It was time to take management to the next level at Marsulex. “I still remember the first three mandates or goals that I was given on the day I arrived — probably a good thing for a boss to do with a new employee. That avoids having to figure out what the priorities are. One of them was to find a new system.”
Finding a new business management system posed a challenge for Tugman. The CIL division that became Marsulex was the first Canadian company to install SAP. The technology had gained the reputation of being difficult to operate, costly and the Marsulex installation needed to be fully reinstalled. “I was told I could do anything I wanted as long and it wasn’t SAP. But, the first thing I determined was that the only real solution was SAP. The fact that I didn’t know anything about systems and that I had to learn it on the fly kept me from making the mistake of choosing something else.”
Coming in unbiased, he used basic business judgment to recognize the efficiency built into the enterprise-wide system. “To go away from that would have been a backward step and we couldn’t have operated efficiently without adding more staff. Try and tell someone that you need to put in the new system and, by the way, we have to add staff – that wasn’t going to fly.”
The big challenge was to convince the board that they needed to reinstall SAP. He presented the idea to the board, emphasizing that it was necessary for the growth of the business and to the overall strategy. “SAP is highly scalable. If we had done anything else, we wouldn’t have been able to expand and integrate businesses into Marsulex. It became the backbone from a systems perspective. “
In 1995/1996 the system was installed for the price of over $2 million “It was the second biggest capital project that the company had in its history to that point. We already had the licenses as a result of previously being on SAP.”
He feels that the system, “accomplished everything we said it would and we did it both on time and on budget – it touched everyone in the business.” The project was so successful that SAP adopted some of the methodologies that Marsulex developed to install the software in businesses of a similar size.