Implementation of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) to replace existing system

An award-winning robust change management programme that aligned closely with the business goals and project objectives.

Award-winning Change Management Programme

We have had a long-standing relationship with New Zealand’s largest company, Fonterra for over 20 years.    

At the beginning of 2020, Fonterra was replacing the existing demand planning system and we were engaged by their Integrated Business Planning (IBP) team to provide change management, training, and documentation services for their SAP IBP implementation project.  

The Challenge

Users of the current demand planning system were very proficient in their existing system, so it was essential we ensure their confidence in the new Cloud-based solution. The project began in early March 2020 and immediately faced challenges due to the impact of the global pandemic COVID19.

  • The cohesive working of the team was restricted due to lockdown measures and remote working requirements.
  • The products in scope for the Demand Planning solution (yoghurt, cheese, and butter) saw significant peaks and troughs over this time due to the heavy influence of ‘lockdown baking’, implementing a huge impact on their planning data.
  • All learning had to be moved from classroom-based to remote.

Our Approach

To ensure the project remained on track, we worked collaboratively with the IBP team to deliver a successful and sustainable change. Our solution included:

  • A robust change management programme that aligned closely with the business goals and project objectives.  
  • Involving users through the programme from Design through to Testing phases to ensure capability development and competency build on the new system.  
  • Business-led change with Product Owners and Business Leaders brought onto the change journey early to lead the teams through the programme.  
  • Regular communications, business briefings, and solution walkthroughs to keep the users informed on progress and upcoming milestones. This phase was crucial to instil confidence in the new Cloud-based solution.  
  • One-on-one training and on-the-job training led by Subject Matter Experts.  
  • Ongoing support with process snapshots, procedure documentation, and user guides.    

Because of the challenges of the pandemic, both the existing demand planning system and SAP IBP were maintained in parallel over a nine-month period. This ensured the IBP team had business confidence in the new demand models and forecast simulations. 

The implementation of SAP IBP has had a significant impact on the efficacy of Fonterra’s integrated business planning and the sustainability of their supply chain. This project won SAP Best Run Award in Digital Supply Chain category...a tremendous finish to an incredible journey navigated through challenging covid times.

See our SAP S/4HANA page for more about our experience supporting SAP S/4HANA implementations.

The low-cost implementation was agile, we used a small team of experts with dedicated business users who owned the solution and made it happen. They can be proud of their work and deserve this award.

Les Eriksen


SAP IBP Project Manager



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