ERP Project Secrets: Business ByDesign

There are many lessons you can learn from Jonathan Phillips at the Aspen Pumps Group – chief among them is the value of a sense of humour when it comes to a major ERP project.

As Systems Manager, Jonathan has overseen 7 implementations beginning in the UK before moving on to France, Germany and the USA. On each occasion the projects got faster as they built teams, gathered experience and took ownership.

In the spirit of total disclosure, InCloud Solutions were not the implementing partner – we came along later and have been very pleased to work with Aspen Pumps as trusted advisors and Business ByDesign experts. (More on this later!) Meeting Jonathan and getting to understand his impressive approach has been rewarding and instructive. We would love to share more of his story with you here so we can all keep on learning.

In the beginning

Aspen Pumps came across Business ByDesign after a long search. Like many, they were seeking to replace legacy ERP which was no longer fit for purpose but were not automatically attracted to the SAP name because of the misapprehensions many still hold. Big, cumbersome, difficult? It’s surprising how many people still don’t realise that SAP comes in agile, cloud formats but it is our job to let them know!

Jonathan shared his story with another Business ByDesign champion – the Diginomica journalist and ERP commentator Den Howlett who said…

“Jonathan understood very early on that in order to be successful, Aspen would need to conform to BYDs defined best practices rather than attempting to force fit the system to older ways of doing things. That inevitably means change and change management.”

The Aspen Pumps Difference

This meant thinking through processes that run across departments rather than in silos but it also meant finding the right people. And I think this is crucial for anyone thinking about their own implementation – he built teams based on passion for change and enthusiasm for the project – whatever level they were at in the company. These people went on to become champions who could feed their understanding and growing knowledge of Business ByDesign up the ranks as well as down. As he told me;

“we wanted everyone to have fun, to muck in and try and enjoy ourselves. It was more than a project – it was a business change journey.”

Everyone was given a voice in the scoping process which led to a virtuous cascade of trust – speed and ultimately success.

Let it shine

Business ByDesign is a pre-configured system – that is its strength. Jonathan understands this well – the advantage to his business comes from letting it do what it’s good at.

“Don’t spend time worrying about where the system is telling you to put things, let the system worry about that so you can spend time on what matters. BYD allows that because SAP has worked out all those rules.”

As the godfather of Business ByDesign Rainer Zinow says; “If you adopt the standard processes in the system then you can guarantee it is going to work.”

Allowing Aspen Pumps to be their best selves is ultimately what Business ByDesign does. It enables them to manufacture, supply and distribute quality pumps to the HVAC industry in the most efficient way possible.

Good data, good people and a good system are all it takes!

The In Cloud Difference

Jonathan picked InCloud Solutions as a support partner after looking around for the best people to help his users get the most from the system. He wanted the advantage of working with people who could not only explain how to use ByD according to the SAP textbook but also had the hands-on savvy that only daily users develop. Our speedy response and in-house knowledge coupled with helpful suggestions clinched the deal.

“InCloud Solutions have experience in using the product, not just selling and installing it. We now have support and guidance about what to do on a daily basis. When we don’t have the knowledge base in-house we know where to go. It gives our key users confidence and helps us to maximise the business benefit.”

As a final note – I believe Jonathan would have made a success of his ERP project whatever product he selected but the fact that he chose Business ByDesign says a lot.

N.B. Since this article was first written JP has brought his expertise into the fold here at InCloud Solutions – if you wish to enjoy his expertise we can certainly introduce you. Please contact us here.