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Ferro Corporation Message Board

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  • circle_check circle_check Feb 20, 2000 5:08 PM Flag

    SAP, Corporate communication.

    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.
    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

    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.

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