ERP Implementation Success: The Importance of Management Buy-In

Management buy in key to a successful implementation When it comes to successful manufacturing ERP implementations, people and processes matter most. Without management buy-in and the adoption and usage of the new software across the entire organization, implementations cannot be sustained and will not deliver the best results. When you consider factors of ERP implementation success, long-term organizational change management ranks among the most important components.

Troublesome software implementations are typically a taboo topic in the ERP world and unless they dissolve into lawsuits, cases of implementation struggles are commonly swept under the rug. ERP software implementations typically fail for two primary reasons:

No. 1: The manufacturing company does not buy into the new ERP software system and fails to embrace the implementation fully, with lackluster employee or management support.

No. 2: The ERP software is not a good fit.

Example of a Successful ERP Re-Implementation

But don’t take our word for it. IQMS customer, Tribar Manufacturing, was struggling with its use of EnterpriseIQ. Tribar Manufacturing humbly admits that its implementation challenges were a direct result of the first reason – a failure to embrace organizational adoption of a new software system – so they recently made a concentrated effort to better utilize the ERP software.

While most ERP vendors would hide this story, IQMS is proud to celebrate the renewed efforts that Tribar Manufacturing demonstrated and its impressive achievements. Both Tribar Manufacturing and IQMS knew the software was a good fit, so neither business gave up on each other and worked hard to ensure success.

The result? Tribar Manufacturing is being lauded by the manufacturing industry for its dedication and success, including being honored as a recent winner of a 2013 Manufacturing Leadership 100 award. Please read below for a brief recap of Tribar Manufacturing’s story.

Tribar Manufacturing specializes in the production of cost effective, high quality decorative badge assemblies for the automotive industry. At its 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Howell, Mich., Tribar Manufacturing offers complete plastic decorating, multiple decorative applications, complex assemblies and chrome plating for automotive giants such as Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

In February of 2010, Tribar Manufacturing was experiencing rapid growth in its assembly and outsource operations. Looking for a manufacturing-specific ERP and MES software system that could address multiple manufacturing types and grow with its business, Tribar Manufacturing invested in EnterpriseIQ from IQMS. But due to rapid company expansion at the time, Tribar Manufacturing ran into challenges with the implementation – time constraints prevented a dedication to training, inadequate testing time and a shortage of data input resources. This lack of total ownership of the software resulted in insufficient organizational change as employees still relied on their old ways and were not using the software to its fullest potential.

Driven by the need to eliminate its incorrect data, maintain premier supplier status and supply accurate, timely information to its client in order to maintain their business, Tribar Manufacturing made a concentrated effort to embrace, utilize and re-implement its ERP software to fully take advantage of all it has to offer. The results have been impressive as a renewed, company-wide participation with the ERP software has returned a multitude of benefits.

Establishing Realistic ERP Re-Implementation Goals:

The goals of the initial ERP rejuvenation project began plainly: Conduct a post implementation audit of EnterpriseIQ to improve inventory and maintain acceptable automotive supplier delivery scores. But after rave success of the first two goals, Tribar Manufacturing has grown its initiative to include the integration of as many of its processes as possible into EnterpriseIQ to capture the stability and consistency that expanded use of the system could provide.

Tribar Manufacturing sought out the resources that it needed from IQMS to succeed: The company’s employees attended detailed classroom training courses and one-on-one Internet-based training with IQMS staff, as well as brought in application specialists from IQMS’ Professional Services Group (PSG) for process and usage advice. Since the beginning of this project, Tribar Manufacturing has achieved many goals:

  • Fully implemented Ford Motor Company ASN requirements through IQMS’ EDI capabilities
  • Fully received 830 and 862 release information through IQMS’ eCommerce EDI module
  • Eliminated all paper releases in favor of keeping and adding release data in IQMS
  • Improved inventory records in IQMS to allow for more robust use of system data
  • Improved use of the Outsource Central module to communicate demand to its vendors
  • Improved use of the scheduling module in the tooling department
  • Implemented use of the scheduling module for assembly operations
  • Improved receiving efficiency by making better use of the receiving module

 Immediate Tangible Benefits Reap Rewards:

Following the re-embracement of EnterpriseIQ, Tribar Manufacturing saw an immediate increase in its automotive supplier relations, allowing Tribar Manufacturing to maintain its ratings so necessary to doing business with its major automotive companies.

Tribar Manufacturing also experienced a $350,000 decrease in the amount of inventory variance at its last physical inventory compared to the previous two physical inventories due to the significantly more accurate and reliable data that IQMS offers. Additionally, Tribar Manufacturing freed up scheduling time with EnterpriseIQ’s assembly-specific scheduling module and it is experiencing a 20 percent improvement in assembly productivity.

As an unforeseen benefit, Tribar Manufacturing realized a cultural change across its organization. Employees that previously resisted change began to demand an investigation of what proper system use can do for them and the dissolving of an indifferent attitude toward controlling processes through IQMS was critical to this project’s success.

For Tribar Manufacturing, the future looks bright indeed.

Louis Columbus

Louis is currently serving as DELMIAWorks Brand Senior Marketing Manager. Previous positions include Director Product Management at Ingram Cloud, Vice President Marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, Senior Analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at SaaS start-ups.