Ferrari swerves SAP, adopts Infor LN to meet Chinese demand

Case study

Ferrari swerves SAP, adopts Infor LN to meet Chinese demand

Brian McKenna

Italian sports car maker Ferrari has turned to Infor ERP technology to respond to impatient Chinese and Middle Eastern customer demand.

Ferrari’s owner, Fiat, operates a centralised IT policy that says group companies should standardise on SAP. But chief information officer (CIO) Vittorio Boero and his team took the view that SAP was not going to deliver with the speed and customisation required for such fast-growing economies as China’s.

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Each Ferrari is unique and every customer can customise the car. The company needs a responsive and flexible manufacturing set up, supported by “agile” business software. Customers have been used to waiting 12 months in the past.

Its senior management decided, in 2011, to update its existing ERP system, which was Baan IV [absorbed by Infor, which acquired SSA, which acquired Baan in 2003], to Infor LN

Ferrari first chose Baan IV for ERP in 1998 for its production plant, covering the main production processes for sports cars, racing cars and spares.

Ferrari has split the Infor implementation project into phases covering its sports car manufacture, finance, spare parts and Grand Prix divisions.

The company feels LN is suited to the organisational and operational model of Ferrari since it provides flexibility and automotive industry specific functionality. 

LN, it says, has the “capability to build individual custom configured vehicles in sequence, yet maintain high operating line efficiencies and full sequencing with the supply chain."

IT now works, says the company, “hand in hand with new physical manufacturing technology, with the new set up going live in June 2012."

The Infor LN implementation was completed for Ferrari’s V8/V12 engine in December 2012, and will be rolled out in February 2013 for the V6 engines, the company says.

Boero says: “We are much happier with our new IT infrastructure. It was the right decision to begin with a careful analysis of our existing processes, identifying the specific weak points and how they could best be tackled. 

"We are also focused on bench marking so that we know we have a system that delivers some of the best manufacturing processes used by high-end car manufacturers."


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