Currently in the US, only powder coatings (Nashville and Brecksville) are live on SAP. Off shore, Holland, Italy and Australia are live. Much of the background structure to Ferro's SAP has already been put in place but much of real work with each new business/site is loading current data bases (for customers, products, pricing) into SAP and making sure it's all correct. There's also the issue of training employees at each site on how to run SAP since it pulls in many more functions (i.e.-shipping/receiving, production, sales, etc).
Yes, there are TIGER members outside US but many of current US TIGER members were used off shore to start up Holland (this is basically where they got their on the job training), so as you said, there's not a lot of extra bodies. Which brings up another issue:
The current method is with each new business/site to be added to SAP, the TIGER team "borrows" employees from that business to work with the implementation. If there are multiple plants, each plant contributes people. This is done for two reasons: 1) hopefully they have a good understanding of how their business operates and what must be taken into account when switching to SAP and 2) these people will serve as SAP "experts" when they go back to their businesses. As you stated, Ferro most recently has not tended to keep a lot of extra bodies around due in part to the mandate to run lean and mean. Borrowing people from the current businesses could possibly be a real hardship as there are few if any people available to pick up the slack. I predict in the short term, these businesses will have a downturn in profitability. This is due in part to the fact that members loaned to the TIGER team still have their salaries drawn from their respective businesses. So these business managers have the pleasure of paying for employees who are not providing any short term benefit to their business.
Now having said that, I still think SAP is a great idea for Ferro. But the real benefits will only be realized if re-engineering takes place. Obvious area of consolidation: 1) customer service 2)raw material purchasing 3) sales support and management come to mind right away. I also think several businesses could be combined under one general/business manager, allowing Ferro to reduce the number of business managers who, by virtue of seniority, have inherited businesses and continue to run them the same way they did 15 years ago.