The company had been operating on a country and regional
model, using 27 different IT architectures in over 90 countries.
When management identified the need for a re-organization
shifting responsibility from regions to global product lines,
significant emphasis was given to the ability to exchange
information using a common language.
The only common point was a reporting chart of accounts.
The company was starting the planning process to implement
an enterprise resource planning system on a worldwide basis.
It was necessary to understand how such a system could be
designed to carry the data requirements of both the local
operations and the global product lines.
Our principal conducted the project as assistant controller
of this company.
A worldwide multi function team was assembled to identify
the information content needed at local, regional and global
level, and to review the usage and meaning of key entities
and attributes in all 27 legacy architectures. The company
needed to agree on common data elements, their definition
and their valid values. These elements were then modeled to
the selected Enterprise Resource Planning system, SAP R/3.
The SAP hierarchy was defined on a worldwide basis.
The project was completed. The company has been able to build
multiple instances of its enterprise resource planning system
whilst keeping the integrity of information. The initial SAP
hierarchy was used without modifications in such different
environments as the USA, Australia, Singapore, France and