Bemis, one of the world's largest manufacturers of bathroom fittings, has rolled out an enterprise resource planning system to standardise its business processes.
Efficiencies created by the system are expected to lead to stock level reductions of up to 50%.
The company, which supplies bathroom fittings to DIY stores including B&Q, Homebase and Plumb Centre, has moved from Strategix enterprise software and bespoke AS/400 applications run regionally to a single, central IFS system.
The IFS applications suite, comprising customer relationship management, supplier relationship management and enter- prise resource planning applications, has enabled Bemis to improve forecasts and collaborate more closely with customers, the company said.
The system has also allowed the company to link its UK and Italian manufacturing plants. Lee Oddie, financial director at Bemis, said, "Data from the two plants was previously separate. Now our Italian company can check UK stock and vice versa."
He said visibility of stock levels would enable Bemis to reduce stock levels in the Italian plant by 50% and in the UK by up to 20%, representing a saving of up to £275,000.
Oddie hopes to make greater use of IFS over the next six months to allow Bemis customers to place and review orders using EDI and web-access.
The IFS applications are hosted in a datacentre in Wisconsin in the US. Accessed via a wide area network, they run on IBM x345, x355 and HS20 servers and are deployed in a thin client configuration using Citrix and Windows 2003. The back-end database is Oracle 10g.