Making the Grade: How Bayer MaterialScience Boosted Supply Chain Performance with a User Certification Program

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • November 18, 2010
Management
As the economy faltered in late 2008 and early 2009, it became clear that the companies with the best chance of success were those that could adapt quickly and find new ways to improve operational efficiency. At Bayer MaterialScience, surviving the downturn would require improving several processes along its supply chain.

Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) had begun a large supply chain transformation project built around SAP systems about a year before the recession hit. Near the end of that project, however, it became apparent that further process improvements were necessary. User adoption was critical to the success of the transformation, so BMS set out to revolutionize the way it trains and motivates employees working within the supply chain.

The solution was to create a Supply Chain Certification Program that focused on bringing users across the supply chain up to speed on the new system. The program requires users to pass one-on-one exams administered by subject matter experts to gain certification.

“We wanted to make sure we trained our people adequately on the new processes, and to certify them so they can demonstrate that they understand how to do their job and that the system works,” says Tom Balzer, sr. vice president, head of Supply Chain Center – NAFTA.

The certification program itself is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-certified process. This means all procedures within the program must be reviewed and approved every year, and that the company is subject to an audit to demonstrate it is following those procedures. This ensures that the certification program is kept up to date and sustainable.

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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