Successfully Navigating the Turbulent Skies of a Large-Scale Erp Implementation.

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Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains, it is present in more then 60 countries and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Both Bombardier Aerospace & Bombardier transportation employ over 70 000 and posted a revenue of over 18.3 billion in the fiscal year ended December 31,2011.

The case presents the implementation of an ERP system in Bombardier, along with all the major changes the corporation undertook for a successful transition. In the analysis I will address the challenges faced by Bombardier, the challenges associated with the integration of the large system & its benefits. I will also address how the project team managed and communicated it’s vision amongst the firm and how the new roles were defined, communicated & understood. The analysis will focus up to and including the implementation of the system.

As the company grew over the years, Bombardier’s strategy of growth by acquisition turned the firm into a “textbook silo organization”. This created problems as systems did not communicate with each other effectively. This inefficiency generated additional costs because the firm had to maintain all the different systems. Another problem, related to the operation of the aerospace division, was the low visibility of inventory and lack of integration between the old computer systems. This caused process delays, low inventory turns & price inconsistency from suppliers. The Bombardier Manufacturing System (BMS) , the group of information technology applications that had been supporting Bombardier Aerospace’s manufacturing activities, had not evolved to cope with the fast changes. The BMS capabilities had become limited.

We can assume that Bombardier was not a fully integrated company at that time because there was a clear lack of coordination and unity. An example would be how employees would create numerous stand-alone databases throughout the company on operations specific to their function without...
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