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Pilkington gets flexible with Infor

Pilkington, the global glass manufacturer, is poised to go live with Infor software designed to predict demand for its auto-glass aftermarket, after the firm found the required level of functionality was not available in its core enterprise resource planning system.

Since 2004, Pilkington has been using a global SAP system hosted in Germany. However, when it sought to use the system to forecast demand in order to improve inventory planning, the company found the system lacked sufficient flexibility.

"Like many ERP systems, specialist functionality like demand and inventory planning is not sufficient for complex businesses like ours, and we sought a best-of-breed solution to complement our core ERP platform," said Mike Ball, director of projects for Pilkington Automotive Glass Replacement.

Pilkington is investing £250,000 in implementing Infor's SCM Demand Planning system alongside SAP to improve its demand forecasting and reduce inventory.

The glass manufacturer required forecasting processes based on true demand, which includes orders and enquiries, and which had the flexibility to manage its pan-European, multi-channel structure, Ball said.

"Also our supply chain is quite complex. We need to understand how each customer behaves. With Infor SCM, we can model every product for every customer at every location and really see the trends."

Pilkington plans to measure the benefits of the system by reviewing service levels at its Swedish wholesale business and two other customers. "The estimate on this limited basis is that it will pay for itself within nine months," Ball said.

The Infor system uses internal collaboration from sales teams and external forecasts from customers. It runs on an Oracle database with a Windows or browser front end.

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