Complex Manufacturing ERP Implementation

The client, a national manufacturing firm, overcame operational inefficiencies with Exent’s guidance in implementing a modern SaaS Tier 1 ERP system. The project achieved streamlined processes, enhanced control, and scalability, leading to a 3.6-year payback period. Key outcomes include real-time insights, improved security, and long-term product support.


The client, a national vertically integrated manufacturer, had grown significantly over time and was experiencing inefficiencies in a number of legacy systems and processes. These challenges prompted the implementation of a modern SaaS Tier 1 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to align their operations with their growth objectives.

The client understood the nature of the transformative journey ahead, recognising the necessary change and major realignments to business operations, key processes and governance. The major efficiency challenges being addressed stemmed from eleven distinct legacy systems, no longer fit for purpose and very poorly integrated, further challenged by processes that were no longer adequate to future business scale.

The primary objective for the client was to sustain growth and expand into new and existing markets, particularly international markets. To achieve this, they required a modern cloud solution from a tier 1 provider.

The ERP implementation facilitated the resolution of existing system deficiencies, unification of fragmented systems, enhanced control and automation, scalability for growth, and the acquisition of deeper insights and analytics capabilities.


The success of the ERP implementation project relies on the availability of experienced and knowledgeable resources who understand the technical aspects of the ERP solution and the business and cultural aspects of the organisation. This underscores the significance of having a proficient and interdisciplinary project team.

Our approach to ERP implementation was heavily contextualised to manufacturing and a broad, vertically integrated supply chain. Of note, ERP implementations can vary significantly based on the scope of operations, company-specific constraints and future mission, therefore flexibility and adaptability are paramount throughout the process.

Exent had supported the client through prior strategy, software selection and business case development stages, as a collaborative journey of transformation between Exent and client teams. Exent had previously assembled a detailed business case supported by complex finance modelling, performance and yield modelling, and production scenario modelling. The client had selected Oracle’s Cloud ERP technology to deliver all components of the solution scope.

To execute the project effectively, a comprehensive project and deployment framework was devised, leveraging Exent’s prior IP in this space. This framework clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders throughout each phase, aligning them with the project’s objectives and goals.

Exent was engaged to provide project management, spearheading the implementation planning and execution, supported by an ensemble lead team comprising multiple client leads, a vendor project manager, an Exent ERP solution expert, and an organisational change leader. The project’s governance and planning process included the following activities.

The project governance and planning activities provided the overarching structure for the implementation process, commencing with defining the project’s scope and objectives. Subsequently, it involved formulating a work schedule, resource allocation, communication plans, and strategies for managing project risks.

The ERP implementation project targeted multiple functional areas very broadly across the entire organisation including finance, procurement and contracts, manufacturing, asset maintenance, sales order management, inventory management, and reporting. Exent adopted a phased approach to manage delivery complexity and change capacity more effectively.



Noting ERP implementations are large and long-term capital projects with a typical investment cycle of 10+ years, Exent was able to identify and drive benefits that enabled a project payback period of 3.6 years, rare for major multi-million dollar projects.

Exent’s structured approach to complex ERP implementations within manufacturing was noted to bring discipline while allowing for vendor and client flexibility and adaptability throughout the process. At project close, a number of strategic benefits were identified by the project stakeholders.

Benefit Overview
Real-time, fact-based business insights. This allows the management team to access real-time information remotely and users can create dashboards tailored to their specific business needs.
Streamlined business processes. This standardises processes across the client group. ERP (Oracle) serves as an integrated platform where modules interact with each other, reducing the need for data re-entry, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
Control. The end-to-end process established within the application ensures tighter control over costs and improves investment performance and decision-making.
Long term supported product. This allows the organisation to have a fully supported product that will follow the ERP Oracle upgrade path.
Improved security and compliance. The Security Model enables role-based security implementation using ERP-Oracle architecture and security applications, giving the organisation control over profiles and access to all applications centrally.
A platform for scalability and data centralisation. This provides full functionality for scaling up the business and centralising data. The hosted cloud-based solution eliminates the need for additional infrastructure costs and offers ongoing upgrades and technical support assistance through the external provider. Integration of Oracle Cloud with Power BI supports the client’s Power BI project, enabling data extraction for improved analytics, machine learning, and AI solutions in the future.
Improved auditing and compliance. Improved traceability and reporting capabilities allow the team to monitor organisational risks more closely through improved reporting and alerting.

A number of less tangible, more systemic improvements to the client’s operating environment, were also noted:

  • Engage with People and Culture team to develop key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Establish a Community of Practice to leverage teamwork and knowledge sharing.
  • Project team to be consistent from commencement to implementation of the project.
  • Engage with People and Culture team to ensure recognition and career progression opportunities are provided for the SMEs.