Your Partner in successful SAP business solutions
Johannesburg - August 2011 – In a first for South African SAP environments and for the steel industry globally, Britehouse, Dimension Data’s specialist SAP practice, has completed the consolidation of five different SAP systems into a single master system at ArcelorMittal South Africa, Africa’s largest steel producer.
In a project that took 11 months and involved taking millions of records from the previous ten years of the standalone systems. , The consolidated system went live in April 2011 - with subsequent month-ends running as normal.
The short term objective of the project was for ArcelorMittal to have one set of financial statements for reporting, eliminating the need for inter-company postings. Secondary objectives included enabling users to log into one system rather than four and, thereby, reduce the workload on the business.
“While those objectives are important, what the project actually gives ArcelorMittal South Africa is a platform that will enable future developments to take place faster, more easily, and more cost-effectively,” says Bram Schreuder, ArcelorMittal South Africa’s group manager, information management. “The business benefits of having that capability are virtually limitless. Essentially, the project makes the company’s systems future proof.”
“We posed Britehouse an immense challenge,” says Magda Boshoff, of ArcelorMittal’s SAP Centre of Excellence. “Four terabytes of information from our corporate office, our human resources division, and our Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Saldanha, Maputo, and Mozambique operations had to be consolidated and vendors, customers, and materials had to be harmonised in the space of only 11 months. Also, we needed the consolidated system to work exactly as before, so that there would be no disruption to peripheral systems.
“It was extraordinary that Britehouse and its partners, in conjunction with the team we provided from our centre of excellence, brought the project in on time and on budget. Even more extraordinary, however, was the fact that there was no conflict on the project. Everyone involved took responsibility for what they did and worked smoothly together.”
Schreuder says that while there were some anxious moments leading to some tough discussions, he always had the confidence that the right skills were working on the right solution. “The competence of Britehouse’s people was clear. Also, Britehouse maintained continuity of skills throughout the project. And, where frameworks and software didn’t quite fit because they hadn’t been applied in the steel industry before, all the partners came to the party to enhance their offering without dragging us back to the negotiating table.”
During the bidding process, Britehouse took ArcelorMittal executives to visit international sites where successful consolidation projects had been done by its German partner, Corporate Business Solutions (CBS) GmbH. CBS has developed a framework that manages the mapping, configuring, extraction, manipulation, and migration of data in SAP consolidation projects.