Battery and storage media manufacturer Maxell is using its UK IT team to help roll out enterprise resource planning systems to its global operations as part of a worldwide implementation of ASW software from IBS.
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The ability of the ASW system to cope with accounting standards across the world meant that implementing it has cost about a third of what it would have cost to use software from a larger ERP supplier, said Martyn Lloyd, European IT manager at Maxell. It has also been cheaper to support.
"In the beginning we were quite surprised that a little-known software company could meet our requirements in every country. Some other suppliers had problems with finances in some locations, but ASW covered accounting practices in all countries," Lloyd said.
Maxell, which has global sales of £1bn a year, made the decision to go global with ASW in 2004 and expects to finish the implementation next year. The UK has been a model for the roll-out since the system was first used in this country in 2000.
After success with ASW in the UK, the company decided to standardise at a European level, which was completed in 2004. "We wanted to have a common system for Europe and were struggling with the existing systems in some countries," said Lloyd.
Because Maxell factories are highly standardised, the IT team in the UK has been able to apply its experience in the European and global implementations.
Following the European implementation, Maxell decided to go worldwide with ASW, rather than try to upgrade the software it had been using in the Far East. The system has gone live in Malaysia and Hong Kong, and it will go live in Shanghai and Mexico in the next few months.
In Europe, the system has already delivered business benefits, Lloyd said. "We have reduced staff in offices as the administration is easier and orders can be processed more quickly," he said. The company also hopes to reduce inventory using the IBS system, Lloyd added.