Hagemeyer dumps legacy system in supply chain rollout

Multinational electronics distributor Hagemeyer Electrical Group (HEG) is completing a national supply chain system rollout as part of a global project to standardise distribution.

With Australian headquarters in Sydney, the Netherlands-based electronics and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) products and services distributor has a presence in 13 Asia-Pacific countries and 2463 employees in the region.

Describing the critical nature of the company's core business systems, Australian CIO Kerry McDermott said: "The last time my team brought the company's systems up five minutes late, I was given absolute hell for it. Today, organisations just can't afford for this to happen."

The company's local operation provides complete IT coverage across Australia, covering 200 sites.

The company's ICT team of 30 architected the new Australian IT infrastructure which has been adopted in most offices worldwide.

Formerly of Heinz Australia, McDermott's first feat when joining the company was to overhaul its legacy-based distribution planning system.

McDermott said the company has so far invested $US100 million worldwide in Movex.

He said the challenge was to phase out a 13-year-old legacy system and 85 applications previously used to manage supply and distribution processes. Even more pressing for the business was that it processed orders for 120 products distributed in Australia, equating to 10,000 invoices processed daily. The company also needed a system reliable enough to process product order and pricing data entry for 20,000 new products added to its inventory each quarter.

"Everyone was running their own systems and some had their own Unix boxes, and when they fell over, no one noticed or cared," McDermott said.

Responsible for completing end-to-end testing of the ERP rollout (MRO4all), McDermott said the team handled most of the grunt work in testing four iterations of Movex within a Citrix environment, and earlier this year went live with all the backend software.

Since then, McDermott and his team have rolled out five test branch sites. More recently, Hagemeyer went live with Movex in its Kingsgrove-based Australian distribution centre in Sydney's southern suburbs.

The key achievement of the implementation has been an economic delivery of ERP and standardised office systems like Lotus Notes.

The company's network was constructed across a dedicated frame relay network with 1800 thin clients and around 200 fat clients and 100 laptops.

McDermott said the next goal in the ERP project is to roll the system out to another 190 sites in Australia.

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