Communications of the Association for Information Systems


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.