Interview with Dave H. Lohr
· What is the ERP project about and what are the benefits from your perspective?
ERP is an abbreviation for The Enterprise Resource Planning Program, which allows U. S. Steel's processes and systems to be simplified, standardized, centralized and integrated across
the whole company worldwide, in all North American locations, as well as in Slovakia and Serbia. ERP provides a common single source and view of the data stored in multiple systems at various
locations around the world. Global standard processes and systems allow easier sharing between employees across divisions and geographies. The aim of ERP is to make our employees more efficient
since instead of a long information gathering they can spend more time on decision making.
· How will this affect me as a U. S. Steel employee?
As I said before, ERP is about improving and standardizing systems and processes across US Steel. So some people's jobs may change somewhat and the ERP team will be working with our people
directly to discuss what adjustments might be needed and how we can best prepare them for that change. Appropriate training will be provided for all employees affected.
· How will our people become proficient with the new processes and systems?
Our people are currently learning about the new business processes by participating in the workshops that are being conducted in Slovakia to validate the Global Common Design. The ERP
implementation in Europe impacts Human Resources, Procure to Pay, BSC and the Accounting and Finance organizations for now. All users will be trained in advance of the official implementation or
"go live" date. Training for Slovakia is expected to start in October 2008, for Serbia in March, 2008. Typically, training is delivered two months in advance of Go-Live. The first go live in
Slovakia is planned for January 2009, in Serbia for May, 2008. Training materials will be developed in local languages and US Steel experts will train other US Steel people on the new processes
· What is happening now and what's next?
Currently all the project teams are completing the design process and conducting workshops to ensure the global business processes match the needs of the business locally and to ensure that
regulatory requirements are met. Next steps include completion of the training plan and start of training materials preparation, as well as preparation for testing and deployment of the new
system. The ERP is a project that will bring our company closer together. In spite of speaking 3 different languages - our systems will be common. In the global steel business in which we
compete, we must be fast, accurate, and not dependent on the time of day. Having access to reliable data will be even more essential as the world becomes "smaller" in terms of the pace of
I have heard concerns about the overall cost of the ERP project. It is undeniable that this system will come at a substantial cost - but it will also avoid many systems patches and expensive
upgrades in the future. We will have a system that will easily benefit from advancements in computer technology. ORACLE, the main supplier of the global software, is a worldwide leader and will
be helpful in keeping U. S. Steel Europe one step ahead of our competitors. I am confident that this effort will provide a solid foundation for our future success and the benefits will
far exceed the initial costs.