ERP players try to get sweet with CSR Sugar

A final decision is still pending to determine which ERP solution CSR Sugar will select to replace its 20-year-old VAX-based system.

Computerworld understands the sugar milling company plans to introduce a new ERP system in the next 12 months and vendors being considered for the deal include SAP and JD Edwards. Microsoft's Axapta software is also being reviewed.

CSR is currently completing the rollout of asset management software to support seven sugar mills in Queensland.

The software, dubbed Mainet, is being provided by Mainpac, which has recently inked deals with Golden Circle and Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

Mainpac's national client services manager, Roger Fielden, said CSR's sugar milling business unit is a beta test partner for Mainet and is participating with another super user in helping specify the functions of the new software.

Fielden said the sugar giant is keen to embrace an enterprise-wide, regionalized approach to the management of its assets and to dramatically refine and streamline the way maintenance is undertaken.

CSR has an annual maintenance budget of around $50 million and employs an estimated 800 maintenance personnel.

The move to improve business processes and utilize IT in Australia's sugar industry has been under enormous pressure from international, low-cost producers, which is driving CSR's decision to improve business processes and make greater use of IT.

CSR's planning superintendent and project manager for the rollout of Mainet, Charles Derlagen, said enterprise-wide functionality to manage assets from a site, region or business unit wasn't available previously.

It follows a restructure at the company which led to staff working across multiple sites, and the integration of maintenance systems with commercial systems.

Derlagen said the management of work orders has been simplified and the choice of an interface based on a standard browser has minimized training requirements. CSR CIO Gary Vickers was unavailable for comment.

JD Edwards alive and kicking

Buyer interest in JD Edwards products has not subsided despite all of the acquisition activity that has plagued the vendor in recent years.

Despite the PeopleSoft acquisition which was followed by Oracle's takeover of both companies, JD Edwards is alive and kicking, according to Oracle managing director Ian White. In fact, JD Edwards installations are continuing with two Australian companies buying the product in the last quarter alone.

JD Edwards users will converge on Melbourne this week to attend the Quest user group conference from February 15 to 17.

Full coverage of the event including a special edition podcast will be available next week at www.computerworld.com.au/live

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