Corporate Responsibility Report 2013

Working Smarter

Working smarter.

We are creating a culture where we think outside the box, question the way we do the things we do, and look for innovative ways to work and spend smarter.

New enterprise resource planning system saves millions

At the beginning of 2013, after 15 months of planning, implementing, and training, we overhauled and implemented our Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which allows our organization to integrate various aspects of our business (e.g. finance, human resources, procurement) into one system.

The ERP system was designed to streamline and integrate the company’s core business processes, which resulted in a system that is able to support our growth plans. The ERP project, and other cost savings initiatives, including streamlining our organization, resulted in an annual reduction in general and administrative expenses of approximately $22 million.

Innovative strategies contributed to the project success:

  • Dedicated “all-star" team: our best people in all subject areas were selected for the project which moved it from a typical Information Services driven approach to a true business initiative.
  • Selected an implementation partner with the specific individual skill sets in each functional area.
  • Implemented a fixed price contract with a penalty/bonus clause for on-time completion.
  • Planned the implementation with a specific focus on historical lessons learned: the selection of an implementation partner, team co-location, business unit resource secondment to the project, and visible executive support were among the top lessons learned and leveraged during this implementation.
  • Created a Stakeholder Committee for Change Management: a Stakeholder Committee was formed with senior representation from each impacted business area to become intimate with the changes (both process and system), provide feedback for the change management strategies, and to act as project champions and change agents in their respective business areas. This strategy exceeded our expectations. Our messages were consistently well communicated, and feedback was immediate, which allowed us to react in a timely and effective manner.
  • Had an effective Steering Committee: the project Steering Committee met on a bi-weekly basis and was effectively used to remove road-blocks and to provide approvals (when required) in a timely manner.
  • Managed the details relentlessly: Project Management was focused on creating an environment where each team member was dedicated to the successful outcome of the project. Roadblocks were immediately dealt with, and each project member was accountable to complete their work on time and with expected quality. Leadership was visible, and the sense of urgency was clear to all project members.
  • Established daily defect meetings: daily meetings were used to discuss outstanding defects and solution paths.

The results

  • Significant Operating Cost Savings: the project was directly responsible for an annual operating cost reduction of $2M to $3M per year leading to an Internal Rate of Return of 25.2% which is virtually unheard of for an ERP project.
  • Improved control environment: The new ERP introduced significant control improvements by fully automating the approval of procurement and journal entry functions.
  • A robust and flexible reporting framework: the project design revolutionized both the level and depth of information available for management decision making in such key areas as human resources and financial information

In May 2013, the team was awarded the "Project of the Year" by the Project Management Institute (Northern Alberta chapter) in the Information Systems category.

Print smart challenge decreased paper waste

We continued our cause to reduce paper waste in 2013 by doing a company-wide print smart challenge. Simple changes (e.g. printing double-sided, printing in black and white, scanning documents to email instead of printing), including monthly monitoring, brought considerable savings.

In 2012, we moved our Canadian offices and plants to centralized "follow me" printing - a system where employees access their print jobs from any printer in any office with a swipe of their ID card - which saved over 185,000 printed sheets per month.  In 2013, all remaining locations were added to the centralized "follow me" printing system.

The 2013 print smart challenge resulted in a 35% decrease in printed paper from the previous year, for a new low of 2,800 sheets per user and a savings of over 1.456 million sheets of paper at Capital Power. This well exceeded our target for 2013 of 3,225 sheets per user.

Members of our Information Services department were part of the "all-star" enterprise resource planning system project team.

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