombardier used a scorecard system throughout the implementation to track project
status. They also held status meetings and provided the key details to senior management.

· The Roll-out: Ensured adequate helpdesk and power user support. The Go Live went very well and the majority of
users considered the new system was important for them and made their job easier. There was a contingency plan
established to keep production running case of problems.

· Post Implementation considerations: Some employees developed a strong understanding of the new system and
derived innovative solutions which increased department performance. These individuals needed to be identified and the
appropriation process facilitated. Training also needed to be assessed. RFC -“Request for Change”- the project team
needed to sort out truly beneficial RFC’s.

· Improved use of human capital: The ratio had been reversed from 1:10 on the previous failed implementation to
10:1 on the BMIS project. Having more of the experienced employees invested in the project proved to be a smart
move. The question as to what would be the desired consultant /employee ratio was interesting and something an
organization should thoughtfully determine. Regarding quality of consultants, organizations must also be aware of the
bait and switch type situation.

ERP Integration: Second time was a Charm


But why did the ERP system integration become a success for Bombardier the second time? In 2001 the process of
establishing the need for a new integrated manufacturing system was spearheaded by senior managers who were
involved in the design and project goal setting. The steering committee would focus on making the ERP system as relevant
and practical as it could be to insure success. The amount budgeted to implement the ERP system was $363 million. The
amount of effort and initiative that Bombardier took the second time was the main reason Bombardier was successful in
instituting their ERP system. Bombardier created a robust plan of selecting senior employees to show to the developers all
of the relevant and core functions that were important and critical in being adopted into the ERP system. To insure that
there were quality decisions being made, small teams consisting of senior project directors were established to review the
outputs and functionalities expressed by senior employees and reviewed to make sure that these system designs also
supported the overall objectives and strategies of the firm. For Bombardier, it was critical that the ERP system was in line
with the corporate direction the company ultimately wanted to take. Another successful strategy introduced by
Bombardier was that they decided to progressively implement the ERP software which provided a useful and
supplemental strategy for employees as they were offered training classes before the ERP program was instituted. This
helped insure that everyone would be comfortable with using the new ERP syste