Simply put, because M.E. is amazing.
M.E.’s job is to implement ERP software for Dow Chemical. What is ERP, you might ask? Well ERP stands for enterprise resource planning which is a business management software program. In her case Dow utilizes SAP which is a German multinational software company. Oracle, who you might know, is a big US based company who is in direct competition with SAP. The system integrates, stores and manages data for every stage of the business activity. It includes product planning, cost and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, inventory management, shipping, invoicing and payment.
How I look at it is, it’s like making a movie. When making a movie you need to get many people together, from the producer, the screenwriters, director, production manager, casting director, location manager, photographer, cinematographer, boom operator, art director, costume designer, etc, etc, the list goes on and on. This is similar in implementing a large software program. M.E. communicates with many people from all areas of the company so everyone is on the same page and rowing in the same direction. In most cases this takes over a year of planning. She is currently providing the overall leadership for the ERP and manufacturing systems implementation, by communicating and coordinating all of the activities from pre-product readiness, user readiness, training, education, infrastructure readiness, support, security, external interface, data integrity, application readiness, user testing, correcting defects, to the final implementation or cutover.
In Shanghai, last year, she managed the ERP implementation in Asia which included 14 countries and 19 manufacturing locations and previous to that she worked in Europe with 12 countries leading there implementation. These implementations are done by geographic regions. Working with so many countries adds an additional layer of complexity in managing the many nationalities and personalities and the nuances within each country. Saudi Arabia should also be very interesting and challenging.
M.E. has this uncanny ability to get people together, across many borders, to work through the processes, to get the project completed and at the same time make it fun.
Like a movie, all of these folks are brought together and at the end return to their other jobs .
So what is happening in Saudi Arabia. Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco (more on them in a later post) formed at joint venture called Sadara (more on them too) to build a multi-manufacturing facility on the Arabia (Persian)Gulf coast. Work on the plants have been ongoing with product to be shipped by the end of this year. M.E. was asked to work with the Sadara management team to put an ERP system in place.
For the next year she will be doing what she does best, communicating and coordinating the implementation, that is why we are here.