Why we are here?

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.


6 thoughts on “Why we are here?

  1. Walt & Cathy Fromm

    Bob, say hello to M.E. for use. Great start looking to learn more about the middle east from your blog.

    What other than the blog are you doing to keep occupied?

    Since your in a dry climate, I’ll have a cocktail or two for you guys tonight.

  2. Walt & Cathy Fromm

    second try I’m not sure if my first went through. Bob, say hello to M.E. for us and tell her we wish her good luck with this project, not that she needs our good wishes. You’re off to a great start with the blog, can’t wait to learn more about the middle east.
    Since you guys are in a dry climate Cathy and I will have a couple of cocktail and be thinking of you.

  3. Linda O'Keefe

    What an exciting time for both of you!!. Bob, you did wonderfully with your first blog so I’m sure this will be great also. As for M.E., there have been great benefits in growing up in a large family and sailing, navigating relationships and rough waters. Love you guys.

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