A&L opens a window to new sales opportunities

Tailored solution configures orders in 30 seconds

A&L Windows has completed an ERP upgrade to meet its five-day turnaround for customer orders.

The company's CFO, Darrell Bramley, said the goal was to speed up the sales order process and plans are now underway to introduce online services to customers.

The Australian-owned company first introduced Infor's ERP SyteLine in 2005 following a 12 month assessment of the market.

"The system has revolutionised the way we work. The fact it could be implemented and then upgraded in short timescales was also a big plus for us as a high volume sales company," Bramley said.

Keen to remain in control of its ERP system, A&L Windows worked closesly with Infor to understand how SyteLine was configured to ensure an efficient upgrade process down the track.

As a result, A&L Windows was able to undertake its recent upgrade with minimal cost and only a day's input from Infor Professional Services.

The ERP system now allows A&L Windows to configure complex orders quickly, while avoiding the manual errors that occurred with the previous paper system.

A&L Windows project manager, Dale Phillips, said due to the complexity of the orders, a flexible and tailored solution was needed.

"This system can configure a 30 window order in under 30 seconds," Phillips said.

"The ability to be in control of our own system was also a key factor. We were able to upgrade the system ourselves in less than eight weeks with only one day of time needed from Infor.

"It is rare to find a service provider that will give you enough insight into a system to do this."

The company is now looking to use the system to enable it to provide online services to its customer base.

Another priority is giving employees remote access to the system to respond to queries on the road.

For smaller to medium sized organizations, ERP implementations often come down to pricing and implementation costs, according to Infor Pacific region managing director, James Brackenrig.

The company has picked up 128 customers in the region in the last quarter and Brackenrig claims this is due to one key differentiator.

"The fundamental difference is that other vendors will have one solution that is customized for each vertical, we have multiple solutions for different verticals," he said.

Put simply, its about finding the right fit.

Analysts claim ERP software is racing to stay ahead of the commoditization of its basic functionality, with additional pressure coming from hosted solutions.

"ERP is no longer strategic," according to Josh Greenbaum, principle at Enterprise Applications Consulting.

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