Simultaneous 3-site SAP Roll-out

Scenario

A global diaper manufacturer needed to transition to a new SAP ERP system at three separate facilities, simultaneously. Factora had experience working with this customer, but past projects had not involved multiple sites.

Problem

Go-live involved testing a chosen line at each site to make sure everything MES-related was functioning with the new ERP software. Once this was verified, the entire site could be brought back online and production resumed.

Any issues with the SAP and MES interface mean lost production time. And the manufacturer had had challenges with implementing SAP in the past; delays and snafus had resulted in significant, costly downtime.

Factora dedicated one team member to each site. The task was to review existing code, particularly code used for generating reports in the back-end SQL database, and anything custom or in-house developed specifically for each site.

The plan worked perfectly for two of the three sites, which had smooth launches and were quickly brought back online.

The third site was problematic. The data dump (of product information from a large XML file) was taking far longer than the other two sites, and timing out before completion.

Solution

While the configuration of the MES-SAP interface was seemingly identical between the three sites, the troublesome site was much older than the other two. Its Proficy database had been running far longer.

The three Factora employees joined forces to dig down to the root cause.

Working against the clock for two 12-hour days, the team discovered the root cause lay in how product specifications had been added to the Proficy database. In a GE stored procedure, a transaction was opened … but never closed. Hence, database bloat.

The team identified and ran a script designed to close all open transactions. The data dump was completed soon after, and the entire site brought back online.

Results

Previous SAP go-lives had been troublesome for the manufacturer, so there was considerable anxiety that this one would also result in long and costly downtimes. In fact, the task had been put off due to this fear.

But the first two went seamlessly, and for the third, the Factora team demonstrated dedication, skill, and speed in on-the-spot problem-solving.

Today, in addition to all the benefits arising from the three sites using SAP, entering product specifications is a quicker, smoother process, without the burden of database bloat.