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Abstract

Faced with intense competition in the generics drugs industry, eroding margins, and continuous price pressures, Geneva Pharmaceuticals, the North American subsidiary of Novartis International AG, made a bold, multi-million dollar decision to reengineer all its demand and supply processes using the SAP R/3 system. This case describes Geneva's journey through the first two of three phases of R/3 implementation from mid-1997 to mid-2000, and the company's plans for Phase III (scheduled for completion by late-2000). It highlights initial mistakes during this journey, strategies that helped overcome those mistakes, and how R/3 delivered operational efficiencies and competitive advantage under difficult business circumstances. As the case illustrates, ERP implementation is much more than technology change, it also incorporates substantive process and people changes; and without appropriate change management strategies and experienced leadership, ERP projects are likely to fail.

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