When the ERP implementation strikes you hard!

Well the story goes like this, with top managers at Levi Strauss decided to revamp their information technology systems. So the executives decided to migrate to a single SAP system and hired a team of Deloitte consultants to lead the effort. The risks seemed small, and the proposed budget was less than $5 million. But very quickly all hell broke loose. One major customer, Walmart, required that the system interface with its supply chain management system, creating additional hurdles. Insufficient procedures for financial reporting and internal controls nearly forced Levi Strauss to restate quarterly and annual results. During the switchover, it was unable to fill orders and had to close its three U.S. distribution centers for a week. In the second quarter of 2008, the company took a $192.5 million charge against earnings to compensate for the botched project—and its chief information officer, David Bergen, was forced to resign (Source: HBR).


The lesson learned here: There is no such thing as an easy ERP rollout. It was and always will be a journey of discomfort and sacrifice, but with a remarkable experience and joy the moment it starts effectively running your business.


Flyvbjerg, B., and Budzier, A., (2011), ‘Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think‘. Harvard Business Review. Available online from: https://hbr.org/2011/09/why-your-it-project-may-be-riskier-than-you-think.