Defense takes a big step forward

About the Dutch Ministry of Defense 

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has three main responsibilities:

  • To protect the territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • To promote international rule of law and stability
  • To support civil authorities in national and international law enforcement, disaster control and humanitarian aid.

The Ministry has around 60,000 employees, making it one of the biggest employers in the Netherlands.

What the ministry of defense needed

The Ministry of Defence needed to increase its operational efficiency and strengthen mutual co-operation between the various branches of the armed forces. They sought new support for their financial and material logistic processes. Some of the Ministry’s logistics systems are obsolete and each armed force has its own system. They need to standardise and integrate the processes, which will enable efficient working, cost savings in provision of information and better support to operational deployment. As a result around 10,000 users need to change their way of working.

The challenge

The request by the Ministry resulted in the largest ever ERP project within the Dutch government, called SPEER (Strategic Program ERP Enabled Reengineering). A critical success factor for this program is that the various branches of the armed forces need to operate in collaboration across the board. This implies a big cultural change as the various branches within Defence need to withdraw from their existing practices and jointly develop an improved business operation.

The new work methods will have a direct impact on the day-to-day operations of many Defence workers. So a strong focus on change management is necessary. SPEER is a long-term program - the project organization will be confronted with changes in staffing and in functionality requirements.

The transfer to new functionalities and processes will be on a large scale. SPEER involves an initial implementation of SAP functionality usage that is unprecedented in scale. Complications are likely to arise during the implementation.

Our answer

We have been involved in SPEER right from the stage of package selection. It was partly based on our recommendation that the Ministry chose the SAP ERP package with a solution specific to defense organizations. We formed a consortium with Capgemini to manage the project together with the Ministry of Defence. As a steering partner of the Ministry of Defence, we are committed to the result.

For optimum effectiveness, we work in mixed teams made up of representatives from all the armed forces. Together we have created the design of new, standardized processes and associated data. The Ministry provided information about existing processes and we delivered ERP expertise and ideas for improvement.

The designs were tested and converted into SAP functionality in a Bouwstenenfabriek (building-block factory) specially set up for SPEER. This Bouwstenenfabriek was specifically organized to support Defence efficiently with decision-making at all levels, including the highest management level. To engage employees, we will continue to hold workshops and information sessions throughout the entire project.

We are introducing functionalities into the SAP ERP system in phases. The first part was delivered and has been operational since 2008. It replaced the existing processes of budget preparation and realization. This financial administration system called Finad supports a new budget preparation, execution and balancing process. It forms the basis for integration with the material logistic processes and data.

All the armed forces will be working with the new system by 2014. Many of the old systems in the different branches will no longer be required. We are helping the Ministry of Defence take the new system into administration through coaching and knowledge transfer.

Contact us for more information