hershey's back on track

Baseline does a nice job of documenting Hershey’s recovery from a disastrous SAP implementation that left them ill-prepared in 1999 for the biggest chocolate holiday of the year, Halloween.

There’s a lot of analysis, but it seems like the simplest cause of the failures was that the software wasn’t set up to accommodate the fact that "inventory" wasn’t always tightly controlled palettes stacked neatly in a warehouse. In the real world, the pre-holiday rush left workers stashing boxes wherever they could find room, including rented warehouses and empty rooms in the facility.

It’s always those little human factors that trip up the software, isn’t it?