IndustryEngineering and Manufacturing
SystemMicrosoft Dynamics AX
Story TypeSuccess Stories
ASSA ABLOY, the UK’s largest lock group, recognises that user engagement with new systems and processes will be a key success factor in their world-wide business transformation project.
The project, known as ProjectMAX, is one of the biggest Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations to have taken place in the UK and ASSA ABLOY needed a specialist training partner that was capable of supporting a global project of this size. Optimum, the IT training consultancy, was selected to develop a tailored user training programme to ensure all core and general users would fully engage with the new systems and processes.
ASSA ABLOY found that Optimum was the only training consultancy that had the skills they needed and the ability to meet the demands of the project. Also, Logica, the implementation partner for ProjectMAX, was already aware of Optimum’s credentials and had worked with the training consultancy on other projects.
The new Dynamics AX ERP system is being introduced as a phased rollout across ASSA ABLOY’s global business regions with the initial implementation in the UK. ASSA ABLOY is a fragmented organisation that has grown rapidly through acquisition and, as a result, there were eight different ERP suites across the UK business.
The first phase required two of the legacy systems to be moved across to Dynamics AX, with go-live at the end of February 2012, and the remaining six systems being transferred across by the end of 2012. As part of the solution, global templates have been developed by Optimum to ensure that ASSA ABLOY employees worldwide are trained in a consistent manner across the business locations.
The Optimum team has also supported on the second stage of the Dynamics AX system rollout to the ASSA part of the business, and this went live in June 2012. To date, they have trained over 700 users, both directly through classroom sessions, and via eLearning and webinars on the enterprise portal elements. The next stage will be to handover to the internal trainers using a “skill the trainer” approach for the rest of the UK roll out.
The response from employees to the training already received has been very positive. According to Carly Baker, Business Change Team Leader at ASSA ABLOY, “the feedback has been fantastic.”
The training team faced some challenges as the system build was still being tweaked and the consultants had to work around this as they developed the course content. The delivery of the training had to fit in with the business demands in areas such as customer services, so this required some of the sessions to be scheduled for weekends.
“The Optimum team has shown a very flexible approach to any required changes. They responded quickly to meet tight timescales,” comments Carly. She continues: “Even when faced with some tough challenges, the training consultants have been very motivated and risen to the challenge every time.”
A key benefit of using specialist training consultants is the previous experience that they can bring to the project. The consultants have provided guidance to the ASSA ABLOY team, enabling them to anticipate and deal with potential issues. As Carly explains; “This meant that the forward planning has been excellent as a result of the knowledge of the trainers. In addition, Optimum provided invaluable administrative support, especially where hundreds of staff needed to attend some of the sessions and this required tight control of the training schedule.”
The training has been delivered across two sites, using four rooms for hands-on sessions, and a large academy style room for the classroom sessions. Around 150 staff have received hands-on training on the relevant processes, and the others a combination of classroom based overview presentations and eLearning.
The eLearning is proving to be very useful as employees are able to download the content to refresh themselves on processes, such as expenses. The eLearning content, reference guides and quick cards are hosted on a learning portal developed by Optimum. In addition, webinars were produced on how to use the new expense management process which was introduced in April, allowing the sales team to be trained remotely without coming off the road.
It was important to ASSA ABLOY that the employees saw Optimum as part of the overall business transformation project. The team of Optimum consultants worked as an internal training unit, based at the ASSA ABLOY site, and liaised closely and regularly with all the project team and super users. A training consultant attended the weekly meetings to keep up-to-date and to identify any changes that may have impacted upon the training requirements.
The project team and super users were already aware of the importance of knowledge transfer to the training consultants and they soon started to see the benefits. The support of senior managers was also a key factor in enabling the training team to perform and deliver.
The ASSA ABLOY team was impressed by the creative ideas that the training specialists suggested around how to present the training materials in an effective way. The trainers identified that item creation workflow was a central and key part of the system. The process required input from users in different roles, such as product managers or finance, working in different departments and with different parts of the system. With this in mind, a specific reference guide was designed that could be used by the appropriate departments in their role-based training courses. This ensures that when staff input information into the system they understand the relevance and importance of their part in the whole process.
The objective of ProjectMAX is to achieve “one vision” of the business performance across the ASSA ABLOY Group. The role that professional end-user training plays in ensuring users will engage in a consistent way with the new processes, as the system is rolled out across the business, is recognised by those involved in the project. Carly summarises: “Training the everyday users how to work with the new system is fundamental to the successful achievement of our business transformation objectives.”
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