Commerce board considered removing Dairy from SAP system

COMMERCE and Employment considered removing financial control of Guernsey Dairy from the States’ much-maligned new computer system, it has emerged.

COMMERCE and Employment considered removing financial control of Guernsey Dairy from the States’ much-maligned new computer system, it has emerged.

Minister Kevin Stewart said his board decided against reverting to an alternative system despite the ‘pressure’ and ‘challenges’ caused by the SAP system.

‘The board resolved to keep the Dairy in SAP and not revert to an alternative accounting system,’ he said.

‘While there was a full recognition that the implementation had caused considerable pressure on the business it was felt that the level of risk remained manageable and that reverting back to the previous system, at the time, could have potentially caused greater risk during such a turbulent transient phase.

Comments for: "Commerce board considered removing Dairy from SAP system"


Can it get any bleaker for 'the Hub' the new SAP system?

Poor implementation, poor training, poor change management dismissive attitudes and, according to HSSD, bills remaining unpaid for unacceptable periods of time.

Can Mr St Pier please explain whether the Press is painting a biased picture and if not how can such a debacle continue unpunished?

Island Wide Voting


It won't go unpunished.The normal contingency plan will be put into effect and the senior Civil Servant in charge will be promoted out of that position


All the problems with sap in every States Department could have been avoided if the implementation team had listened to the concerns raised by staff on the shopfloor,

I bet the phrase "I told you so" is on the lips of many, but they are the ones now having to try and sort out the mess brought on by the teams arrogance and ignorance of working practices.

Laurie Q

Not an isolated case unfortunately when it comes to States projects. Often things are developed at high level with limited/little engagement with those who work at the coalface.

A strange take on corporate working.

When I submitted questions re SAP, part of the response from T&R was that many of the problems were due to the unwillingness of staff to embrace change and learn new ways of operating. However, the findings of a recent report do not wholly tally with that answer, stating that a good deal of the problems were in fact of a technical nature and due to a lack of preparedness.

This is the reason why deputies have a duty to scrutinise thoroughly (at report stage and onwards) initiatives like SAMP, even though it is a project that in principle seems to have merit.


Who was the cretin who accepted assurances that a centralized computer system, would perform on startup so effectively that no backup/or period of parallel accounting would be required?

Guernsey Fudge

Looks like were all stuck with SAP no matter how many problems it causes.

It is no good crying over spilt milk.


Why raise taxes? When SAP is fully opperational The states departments can reduce their staffing levels drastically to overcome wasted labour.

We pay our bills online or by direct debit so why is it that the states administration staffing levels have not been reduced?

Why are all these chief officers leaving their post?if not only for retiring but resigning too.

Looking foreward to a fully functional SAP system and huge changes in man power.


Islander: I presume you're being facetious?

Normally the reduction of staff numbers and staff costs is the big carrot dangled in front of any decision making board when trying to get this type of expensive system approved.

The reality is this is nearly never the case, and I speak from a lot of experience.

For example take HSSD's relatively new Electronic Health and Social Care Record system (EHSCR). The business case put to the States claimed 8-10 staff members would no longer be needed once implemented. Staff savings in the Medical Records Department and eventually ward clerks would be realised.

This did not happen. The Medical Records section has not shrunk and Ward Clerks are still employed. In reality HSSD staff numbers have increased because of the new system because there was no provision at all in the Business Case for staff to support and develop the system. The EHSCR Department, which supports and develops this system, now numbers 10-11 staff itself.


To be honest I've seen this in the corporate world as well.

Directors/management responsible for the implementation of a system that is either not up to the task or hopelessly complex for the average user: typical reaction is to blame the indians for long enough to hope the situation gets better and (most importantly for the chiefs) save face.

Absolutely agree with Bee and Rustylink - staff should have been consulted more (at least to a lower management level) before and during implementation not just afterwards by being grilled by senior civil servants. SAP absolutely should have been run in parallel with current systems until most or all of the bugs have been ironed out. Going straight into the new system shows the arrogance and cluelessness of those in charge

I have implemented various computer systems in my finance based line of work - they never work 100% on day 1 and you absolutely HAVE to get as many issues resolved before going live, certainly with workarounds while major bugs are resolved.

Silly question but where did this system come from? Is it some overpriced bespoke shoehorned piece of software some genius thought would be suitable or an off the shelf product?


New accounting system?

SAP has been running for well over 11 years when it replaced the old LAFIS accounting system.

It's nothing to do with poor implementation, poor training or poor change management - it's simple inertia and the usual story of people refusing to change because they want to protect their own little empires and because they think they are "different" to every other States department.


It's a German accounting system (originally Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung) that used to run on mainframes in the 1970s.

It actually does what it's supposed to do as an accounting and purchasing system - but whoever heard of States departments all operating in the same way?

By the time they achieve "full implementation" technology (and the real business world) will have moved on...


As an historical footnote, SAP was originally implemented in Sir Charles Frossard House in the early 2000s back in the days of the Advisory & Finance Committee.

One of the planned major benefits was for co-ordinated & centralised purchasing.

As a corporate purchaser the States could flex its spending power and save lots (and I mean LOTS) of real money by bulk purchasing everything from paper clips to PC's.

I suppose there are still States employees who convene for an hour's meeting and a good old chat around the houses to debate the various technical merits of buying six PC's and a printer.

And of course, they have to make their own decisions and won't be told what to do by anyone will they?

By the way, no computerised accounting system is rocket science - in fact it's one of the first computer applications ever developed for the business world - and they've been running quite successfully now for well over 50 years.

Below decks with the whiners. Hoist the main sail and full steam ahead I say!