28 Feb 2011
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SAP's Auckland Transport system goes live

Auckland Transport has gone live with a new SAP system that covers business processes such as payroll runs, finance and procurement processes.

Due to time issues  decided to take a copy of an existing SAP environment and use that as a blueprint for a new system.

Roger Jones, GM IT & Business Systems, explained, “Copying the environment was low cost, low risk and much quicker than building a system from scratch. Another crucial consideration was that we had to be able to implement a new system without putting existing services at risk.

“The only alterations we made were to bring processes more in-line with best practice, where the cost of change was negligible. For example we simplified the time and leave processes.”

Components such as a parking system interface had to be altered for the new system and some of the foundation technologies for the new organisation were upgraded.

Jones says that the project was a success and a variety of online and classroom-style training has helped bring users up to speed.

“From day one employees have been able to enter timesheets, apply for leave and be paid. We’ve been able to raise POs for suppliers and we’ve been able to pay them. Most importantly, though, the user feedback from staff and managers has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Some decisions were deliberately left until Auckland Transport came into being, particularly around reporting and analysis.

Stephen Smith, Finance Manager, added, “Best practice is not to make changes in the first couple of months because the shift to a new structure has already had such a big impact. We plan to let people use the system for a while, we’ll make any necessary minor tweaks in that time, but we won’t change anything major yet. In early 2011 we’ll start improving the initial reports so they align to the business needs as they emerge, especially in relation to key performance reporting.”

SAP Australia New Zealand recently reported its best ever year in 2010.

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