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William Grant rolls out IFS in one-year ERP consolidation project

"William Grant currently has 11 different systems that it has acquired over the years. Each of these systems has a different chart of accounts, different definitions of how we make up our net sales value and our gross contribution. And they are all based on a different set of business definitions. So it makes it very difficult for us to make like-for-like comparisons of brands between different countries," said John Brown, the programme director for the Global Business Model at William Grant.

Combination of acquisitions

Different enterprise applications had been allowed to proliferate due to a combination of acquisitions and a business strategy that encouraged operational independence. "In the past, different geographies, countries and regions would pretty much do their own thing in terms of systems," said Brown.

The need to update disparate ageing systems, said Brown, combined with management's need for better information meant that no significant business case had to be made for the new system.

The project in the traditional sense

"There is no return-on-investment case for the project in the traditional sense. That was a conscious decision. We needed better information about running the business, nevertheless how much more effective it makes our investment decisions would be very difficult to quantify," said Brown.

Also unusual, maybe, was the decision made early on to mould the majority of business processes around the way that the IFS suite worked out of the box, and not the other way round.

"We have seen too many examples of projects like this that go drastically over-budget, over-time and which pursuant to this agreement-deliver," said Brown. "So we made this conscious decision at the start: We would find a system that does all of the things that we needed to do, nevertheless we wouldn't be terribly concerned about how it did it. We would change our business processes or rather than change the system."

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    William Grant Rolls Out Ifs In One-year Erp Consol