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Michelman's upgrade to JD Edwards 9.2 in six-months!

Michelman Customer Story

Quest recently had the chance to speak with Trisha Muir, the ERP Manager at Michelman about the company’s six-month 9.2 upgrade and how they are now utilizing new functionality.

  • Michelman was able to upgrade to 9.2 in just six months!
  • Communication is key during an upgrade project.
  • Michelman is using UX One Roles to provide its users with better, faster information.

About Michelman

Michelman is an expert in the development of barrier and functional coatings, digital printing-press primers and OPVs that are used in the production of consumer and industrial packaging, paper products, labels and commercially printed materials. Some examples of their products include the coating on paper plates, coating additives in wood stains, and the resealable sticky flap on a package of Oreos. Michelman is a global company with two manufacturing plants in Ohio one in Belgium and Singapore as well as distribution centers in China, India, and Japan.

Michelman first implemented JD Edwards in 1999. Over the years, the company upgraded several times. They moved to 9.0 in 2010 and then 9.2 in November 2017. The upgrade to 9.2 took just six months to complete.

Why did you decide to upgrade to 9.2?

We wanted to upgrade to the latest and greatest technology and functionality. We hadn’t taken an ESU since 2010, so we wanted to get caught up and current. We tried not to include too many customizations in our upgrade. We did not have many in the first place, less than 50, but we wanted to be aware of the challenges associated to the testing process with customizations during the upgrade. We also wanted to be on the latest Tools release in order to take advantage of the new technology that was available.

Are your users enjoying 9.2?

Our users are loving it! They really like the look and feel of it, and they’re excited about the new functionality. One popular hit is the form extensions in the new Tools release because now it’s so easy to add more fields to forms. It’s something that seems so small but really makes a big difference.

How did you handle training your users?

We brought global Super Users to Ohio for all of our user testing. We wanted people to own their own processes and create an educated community. The idea was for users to be able to go to their functional Super User with questions before they escalated issues to IT. Since the upgrade was primarily a technical upgrade, we took the opportunity to review processes for global efficiency and bring the teams together on a larger scale.

What applications are you utilizing?

We are using the Manufacturing, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Fixed Assets, Sales Order Management, Procurement, Quality and Transportation modules in JD Edwards. We are currently not using the HR modules or Advanced Warehousing module but are looking at implementing the HR module in 2019. We are also utilizing a few integrations including RF-SMART for scanning, WERCS for regulatory and labeling, and Magic Software to integrate JD Edwards with Salesforce.

What new features are you using in 9.2?

Some of the new features we are using are Watch Lists, Notifications, Composite Pages, out-of-the-box UX One Roles, Orchestrations, Café One and mobile apps.

We’re using Orchestrations to run our Magic Software integration that integrates our JD Edwards with Salesforce. We’re are also using Café One, but we’re still struggling with what to give to users and what we want them to have to request for approval from IT. We are focusing on training the users on the new technology and thinking of ways in which the system can make their daily jobs easier. We are getting ready to launch Requisition Self-Service in Europe in which we will utilize the mobile PO Approval app.  We are also working with a vendor to create a new desktop receiving mobile app to support RSS.

What roles are you implementing?

We are currently using Customer Service Manager and AR Manager and looking to implement other roles in the near future. It’s great because we can provide our users with real-time data on their home screens, they can see what needs to take priority, and they can act on it right away instead of searching through the system and looking for information. Now the ease of information makes things more efficient.

Do you have any best practices to share with others looking to upgrade?

The best tip I can give is to keep the user community updated about the project and what is being completed as well as what to expect in the future. This helped us because it got our users excited about go-live instead of making them anxious about not knowing what to expect; they felt more prepared. It is a good idea to structure your communications and schedule when you want to send them out to users. Define a consistent plan from the very beginning and keep them in the loop throughout the project.

What are the benefits that you’ve noticed after upgrading?

  1. The ability to automate processes, like we have with Orchestrations.
  2. People can do things more for themselves, like set up their own queries.
  3. Fewer people have to come to the IT staff for help because they’ve been trained and empowered.
  4. Data is more readily available and is at the tips of users’ fingertips, right on their dashboards.

Would you like to share your own story with the Quest community? Contact us and Quest staff will get in touch!