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Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers; paper products for consumer and industrial use; lumber and other wood products; corrugated cartons from recycled fibers; green and renewable energy; and wines and spirits. It is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the United States.
It was a strategic project for us. While we wanted an optimal solution, what was most important was delivering on time and within budget. Mission accomplished.
Vice-president, Information Systems and Technologies
Concerned about standardizing its computer systems and business processes in a dozen plants, Kruger Inc. called on the ERA Consulting Group to redefine its corporate model, and to carry out the migration from JD Edwards World 7.3 to EnterpriseOne 9.0 at the Wayagamack plant in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. On the strength of this successful project, Kruger entrusted ERA with the systems migration in its other plants.
Over the years, Kruger Inc. had made numerous acquisitions and, as a result, found itself with disparate information systems. «It was becoming increasingly costly to maintain all of these different solutions; on the one hand, because of the diversified knowledge that this required on our part, and on the other hand, because every time we wanted to optimize a business process, it had to be done seven or eight times, » Jean-François Bergeron observed. Kruger consequently decided to migrate all of the operations management systems in its industrial division to a common platform, and to take the opportunity to standardize and optimize its business processes. To this end, it chose to use its Wayagamack plant as a model.
«By starting with one plant, we were giving ourselves the opportunity to develop shared services, » went on Bergeron.
The choice of technology very naturally inclined toward the latest version of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, since some of the Kruger plants were using products in the same family and the company already had the in-house expertise. After a rigorous selection process that included four partners, Kruger finally chose the ERA Consulting Group, an experienced partner that offers its clients the expertise of a large firm
combined with the flexibility of a smaller one.
«It’s what shifted the balance in their favour», Bergeron explained.
The project had two deliverables essentially: migrating from JD Edwards World 7.3 to EnterpriseOne 9.0 and building a revised model of the Kruger business processes so that they could be deployed in its other plants. The new solution’s implementation was a real success.
«We delivered on time and in budget, despite the fact that it was a major upgrade, » Bergeron noted.
With regard to improving the business processes, the greatest challenge was doubtless maximizing the tool that was being introduced, while maintaining the company’s own flavour. ERA was able to demonstrate its thorough knowledge of JD Edwards, but also, and especially, its
ability to interpret and identify business best practices and apply them. Redefining the business processes of a company like Kruger is not an unusual project. Still, there were numerous risks to address. ERA had carefully mapped out the project’s scope. As a result, there were very few changes to the project plan and the company’s team of analysts was able to devote itself to optimizing the integration of the business processes. Kruger notably redefined its purchasing cycle with a more granular approval level to improve internal control. In addition, Mr. Bergeron considers that the new preventive maintenance process that is now applied to the hardware rivals the best of the specialized products in the field. Some benefits will not be felt until a few months from now, when Kruger has completed the migration of its other plants. Kruger will then be using a single system and common standards for everyone, while taking into account the specificities of each plant.
«For us, the greatest gain will be using EnterpriseOne in all of our plants, while respecting the specificities of each. This will enable us to reduce our administrative and maintenance costs, improve our efficiency and our ability to analyze and manage performances, as well as offer certain shared services, facilitate the movement of resources from one plant to another, and give us greater flexibility to reengineer our processes», Bergeron noted happily.
According to Mr. Bergeron, «ERA is distinguished by the competency of its resources, its tremendous flexibility, and the excellence of its project management». For ERA, the client’s interests are clearly a priority, and any new project is an opportunity to demonstrate this. As a result, ERA understands that every client and every implementation is different and that it is essential to remain flexible. This is why it advocates a partnership approach
for the delivery of its services, closely integrating its team with that of the client.
«The ERA team integrated so well with our own that we all felt like we were part of the same company», Jean-François Bergeron concluded.
This is doubtless why, at ERA, the development of a sense of belonging is what makes a project’s success first and foremost a matter of personal pride.