Bombardier is a successful company in the transportation industry. Bombardier has two divisions; The Aerospace and Transportation divisions.
Bombardier Aerospace is the third largest designer and manufacturer of commercial aircraft in the world, and one of the leading producers of regional aircraft. The company encountered some challenges because of the company’s growth strategy by acquisition.
The main problem was communication problems among systems which were different for each acquired company because Bombardier Aerospace became a “textbook silo organization” after acquiring with other companies. Addition to this problem, low visibility of inventory and lack of integration between its legacy systems was also important problem to the company.
Symptoms of the problem were process delays, sequential activities, low inventory turns, supplier proliferation and price inconsistency, and multiple Bills of Material (BOM).
The company found a solution for this problem that changing Bombardier Manufacturing System (BMS) which was the group of IT applications to support manufacturing activities to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
· First ERP Implementation: After $130million spent, first ERP implementation discontinued mid-project in 2000. Failure of this attempt:
•Focusing the implementation on inappropriate business processes •An outdated company vision
•A weak sponsorship model
•Insufficient involvement of internal employees.
•Employing too many consultants who having a limited knowledge of the business to assist in the project.
· Second ERP Implementation (BMIS) Project: In 2001, a group of senior managers authored a project for the BMIS in order to establish a new integrated manufacturing system. BMIS was the first project to realize a wider ERP strategy and a vision of an integrated organization, one company. It would support Bombardier Aerospace’s operations; would focus on the processes that supporting manufacturing, procurement, finance and the engineering data to support these processes.
Issues encountered by Training:
• Lack of process documentation or system functionality for trainers •3rd party consultants prepared training material
•Lack of user friendly, understandable training materials
•Lack of information to employees about necessity of training •Lack of focusing on the roles (e-learning module)
•Incomplete and somewhat wrong data for training
•Lack of explanation of the wider role & consequences of BMIS. •Shorter training time than what was planned
Issues encountered after Go Live:
•Three weeks shutdown to implement new system
•Lack of knowledge of user’s new responsibilities and roles •Blaming new system when encountered problem didn’t solve in a short period of time by support staff •Availability of old system (some managers encouraged employees to use old system) •Lack of implementing General Ledger
•Not using reporting functionality by managers
BMIS was delivered on time and below budget.
After Go Live some issues considered and inadequate areas improved: •Initial training supported with additional courses and training material. •“Day in the Life” training documents developed by management team and these documents improved user’s attitude toward the system.
· Saint Laurent Implementation: After second implementation “Mirabel” project, some of the issues were solved and improved. •The important of user preparation was well recognized.
•Managers of the Saint-Laurel plant were convinced to own this project. •Everybody in the organization got informed about every phase and details of the project. •Communication among employees and management for the project got better. •Users understood the changes introduced by the new processes. •Attendance for the training became priority.
•Users informed about their roles and responsibilities before deploying the new system.
Recommendation: Bombardier needs to apply the best ERP implementation practices which includes; •Understanding of the project by management and users: Bombardier did it on Saint-Laurel project. •Planning project: Bombardier made schedule for all project and applied on their project. •Training: Giving training to users before implementing the new system, and continuing training after implementation to make users to understand new system well. •Utilize mapping data techniques and conduct pilot runs and testing simulations: Bombardiers implemented ERP system on one site at the time.