A France-based world leader in interconnect solutions wanted a robust end-to-end solution to not only manage its complex, manufacturing and supply chain processes but to also analyze data to understand the changing needs of the business, thereby ensuring that it would retain its number 1 position as the market leader.
NDZ’s team of experts developed a customized, cutting-edge ERP application—MFG Pro—that integrated all the essential processes in one solution, from analytics, customer management, supply chain, financials, manufacturing, etc. for the $350 million connection giant which has close to 3,000 employees worldwide. It enabled the company to manage the business while automating many back-office functions related to technology, services, and human resources.
We at NDZ went beyond the client’s expectations and provided the company with a high-level integration between an acquired third party system and the adopted ERP process. This helped the management to gain insights into changing business needs and formulate appropriate steps to stay ahead in the industry.
Every successful manufacturing company is made up of many complex and dynamic processes that are well-integrated into the final outcome. The management not only has to keep track of and streamline the production but also monitor inventory, procurement, warehousing, supply chain, human resources, and accounting, just to name a few integral functions. To effectively manage such an intricate process-oriented system, every manufacturing establishment needs robust and comprehensive information & resource management system. We at NDZ have recognized this need and have built an integrated system of applications to manage the business along with automating many back-office functions related to technology, services, and human resources.
Our client, based in France, is a world leader in the interconnect solutions market with a strong culture of operational excellence. The USP of the company is a strong R&D team that designs, manufactures, and supplies interconnect solutions to be used in the harshest of environments. Its products are used in several industries such as aviation, defense, space, energy, and transportation. The company is among the first manufacturing units to implement NDZ’s flagship ERP software specifically designed for the manufacturing business, MFG Pro, which integrated all the essential processes in one solution, from analytics, customer management, supply chain to financials, manufacturing and more.
Pre-implementation of ERP
ERP implementation and adoption might seem time-consuming and daunting, but proper planning and sheer diligence can ensure that the business can drive through it seamlessly. The success of an effective ERP system is not only dependent on its proper implementation but on many other factors as well.
Analysts have found that roughly 75% of ERP projects fail because of poorly defined goals for the ERP software. Thus pre-implementation studies are of utmost importance. It helps in figuring out which of the existing problems need to be solved, the selection of the best-suited software, how to manage issues that could arise in maintenance and the need for additional investment for upgrading the internal hardware.
This is the first step towards adopting a well-planned end-to-end ERP system. This also helped the company specify the governance process such as knowing the team roles and individual responsibilities. A successful pre-implementation study was key to avoiding the ‘panic-zone’ for the business, post an ERP implementation.
Post Implementation Review
Almost everyone focuses on the final ERP implementation event and considers the application complete at that point. Post-implementation activities that usually occur within the very first year prove to be the real return of investment from ERP. NDZ ensured the seamless integration of all the departments into the ERP system.
One of the most important factors tackled was employee resistance to adopting the new ERP system as they were accustomed to manual processes. Thus, it was imperative to handhold and guide the staff during post-implementation training and support. These sessions provided important insights into how the project was executed and provided us with views of the team members on what all worked and what all did not. Key adoption issues, such as abandonment by the users that are affected, can be combatted early on with the help of a feedback mechanism provided by NDZ’s post-implementation review. This helped in reworking the new system to accommodate for the deficiencies, thus leading to the creation of a more robust ERP system.
ERP systems need constant care and feeding. There may arise a need to support the integration of additional systems, loading of other non-critical data, or even application of standard software maintenance releases. All of these were planned for, scheduled and put into a step-by-step deployment structure that allowed for an ongoing innovation of the ERP system without significant user interruption.
Business exists in an ever-changing climate, where they have to evolve to meet the new demands of the customer. This leads to the introduction of new products and services, changes in business models, etc. No single ERP system can address all the future requirements of a firm. This may cause organizations to become dissatisfied with their ERP systems because it no longer presents the true state of the business.
If an ERP is not analyzed for performance on an ongoing basis, it can become stagnant, or in a worst-case scenario, actually hinder the organization as it does not help keep the business profitable. Thus it was critical to conduct regular ERP optimization processes to identify deficiencies and improve the system to correct them. This also helped NDZ to deal with project management problems, testing issues and obstacles in maintenance to ensure a seamless automated process, centralized data collection, easy workflow visualization, and an overall reduction in human error.
To simply collect data these days is no longer enough; it is imperative to analyze the data to gain business insights that help make strategic decisions. This led to the need for a high-level integration between the acquired third party system and the existing ERP. We successfully integrated the Business Intelligence suite IBM Cognos with MFG Pro for the client. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence suite provided a wide range of functionality to help the management easily understand the organization’s data in the form of customizable business intelligence dashboards. It helped the company leaders to connect with critical information and data at a glance. Users could now view or create business reports, analyze data, and monitor events and metrics so that they can make effective business decisions to stay ahead of the game.
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