Carlisle specialises in durable EPDM roofing systems and EPDM/Butyl air seals. With five leading brands including RESITRIX®, HERTALAN® and HARDCAST®, they enable roofers, contractors, architects, building owners and others to create fully watertight and airtight building solutions. Carlisle is spread across several European sites that use various elderly ERP systems.

The challenge: getting started with an automated system

One day, disaster struck. “An important server that we couldn’t replace crashed” says Boerkamp. “We were then working temporarily in a completely non-digital manner, writing things down on bits of paper and meeting up several times a day to discuss it all. The system was only accessible for a limited number of colleagues at any time, so we had to work under a rota. It wasn’t an ideal situation and wasted a lot of time and energy unnecessarily. Working with a fully automated ERP system therefore suddenly became extremely urgent. Our other Dutch branch in Weesp was already running SAP. My colleagues were always a bit concerned about getting used to working with SAP, but they were even more concerned about getting rid of the paper-based processes.” 

"We had wanted to invest in a new ERP system within our group for some time. As a group of companies, it is necessary to work on one platform to generate the right management information and be able to compare it with each other. But with the diversity in products, an integration of the different companies and a focus on growth, we pushed the decision forward."

Jan Boerkamp Managing Director Carlisle

Ctac and Carlisle already knew each other through contacts with the location in Weesp. Boerkamp: “Ctac has been managing Carlisle’s systems for years. We were already in touch with Ctac about replacing our systems. Ctac has even been in-house in Weesp for years. They know our business and our processes. We’ve always been able to go to them with questions, even before this new project started. This transparency and willingness to help led us to ask Ctac to assist with this implementation.” 

The solution: ‘All of our processes now run on SAP’

Within three months of getting the green light from the parent company in America, Ctac had implemented SAP in Kampen. “At top speed, we went from thinking about it to doing the implementation,” says Boerkamp. “We finished well within our schedule and budget. All our processes now run on SAP, with the exception of our CRM. We also use Ctac’s Floor Registration System (Shopfloor). That was the only FRS solution that could cope with our complex production process. It also helped with the rapid implementation of SAP. Further roll-out and integration at other sites was postponed soon afterwards due to Covid-19.” 

According to Boerkamp, Ctac understands what’s involved in such a major change. “Ctac knew our corporate culture well, so the right consultants were deployed. They didn’t tell us how to do things; instead, they listened to us and then offered suitable solutions. After a while, just like us, they relaxed and dressed down to come to work. There were no discussions about which work was included in the scope of the assignment or was outside it. Ctac just got on with tackling unexpected obstacles. Thanks to Ctac’s approach, we were able to supply all of our customers with just a few minor bumps and lumps in the road at the beginning.” 

The result: We are now one team

Boerkamp is proud of the way his colleagues handled all the changes. “Our team worked very well together during the implementation process. The key users from each department sat down with Ctac to review how the new system should be used on a daily basis. “This allowed my colleagues to come together with a better understanding of each other, because each department came into contact with the others’ work. As a result, it was really “our” project, but with help from Ctac’s consultants. We are now one team, and our organisation now also reflects more uniformity of thinking. Which also means more professionalism” says Boerkamp.

From high drama to throwing a party

Following the implementation, Ctac has continued to work with Carlisle to manage the ERP system. Boerkamp: “For a project like this to succeed, it’s crucial that it’s more than just a technical gizmo. You have to get people involved in the transformation, and Ctac understands that better than anyone. Whenever we needed help after the implementation, they were there to support us.” He looks back on a mission successfully accomplished: “We were actually expecting the implementation of a new ERP system to be a drama. And of course, it had its ups and downs, but the result is fantastic. It was a very special journey, and almost felt like a party. We’ve certainly celebrated it together with Ctac!” 

Download customer case as PDF

Customer case Carlisle
Aart van der Wilt

SAP project advisor