Independent Living Specialists is a leading provider of homecare mobility and physiotherapy equipment. Independent Living Specialists operates more than 60 retail showrooms across 4 states in Australia.

The ILS National Distribution Centre supports a number of localised hubs that provided stores with equipment for sales and rental.

The project objective was to integrate 3 different business units (each running multiple systems) into a shared SAP B1 environment, under a Common Operating Model. The project was run on very aggressive timelines, while supporting a high change impact for 2 of the 3 business units.

Business Challenge

The existing business model meant that the replenishment of stores and procurement was difficult due to disparate item coding structures, overlapping product ranges, unclear store ranging strategies and other elements.

In addition, the executive team were not confident that the consolidated financial results, as well as key metrics such as margin and inventory holdings were accurate.

Program Management Results

Combined Management Consultants was engaged to assist with an IT Strategy, Project Management and Data Conversion Support for an improved operating and business model.

CMC defined a strategy based on a Common Operating Model (COM). The COM supplemented the existing systems to create a fully functional and integrated solution. The new solution improved visibility of inventory, better supported delivery drivers, automated workflows and enabled item number standardisation.

As a result, ILS was able to offer an improved customer experience as well as the following business benefits:

  • A new rental management solution and driver delivery system was deployed.
  • A “model store” was built where extensive testing could be conducted prior to rollout.
  • A staff Rollout Team was established to support the rollout to all stores, including hypercare.
  • A suite of 100+ detailed Work Instructions, Quick Reference Guides and Videos to document activities and support users on an ongoing basis.
  • A Data Conversion and Reconciliation Workstream loaded data into the new system. This also established a cross-reference matrix to link codes for the same items across all parts the organisation.
  • Successfully implemented Netstock to manage the Demand Forecasting, Purchasing and Store Replenishment activities.
  • Implementing a Reporting Suite to provide SAP BI access for Store Managers to manage their open transactions, increase customer service and better manage store performance.
  • Provided expert Supply Chain management leadership when warehouse inbound and packing functions were not coping during the Cutovers.
  • Introduced and implemented a Master Data Governance model for ILS, including the appointment of a Master Data Steward to keep the data at a high standard.
  • All non-ILS stores were migrated to the new COM prior to “Gol-Live”. All other stores were moved to the COM shortly thereafter.

We had an outstanding working relationship with the CMC team. We achieved a great deal rolling out an ERP implementation on a very aggressive schedule and we could not have done it without CMC’s oversight and guidance.

Matt Morgan - CEOIndependent Living Specialists