Why Eli Lilly Chose SAP

In a large corporation like Eli Lilly, the communication gap between departments was becoming more difficult to bridge. Timely access to the Human Resources has become almost impossible to achieve. Employees have had to go through a long process to access payroll, benefits, and employment that someone had to find a better solution.

Lilly was also trying to keep track of sales and marketing to 156 different countries with some financial systems that were almost 30 years old.  Tom Trainer, CIO of Eli Lilly, had 24 hours to find a solution to globally replace the collapsing financial system. After looking over project summaries of multiple vendors, SAP was proposed to the Operating Committee. In 1996, the SAP project began.

SAP uses modules for each department. They are now calling the different modules “solutions” which is better business term. They have implemented many solution modules including: Payroll, Sales, Manufacturing, Purchasing, and Human Resources. All of these modules functioning together have made administrative work much more efficient. With all of this information in one system, business progress and decline are almost instantly measurable.

According to SAP, security is also a high priority in the development of this software. When a corporation is global, information security is a big issue.  This project was completed six months early and $15 million dollars under budget. SAP has proven to be a stable system that is still the standard for Eli Lilly’s business records.

- This was my part of a group research paper; sources were lilly.com and sap.com.