Feature

Filtronic upgrades ERP to boost data integration

Telecoms and radio engineering firm Filtronic Comtek is to transfer its operations in China on to a new enterprise resource planning system following a successful roll-out in the UK.

The company, which makes equipment for mobile phone infrastructure, is in the process of upgrading to Infor’s Syteline ERP system from an older product that was part of Infor’s Manufacturing Essentials suite.

Mike O’Carroll, group IT manager at Filtronic Comtek, said the main improvement in the upgrade was a shift in the database technology behind the ERP software. The legacy system ran on a Progress database, whereas the new system uses Microsoft’s SQL Server.

“Progress is a good database but it is difficult to find the skills to support it. Microsoft SQL Server, on the other hand, is an industry standard and there are a lot of people who understand it, many within the company. It will be easier to maintain in-house,” he said.

As well as reduced support costs, Filtronic Comtek anticipates operational savings and increased efficiency because its manufacturing system, developed in-house, also runs on Microsoft SQL database. “We had ERP on one database and manufacturing on another and it was difficult to exchange data between them,” said O’Carroll.

The Syteline ERP system includes sales order processing, financials, inventory and manufacturing planning and it can be linked to the company’s main manufacturing system.

Since the cost of the software upgrade was covered by Filtronic’s licensing terms with Infor, the main costs of the project came from consultancy and moving to HP Windows 2003 servers.

In February, Syteline was rolled out to Filtronic Comtek’s UK operations, where prototyping and small-scale production takes place. The system will be implemented in the firm’s main manufacturing plants in China later this year.

 

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This was first published in August 2006

 

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