During the implementation the company was sold twice and had three separate boards of directors who developed three different business strategies. Other major changes affecting the project included a move from decentralised store-level systems to central replenishment managed using SAP.
"The biggest change was development of customer ordering and a home delivery service," said Darrol Radley, SAP support and development manager at Homebase. This required the roll-out of SAP Enterprise Portal, which was completed last Easter.
With SAP no longer shipping R/3, Homebase is already looking at migration plans. "Our next major milestone is to plan for an upgrade to MySAP. The core R/3 system will need to be upgraded in the next two to five years. We will plan accordingly," Radley said.
David Bradshaw, principal analyst at Ovum, said four years was a long time to complete a SAP roll-out, but he added, "No IT department could anticipate the major business changes seen at Homebase."