Bis Case Study

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Chapter 8 / Enterprise Business Systems ● 259


Agilent Technologies and Russ Berrie: Challenges of Implementing ERP Systems Co. ( was taking another crack at replacing its legacy business systems. The Oakland, New Jersey–based distributor of toys and gifts finalized plans to roll out J. D. Edwards & Co.’s OneWorld Xe suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management, and financial applications. The multimillion-dollar project was scheduled to be done in phases over the next 18 months. Russ Berrie CIO Michael Saunders said that the company, which had sales of $225 million during the first nine months of 2001, hoped the OneWorld System would help it reach $1 billion in annual revenue in the coming years. Within the next 12 months, he said, Russ Berrie planned to begin installing the applications one department at a time, starting with a stand-alone implementation in purchasing. “We’re not going big bang,” Saunders said. “We’re mitigating implementation risks by taking a phased-in approach.” The company had reason to be cautious. Three years before, a Y2K-related migration from its homegrown distribution, financial, and customer service systems to packaged ERP applications experienced major system failures. Saunders said the problems were severe enough for Russ Berrie to take many of the new applications off-line and return to their old systems. Saunders wouldn’t identify the software vendors that were involved in the failed implementation, but sources said that SAP AG’s applications were part of the 1999 project. A spokesman at SAP confirmed that Russ Berrie was one of its customers, but he declined to offer further details because of pending litigation between the two companies. Joshua Greenbaum of Enterprise Applications Consulting said it appeared that Russ Berrie “bit off more than they could chew” on the 1999 project. Companywide rollouts are especially risky for midsize businesses like Russ...
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