Sandvik Mining and Construction has completed the first stage of an overhaul of its enterprise resource planning systems to enable it to standardise its business processes across 40 countries and keep track of many of its products after sale.
The firm, which manufactures machinery for the mining and construction industries, will roll out Infor's System21 software worldwide following a successful implementation in Norway. It will support all of Sandvik's key business activities, including distribution, service, manufacturing and finance.
The System21 platform used by Sandvik includes a dedicated module developed in a joint venture between Sandvik and Infor to help manage Sandvik's complex aftermarket, which requires the company to record the service history of many of its products.
The development of the servicing module was made possible through a deal that saw Sandvik contribute towards some of the development costs in return for getting first use of its functionality.
The main purpose of Sandvik's global ERP upgrade is to create standard business processes so it can introduce and support a global change management programme from its Swedish headquarters.
Anders Klang, global ERP manager at Sandvik, said the worldwide roll-out of the platform would allow Sandvik to consolidate. "We will have one development team and one development box for the whole company. This will allow central development of the IT processes," he said.
To make the change possible, the company first has to standardise its business processes across 40 countries, but Klang said the IT function was not responsible for this part of the project as line of business managers would act as "template owners".
"The template owners will own the processes and have authority to sign on that," he said.
Klang said the project team was already learning the lessons from the roll-outs in Norway and Sweden.
"We have seen how important it is to be able to absorb this kind of system in the business, to have the necessary changes in the organisation and processes - it is difficult to do that and it has been a learning curve."
Klang said he expected to complete the 40-country roll-out in three or four years.
Sandvik's System21 platform will run on existing IBM iSeries servers with some memory upgrades.
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