Gripple comprised three separate businesses, two of which were overseas. Originally, a nine-month implementation period had been envisaged—but after visiting a number of other EFACS E/8 users, this was extended to a year. Even so, it was a timescale which was challenging, relates Wilson.
“The big problem was the amount of bespoke code contained within the existing system, none of which was supported by the new solution. All of that functionality needed to be reviewed to see if it was still required, and then recreated if not covered within the new system, which took longer than we had envisaged. In some cases, the bespoke code had so much of the ‘look and feel’ of the existing systems that users had assumed that it was part of the standard solution—and only found out during the testing phase that it wasn’t.”
The international element of Gripple’s operations complicated matters too, he adds, with logistical challenges in terms of bringing people together for user workshops and training sessions. Sometimes the solution was for people to visit the international operations; at other times it seemed best for people from the international operations to travel to Sheffield.
In the end, after the ‘go live’ date had been postponed several times, the new system went live in November 2016.
“It wasn’t totally smooth, largely due to some stock accuracy issues that emerged,” says Wilson. “But the speed with which we were able to resolve issues as they emerged is a testimony to how well our people knew the system, and how to use it.”