back to article Levi's suffers profit meltdown in midst of SAP embrace

Problems with a massive global enterprise resource planning (ERP) rollout have helped send Levi Strauss' second-quarter results through the floor. The jeans giant reported a 98 per cent drop in net income to $1m and squarely blamed "substantial costs" associated with its new ERP system among other factors for the shocker. Levi' …

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Anonymous Coward

Who'd have thought it?

1) An IT disaster in the private sector? Everybody knows it's only the public sector that's incompetent...

2) Another disastrous "bet your business on a single package" rollout, sometimes it's SAP, sometimes it's Oracle Apps, either way, there'll be more kept quiet than reach the public...

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Making businesses match the software

I remember that the internal propaganda at Oracle was always going on about how SAP forced a business to changes its processes to match the software rather than the other way around.

Obviously this was to draw attention to how much easier it was to plug Oracle apps into a business's existing practices, although I don't know if Oracle's apps are/were actually any better than SAP's in that direction since I never had anything to do with the apps group at all.

Doesn't sound like SAP are really doing any better than they used to, though.

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Andersen consulting and SAP implementation go wrong

Say it isn't so. Being on the receiving end of both companies, both implementations were to say the least a "fucking Disaster" I am not surprised. byAndersen in particular who had a great sales pitch, promise everything, deliver nothing

"stabilisation Phase" ah, marketing speak for we are only now reviewing all the documentation, if there is any, on the requirements and the dlivered solution to see what went wrong or who is to blame.

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Coat

SAP

Shut Up And Pay

Mines the one with the large hole torn in the back.

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Gates Horns

Well Deserved

SAP - one of the most hated companies in the industry. But their marketing people give outstanding blow jobs, cause not even OUR executives aren't THAT stupid.

Andersen - change your name and avoid prosecution. Who'd a thunk it would work?!

Oracle - Rounding out the AXIS OF EVIL!!! But at least the database engine pretty much works.

If all 3 of these companies evaporated tomorrow the earth would be a measurably better place.

Why do executives keep drinking these people's Kool-aid? Oh yeah, the good blow jobs. Well at least we know...

Paris? No, she has far too much integrity!!! Hmm.... YEAH! BILL! (Can there be 4 members in the Axis?)

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Stop

SAPping the money from business both large and small

When we tried SAP Business one, they integrator was desperate for us to stop using the old system which we refused to do and ran them all in parallel. Two years latter when they just couldn't get anything to work, words were mentioned about our lack of payment and a law suit was mentioned. The result was a fraud counter suit was mentioned and they took their buggy software and went home.

SAP is still showing a video of how they helped us improve our productivity by using their software and we occasionally get contacted by people saying they bought SBO because of the video. So far they have all received full refunds.

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E

Maybe

they should have tried Peoplesoft instead. LOL!

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Coat

This story is..

..absolute pants.

Err, mine's the denim one

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Coat

Why am I not surprised?

One place I worked we implemented Oracle Financials and Siebel for ERP and CRM, due to some standard modification for my country, like foreign characters (not in 7bit ascii) and some unique taxes and legislations, we were unable to book incoming orders and do proper book-keeping for a long time. It took 30 highly trained (=expensive) consultants 3 months just to fix those small changes into a barely workable system.

The company never recovered, but I believed it to be because of terrible management and wrong products more than the ERP implementation.

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Anonymous Coward

Any ERP Consultant knows.....

1) Big Bang ERP Deployment doesn't work, except on green field companies.

2) ERP is written for general and standard business procedures, and doesn't like being bent.

3) There is a massive cultural change required that need proper handling and training of the user population, companies are rarely, prepared to pay for it.

4) One size does not fit all, but we'll take your money anyway.

5) Consultants will deliver to contract, not to need, that way you can't be sued.

6) Best of breed is better, but more difficult to sell as it's more expensive.

7) We have shareholders too, why think we don't we eat our own dog food.

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SAP is a ghetto,...

SAP is full of failed SysAdmins and (l)users on a power trip. The problem with selling SAP as a package "for users" is that the Users tend to think they can understand this technology and make informed decisions on their own.

Because I use to develop in ABAP I get endless job offers for SAP Administration roles. I would rather feed my manhod through a mincing machine than do SAP Basis.

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Bronze badge

SAP for the saps

I've worked for two companies that implemented SAP. The first spent £4m and had the courage to take the hit and scrap the lot 8 months after delivery, as they weren't going to suffer any longer while SAP kept tinkering to see if they could get the thing to work. The second company spent a lot more and then was caught in the 'we've spent so much we can't go back now; let's keep forging on and hope we get some value out of this thing', which is bad thinking in any situation.

I have worked with smaller, non-'enterprise' level systems and they have pretty much always have worked, were easily customisable, and were run by companies who were hungry for our business and who were therefore dedicated to solving problems. I find this in almost every case: second-tier suppliers have better (or at least the same quality) product at a cheaper price with better implementation and on-going support.

Of course, at this level the actual managers and tech people in the company are the ones making the buying decisions, not senior execs who fall for the sales video and the blow job, so what is bought tends to be evaluated with other parts of the body than the ego and the dick.

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Coat

Oh, shitting balls

Our massive multinational is currently rolling out SAP across the entire business, replacing so-call "legacy" (but perfectly working and stable) systems all over the world.

We've been saying for ages its going to end in tears and cost far more than it could ever hope to save, but no-one listens, the project managers all have serious boners for SAP, even though few have a clue what the hell it even is.

Mines the one with the Microsoft logo.

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B1 working just fine here..

...the odd little issue which is dealt with swiftly and effectively.

But as the popular saying goes, "Like the Murphy's... "

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Pirate

SAP and Anderson: big, slow-moving, disastrous

Anderson "managed" an SAP project at Mobil in South Africa last century. One might have thought the Androids would have learned from that, but apparently not.

It went many times over-budget and at the end of it, what was merely a regional oil company found that they had the largest petroleum invocation of SAP in the world - higher complexity, more modules, greater transactions-per-second (and more expensive) than any other single SAP installation at the time. They had to buy a bigger mainframe at huge cost merely to be able to run the beast.

Even then, it was so unstable that technicians had to stay logged on to the system from Waldorf to prop it up internally. And initially the database kept collapsing because of the unexpectedly high levels of concurrency.

Not pretty.

Mobil solved the problem by selling off the affiliate (who eventually wobbled on to project completion) and making sure that all subsequent SAP projects were smaller and tightly scoped.

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Coat

On your knees!

SAP Best blow jobs in the industry that's why formula one drivers have the logo on their helmet.

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Flame

UK Implementations

When I was at QVC, the BA in charge of the SAP roll-out kept a newspaper cutting of MFI suing the pants off SAP and their consultants as a reminder of the payback he was going to get when QVC sued.

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Coat

Engineered?

What?... they should have opted for the SAP Engineered version... and not the plain vanilla one... tsc tsc...

Mine is the denim one... engineered though...

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I guess not a lot of you work with SAP ?

I'm amazed by all the negative comments here.

I've worked in support/development with a large (>4000 users now) SAP installation for a decade now - no major probs.

Maybe it depends who does the installation ?

I remember an audio file doing the rounds when AC was Andersons (ie pre paper shredding) containing lines like "Experts - Fresh out of college" . You look around & think "Yup"

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Happy

Quite worried now!

What, you mean that big SAP implementation we've had running for 3+ years is going to mysteriously sprout gremlins and kill the bizz? And there was me thinking the careful and deliberate design, the long testing and acceptance phase, and internal training, had immunised us against the dreaded Curse Of SAP! Oh, hold on a sec - it did!

First two rules of enterprise projects - the cheaper solution may actually work out more expensive in the long run; and pay peanuts, get monkeys! As I always put it to my project managers, the actual acquisition price of any solution is only about 20% of the complete solution's cost over the lifecycle if you get it right! Get it wrong and you consign yourself to a very expensive lifecycle even if you end it early. Take your time and spend your money on the planning stage before the purchase (honest, it doesn't all end up on widescreen HDTVs in BOFH Central) and you will save money after the buy.

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Gates Halo

SAP keeps VBA running

OK, so I order kit on a SAP system. In order to keep track of what is on SAP I use a Excel/Access system to record what I'm doing. The SAP system is the pits for any sort of work if you don't keep your own records. So, instead of one set of records you add to the system the company has mandated your own system for keeping track. I can give my boss stats too. Anonymous for obvious reasons.

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