Dematic Asia Pacific bucks global trend in ERP revamp

Logistics supplier saves $500,000 per year in licensing costs

Tasked with completely revamping the company's ERP environment within three months, Dematic Asia Pacific CIO, Allan Davies, made a bold decision. Even with such a tight deadline, Davies decided to ditch the status quo by not sticking with SAP and betting on a new solutions provider.

Fortunately, the bet paid off and the logistics company had a fully operating ERP system within 90 days with minimal disruption to business flow.

"This project was on top of all our other IT and telecommunications infrastructure projects throughout the region, and we didn't want to compromise on quality," Davies said.

"We needed the ERP installation to meet our business needs not the other way around.

"We were looking down the barrel of a 250-day implementation with SAP but Infor had to be able to cut that time by more than 270 percent to just 90 days."

Dematic implemented Infor's ERP SL (SyteLine) and by not sticking with SAP Davies said the company has saved $500,000 a year in licensing costs.

He said the 90-day deadline was the result of acquisition activity. In late 2006, then-Dematic owner Siemens sold the company to Germany-based Triton.

As part of this deal, Dematic was instructed to complete the separation from Siemens, including all business processes and technology infrastructure, in just 90 days.

After a review of solutions that included the SAP templates used in the company's European and US offices, Dematic bucked the trend by selecting SL to manage all product planning and production processes in the Asia Pacific.

"In a meeting with the finance team and the board, we decided that Infor had the best business fit for purpose against the other solutions," Davies said.

"The decision came down to better Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and manufacturing expertise."

Davies admits there were a few challenges with such a tight timeframe.

For example, the implementation involved extracting data from the previous system.

He said Infor assisted the company to write the databases needed to extract data and upload it into the solution.

SL's data loading facility also contributed to the process, which was completed within two weeks.

"SL also has business-specific functionality suited to Dematic's needs; for example, when the company implemented SAP under Siemens, it needed to spend time installing three separate business templates for products, systems and solutions," he said.

"SL already includes a specific framework that caters to our business needs."

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