Arla Foods implemented a large SAP logistics project that also involved a sub-project within Logistics, Costing and Invoicing. It was a complex assignment with a tight schedule and specifications requiring a detailed overview and interaction with several concurrent sub-projects under the same SAP project. We chose to seek external assistance and decided to use freelance SAP consultants from Accuro for the sub-project.
Core competence with great width and depth
– The project was launched with a very tight deadline. Early estimates had shown that the project could take up to two years, but we only had just over a year until the final delivery date. So we chose to hire freelance senior consultants from Accuro, because we needed specialists who could quickly familiarise themselves with the case and then quickly show us how to achieve our goal on time.
– Right from Day One, the collaboration between Accuro’s freelance consultants and our own people went really well. The level of information and the internal sharing of knowledge and experience were exemplary. A great effort was made to keep up momentum, for example through weekly meetings where everyone got a brush-up on the various sub-projects and had the chance to present new ideas that could have a positive influence on development. In this way, the entire development process was streamlined with a minimum of wasted time.
– We were clearly dealing with freelance consultants whose familiarity with SAP extended beyond their own areas of specialisation. The fact that Accuro’s people understood our business and our challenges and could think beyond their next sub-project had a positive effect on the whole process.
Freelance consultants with broad experience and a team spirit
– In addition to their core competences, it was important in a project like this that Accuro’s freelancers also had broad collaboration experience. They had to be able to work within in a diverse and many-facetted team.
– In a long-term project in which freelance consultants and Arla’s people had to work closely with each other 8-10 hours a day, good personal chemistry was important – and it should also be possible to share a laugh. This is a good characteristic when one is professionally challenged and time is short. It’s also important to be able to create a social “oasis” where one can talk about something other than the job at hand and reboot for the next challenge or the next day’s work.
– We chose to work with experienced senior consultants because we wanted to enhance our ability to get a birds-eye view of problems while also reinforcing a better form of communication across the team.
– Ordinarily when I speak with IT consultants, there is a risk that communication will end up in bits and bytes and programmer mentality. As a business controller, I use ordinary language and financial terms, but not programmer language. So Accuro’s senior consultants had the important task of serving as a link to create understanding between the business and the IT specialists – thereby also strengthening my ability to work with my own rank and file.
Respect for value-adding solutions
– Throughout the entire project period, I had many constructive discussions with Accuro’s consultants, who were very focused on giving us solutions that could add value to the existing framework. For example, one of my challenges was the fact that Logistics Costing and Invoicing was to move from its existing system platform to SAP within a very tight deadline. A traditional IT approach would have been to maintain existing functionalities. As it turned out, however, it was precisely our cooperative approach, with running discussions and a culture of open dialogue, that gave Accuro’s people the chance to show us new options and creative solutions that I would never have gotten if I had insisted on following the traditional path.
– This type of collaboration and the culture of open dialogue with Accuro’s people was a very positive experience providing useful knowledge that I have taken with me from the project. With Accuro we also got an end-to-end solution that was coherent in every sub-area. In my organisation there is no doubt that we now have a much, much better business solution than the one we had before.
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