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SAP ERP integration with shop floor made easier by best practices

SAP ERP integration can provide a quick ROI when it gets information to places where it can do the most good. That's what happened when Joy Global, a mining-equipment company, integrated its well-used, global SAP ERP system with the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) module. Now production managers can combine real-time shop-floor data with ERP information to finish jobs more efficiently.

But the ROI only comes after go-live -- once all the integration challenges have been met. Milwaukee-based Joy Global used several best practices to succeed with its SAP ERP integration project, as described by Tim Bartel, the company's director of business process optimization, in this video. Bartel was interviewed at the 2014 SapphireNow conference held in Orlando, Florida in June.

"There are two main practices that we really focused on with this rollout that have really added to the success," Bartel says. "Number one was starting with pilot sites that were in different parts of the world, that were small enough that allowed us to make changes quickly and kind of learn and apply those lessons."

The company also used an extensive change-management strategy to ensure buy-in throughout the organization. "We made sure that from the executive vice presidents of operations on down, they were fully supportive of the project, the goals were stated by them, the results were vetted by them."

Bartel also explains the role of outside consultants and reveals the pitfalls others might encounter in SAP ERP integration.

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