Going Agile with SAP


By Suzanne Mallette

IT Portfolio Manager
Commercial Metals Co.

Irving, Texas, USA

CMC Background

Founded in 1915, Commercial Metals Company and its subsidiaries recycle, manufacture, and market steel and metal products and related materials through a network of locations around the world. CMC is an efficient, high-quality, low-cost producer. With a high degree of vertical integration and is organized into five business segments across two geographic divisions:

CMC Americas:  Americas Recycling, Americas Mills, Americas Fabrication

CMC International:  International Mill, International Marketing & Distribution

Complexity of the Business and Business Drivers for Change

CMC has been on SAP since 2008 with approximately 5000 users. We are a full SAP shop and have implemented a wide range of SAP products. The division that undertook the SAP implementation using Agile is unique because it is unlike other areas of the company since profits are made on both the purchase from the vendor and the sale of scrap material to the end user.

Through contract negotiations on the buy and sell side, unique pricing models exist depending on the vendor/buyer relationship which can include the type of scrap material being purchased and sold. The legacy system the division was previously on was not sufficient for these intricate pricing transactions and left the division managing these contracts manually, through spreadsheets, and required triplicate entries into the legacy system, once for the purchase and another for the sale, then manual reconciliation of the transaction(s) were sent to the vendor or buyer of the scrap materials.

The business driver for change was to streamline their business processes and reduce the effort of data intake and entry processes. Additionally, the division wanted a system that provided a solution for intake that allowed minimal redundancy, eliminated the need for spreadsheets to manage data entry and pricing, and to move off of their legacy system and onto SAP.  The benefits of moving to a new system outweighed remaining in the legacy system and included full automation of their pricing models; reduce risk of errors with manual processes and re-alignment of resources to a more sales focused role.  The ability to drive automation with an end to end solution in place would also allow better reporting capabilities to support better business decisions.  There is a history of unsuccessful attempts at moving this division within CMC from their legacy system to SAP because of their complex business model. The business was apprehensive on giving more time but they come to a point where an increase in overhead with more staff would be required if new business was taken on.


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 10th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in August 2016.  It is republished here with permission of the author and conference organizers.



About the Author

Suzanne Mallette

Commercial Metals Co.
Irving, TX, USA


Suzanne Mallette
, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-PMP, CSM, is IT Project Portfolio Manager with Commercial Metals Company in Irving, Texas, USA. Background includes a combined 16 years’ experience implementing ERP systems and managing projects. Suzanne has an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington and a BA in Management Information Systems from Texas Wesleyan University and holds certifications as a Certified Scrum Master, PMIACP and PMP.  She can be contacted at [email protected]