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ERPzilla

10 ERP deployments show that megaprojects are standing strong--though they've changed in focus and function.
FedEx didn't start out with a global deployment of its PeopleSoft applications, so it, too, began with multiple instances of the software. But as FedEx learned ERP and got better at it, the company concluded that it didn't want to manage all those instances. "There is so much to be gained on this common set of practices that we began to shrink those into single instances," Struminger says.

Going forward, companies like these are considering how to take advantage of the next set of changes coming from vendors. These include Oracle's plans to add business insight via embedded analytics and management reporting in its own applications as well as those it has acquired from PeopleSoft, and SAP's move to component-based architectures for its NetWeaver middleware. "NetWeaver is very interesting to us," says Gorriz of DaimlerChrysler, describing an "ideal world" in which NetWeaver is able to be combined with Java extensions to easily integrate other applications and trading partners.

Microsoft is garnering increasing interest as an ERP vendor, as well, taking its place among the top five suppliers in terms of ERP revenue in 2004. The vendor plans to transition its Axapta, Great Plains, Navision, and Solomon ERP platforms to a common architecture and code base in the next few years.

Obviously, there's always more to do on companies' venerable ERP platforms. "There is no steady state for ERP, because you're always looking for upgrades and improvements," says Whirlpool's Sezer. "As new business developments continue, so will the implementations."

-- with Jennifer Zaino and Beth Bacheldor

1 Alcoa
Primary ERP provider: Oracle
2004 Revenue: $23.5 billion

Employees: 129,000 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: Financials, human resources, order to cash, requisition to pay.

Deployment Details: Began in 2001 with financials and requisition-to-pay processes at 50 locations in Europe; those are now live across Europe, North America, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. HR processes are complete in Australia and by end of year are expected to be complete in Europe and Latin America. At year's end, order-to-cash processes should be about 60% complete worldwide.

Number of users: More than 10,000
2 BASF Aktiengesellschaft
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: 37.5 billion euros

Employees: 82,000 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: Full suite

Deployment Details: Began at the end of the 1980s and completed in early 1990s. There have been about 10 upgrades in the last few years, most recently updating many systems to R/3 v. 4.7. Now BASF is a third of the way through a project that's scheduled to be done in early 2007, consolidating multiple instances to one or two and standardizing processes.

Number of users: 35,000
3 Capital One Financial
Primary ERP provider: Oracle
2004 Revenue: $1.5 billion

Employees: 15,000

Modules Or Functions used: PeopleSoft financials, human resources, supply chain, asset management

Deployment Details: Began in 2000, focusing on piloting financials in the U.K. HR implementation in the U.K. followed and then U.S. deployment. In 2002, after stabilizing the system, Capital One began a second round of HR and financials-conversion projects for process optimization. A single instance is used by all except U.K. financials, which integrate in roll-up mode. Deployment of BEA Systems-based portal for ERP access was completed in 2004.

Number of users: 18,000
Cost: Tens of millions of dollars
4 Colgate-Palmolive
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: $10.6 billion

Employees: 36,000

Modules Or Functions used: Supply-chain, customer-relationship, supplier-relationship, and human-resources management; financials; composite applications; order processing; bill of materials; manufacturing; employee self-service, and others

Deployment Details: First pilot went live in 1996. There have been two major upgrades in nine years, and the company continues to roll out SAP R/3, mySAP's Advanced Planning and Optimization, CRM, SAP Portals, and Business Warehouse. Colgate-Palmolive runs five R/3 instances in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-South Pacific, and for its Hill's Science Diet brand. There's one global HR system. SAP Business Warehouse database housing all customer data for the various applications is 6 terabytes.

Number of users: 15,000
5 DaimlerChrysler
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: 142.1 billion euros

Employees: 384,723 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: Finance, production, logistics

Deployment Details: Daimler Benz and Chrysler began separate implementations of the R/3 finance modules before the 1996-'97 merger, and these remain separate instances. Mercedes division in 2002 began deploying a separate instance of SAP for production and logistics. SAP clusters throughout DaimlerChrysler, which total about 320 installations and 100 instances of SAP modules, include Asia, where 11 countries are on one instance. An expansion to 15 countries in Europe is next. Most instances are based on R/3 Release 4.6C.

Number of users: 50,000 worldwide
6 Del Monte Foods
Primary ERP provider: SSA Global Technologies
2004 Revenue: $3 billion

Employees: 8,500 full time and 9,800 seasonal in U.S., Latin America, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, and American Samoa

Modules Or Functions used: Business Planning and Control System ERP suite

Deployment Details: Began in 2003 with one instance on an IBM AS/400 running DB2 that replaced more than 70 legacy systems on a variety of platforms shortly after Del Monte merged with several businesses that had been spun out of H.J. Heinz Co. Spins-offs already were running SSA Global ERP software. The most recent deployment was the 2004 rollout of the EXE Warehouse Management Module.

Number of users: 1,200
7 Dow Corning
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: $3.37 billion

Employees: 8,800 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: Supply-chain, customer-relationship, supplier-relationship, and human-resources management; financials; order processing; composite apps; manufacturing; bill of materials; employee self-service; and others

Deployment Details: Initial project began in 1996 and was completed in late 1998. The most recent update was in June, putting in SAP ERP core components 5.0. At its headquarters, Dow Corning runs a single instance of the enterprise system that's used around the world. The database, SAP Business Warehouse, houses all customer data used by the different apps and has grown into the terabytes

Number of users: Almost all Dow Corning Employees use the system in one way or another. During peak times, about 1,500 Employees actively use it.

Cost: $100 million
8 FedEx
Primary ERP provider: Oracle
2005 Revenue: $29 billion

Employees: More than 250,000 worldwide (including contractors)

Modules Or Functions used: PeopleSoft asset management, general ledger, financials, human resources, E-procurement, expense reporting, inventory, project costing, and others

Deployment Details: Began with PeopleSoft general-ledger and asset-management software in 1997. After two major upgrades in last few years, the most recent in 2004, system includes 12 PeopleSoft modules. FedEx's Express domestic and international operations run on one instance. Corporate Services, Ground, Freight, and Kinko's run another instance.

Number of users: More than 20,000
9 Home Depot
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: $73 billion

Employees: 325,000 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: SAP Financials, SAP for Retail

Deployment Details: Began with SAP Financials. Most recent deployment was to install SAP for Retail.
10 Whirlpool
Primary ERP provider: SAP
2004 Revenue: $13.2 billion

Employees: 68,000 worldwide

Modules Or Functions used: Full suite

Deployment Details: Began in 1999 and 2000 in North America with Finished-Goods forward processes (excluding Manufacturing processes). Today 98% of business closes its books on SAP's platform. Whirlpool is working on adding Production Planning modules, as well as suite implementations in smaller countries. A single instance of the system at the company's headquarters is used around the world. An IBM DB2 database supports the applications and has grown into the terabytes.

Number of users: Close to 10,000

Continue to the sidebars:
  • Global Smarts: Colgate-Palmolive Finesses Procurement

  • Innovation Engine: Dow Corning Invests In Change

  • Modern Workforce: Capital One Puts ERP At Core Of Work

  • ERP: Still A Challenge After All These Years

  • ERP Remains Focal Point At Many Companies

  • ERP On The Web