Chris Kanaracus of Yahoo! has a story sure to put a smile on SAP's face, profiling a successful implementation after a couple of recent difficult stories surfaced. Kanaracus focused on Airgas, an equipment manufacturing company, which expects to gain $75-$125 million a year based on improved processes and operations with its SAP system.
The project hit a milestone in July, when Airgas switched its hard-goods supply chain operation over to SAP. The supply chain "touches nearly every area" of Airgas, and judging by the success of the transition, Airgas is confident the full project will provide a "substantial" economic upside, according to a statement.
The company plans to speed up the implementation, finishing most of the work by mid-2012 and completing it by the end of that year. The accelerated schedule will cost another $20 million over the original $85 million budget, but the overrun will "be more than offset by the economic benefits that will begin to accrue during the conversion process," Airgas said.
SAP also used its Value Engineering tools within the implementation, though the article doesn't explain specifically which tools or how they were used. SAP doesn't have a lot of information about its Value Engineering tools -- other than a high-level explanation that they look to create value in IT -- so it would be interesting to see specifically what they are and how they helped.
Meanwhile, SAP recently rolled out a number of Value Engineering tools and services, some of which are available at no cost, for benchmarking system performance and developing business cases for new projects.
"We believe that customers' continued success depends on obtaining measurable return from IT investments," SAP spokesman Andy Kendzie said in an e-mail. "Through our Value Engineering program, we are sharing the necessary information to help customers achieve these results."