Quest recently spoke with Dan Rotermund, an analyst with the Roush ERP Group about their Fluid User Interface journey. Dan has been with the company for 24 years and has roles in both Supply Chain Management and ERP Support.
- Different rollout strategies might be appropriate for different teams
- A phased rollout allows time to help build buy-in
- Fluid can reduce errors and improve efficiency, which helps increase profitability
About Roush Industries
Roush has grown to become recognized internationally as a premier provider of engineering and product development solutions, with over 4,000 employees in facilities across the globe. They have strategically acquired skills and expertise in areas such as rapid prototyping, advanced composites, design and engineering, fabrication, supply chain and assembly. Roush has multiple business units, including Roush Clean Tech (Alternate Fuel Vehicles), Roush Fenway Racing, Kovington Performance Holdings and Roush Entertainment Services Engineering, among others.
Roush began with PeopleSoft in 1999 as part of the Y2K frenzy. At that time, their current software was not committing to a smooth transition to the year 2000. With the continued growth of Roush, they had some shortcomings not being able to support their business plan.
Research was performed and presentations were done for upper management and a decision was made that PeopleSoft was the software that best fit the direction of Roush. They successfully self-implemented PeopleSoft 7.5 at that time and have never looked back. From there, they upgraded to 8.4 then 8.9 / 9.1 and in late 2013 implemented 9.2. Now each new release is tested, documented and implemented with in-house teams along the way. The modules deployed at Roush include Asset Management, Billing, Contracts, General ledger, Inventory, Manufacturing, Mobile Inventory, Mobile Inventory Fluid, Order Management, Payables, Procurement, Projects, Expenses, A/R, Engineering, Product Configurator, Supply Planning, HR, Payroll, Benefits Administration, Time & Labor and Talent Acquisition. They are currently on version 9.2.16 and Tools 8.55.16. They are just completing testing of PUM 23 with roll out expected to PROD in September 2017.
The ERP Group is comprised of a staff of seven, including three programmers – one of whom serves as the DBA admin and PUM guru – along with four analysts. They are supported throughout the company with a team of SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) in the various PeopleSoft modules owned.
What were the drivers for you to begin using Fluid User Interface?
We had been using bar code scanning for a handful of inventory related transactions through third-party software for a number of years. We were interested in the Mobile Fluid opportunity to allow for real time transactions, which were performed directly within PeopleSoft and not through a time lapsed batch process.
Roush was also keenly interested in deploying Fluid in the HR/Employee Self-Service arena. The opportunity to provide Roush employees with a simple, easy to use product – similar to what they are used to seeing in their personal smart devices – made the decision easy.
Where and how are you using Fluid?
We have implemented Fluid mobile inventory in several of our warehouse and receiving centers. Transactions include PO receiving, bin to bin transfers and cycle counts.
Roush will soon be rolling out Fluid to the HR side of the business to include Time Entry and Approvals as well as Travel and Expenses and Manager Dashboard. Employees will also be enjoying eRequisitions via Fluid in the very near future
How are you rolling out Fluid User Interface to your end users (e.g. Pilot, Phased, Big Bang, etc)?
For the supply chain related operations with Fluid Mobile, we have planned and executed a multi-phase approach. Beginning with a test process in our TEST database by the ERP team, we have conducted select transactions based on input from the user community. After successful results, we have employed the use of a pilot warehouse to perform these same transactions and obtain feedback. As pilot usage continues, we have targeted the other warehouse operations on a “one-at-a-time” pace until all have been included in this implementation. We definitely wanted to stay away from the big bang approach as we found that positive word of mouth from initial warehouses quickly spread and acceptance by others was an easy transition.
On the HR and employee Self-Service side, that was a different tactic than supply chain. In this, after thorough testing, a big bang roll out to the user community was kicked off. This certainly included pre-kickoff communication to the employees on our internal website as well as general emails and in-house training videos. These included listings of benefits of Fluid, easy to follow tips and instructions
What was your experience in deploying Fluid? What did you learn that other customers could benefit from?
The implementation was surprisingly quite easy. If there is one takeaway for others, it’s don’t be afraid of Fluid; rather, embrace it warmly.
Be sure to include not only your Subject Matter Experts in initial testing, but have a sample group of cross-functional users. Elicit their feedback and incorporate their ideas, which will add to the overall success of the implementation.
What obstacles, if any, did you encounter while deploying Fluid?
There was initial resistance from employees whose main concern was the loss of the traditional menu with breadcrumbs. This was quenched with the education surrounding tiles and navigation collections, which made navigating a simple and effortless task—kind of an “ah-ha” moment for the employees.
What concerns, if any, did your company have about deploying Fluid?
Our biggest concern in using the big bang approach was employees freaking out as they log in on “day one” and are faced with a whole new visual and navigation style. But the acceptance and ease of transition went quite well.
Are you deploying Fluid as delivered? If not, how customized or modified are you and why?
We have some minor customizations on the PO receiving side. This includes using data identifier characters in the bar codes to confirm scan of Packing Slip, PO # and Part # ensuring placement in the correct field. We also have a Receipt Delivery Detail Report and an in-house inventory label (prompted for quantity) print out automatically at receipt save.
Since deploying Fluid, what benefits have you seen for you and your company?
Efficiency and accuracy have been two major benefits. The time it takes to scan in a receipt versus collecting paperwork and returning to desktop for entry (based on an annual receipt line quantity of close to 20,000), we estimate an annual labor hour savings of 1300 hours. The scan entry of data has virtually eliminated transposed numbers, data in incorrect fields and other manually based receiving errors.
Employees who use the Fluid aspect in Self-Service and HR have commented on its ease of use and functionality. Management has been pleased with the roll out, the acceptance by the Roush users and the efficiencies gained, which naturally adds to the profitability of the company.
Where do you want to take your company’s Fluid strategy in the next two to three years?
We will continue the roll out to the few smaller Roush operations not yet encompassed in this update. As we investigate and test additional functionality of Fluid, we will analyze and implement those beneficial to our company and fully expect to see continued accuracy and efficiency values added to our bottom line. The next goal is to bring on the mobile version of On-Boarding as we continue to “Fluidize” Roush.
How involved was your company in utilizing the Quest community, or any other user group, during the upgrade process?
Attending COLLABORATE as well as tuning in to Quest webinars regarding Fluid gave us valuable insight and clarity as to the overall benefits and functionality of a solid Fluid strategy.
Would you like to share your own story with the Quest community? Contact us and Quest staff will get in touch!