Chief Industries goes live with IFS Enterprise Explorer
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announces that Chief Industries, Inc. (“Chief”) one of the early adopter customers, has gone live with the IFS Enterprise Explorer (IEE) user interface. Chief, a leading world-wide multi-product manufacturer of pre-fabricated steel buildings and grain systems, is now using IEE in three production divisions and will roll-out across the 10 remaining divisions of the company in different stages.
As well as improved usability with its existing IFS Applications, Chief also expects to experience productivity gains with a quick, simple way of managing over fourteen million documents residing in the organization.
IEE is the first deliverable from IFS’ Aurora program – the company’s long term commitment to user productivity. It uses familiar concepts from web browsers and a thinking that “less is more” to create a user interface that is intuitive to pick up and productive to use. New navigation technologies such as adaptable link pages, contextual breadcrumb navigation, and visual recent screens makes it easier for users to find their way around the application, and a “google”-like search function uses keywords rather than complex queries. Built-in collaboration tools such as rich media notes and task management support dynamic and agile ways of working. In-application document viewing for common file types such as PDF and Word, single-click integration with Office applications and the ability to integrate mashups and other web content makes IEE a natural part of digital working environment.
Chief joined the early-adopter program in May 2008 and has been piloting IEE since November 2008. Throughout the pilot phase, Chief logged user feedback, case scenarios and suggested functionality changes to optimize the solution’s performance. The company worked closely with IFS since joining the early-adopter program, meeting regularly with the developers both in person and via collaborative online meeting tools, such as openIFS, a real-time, online forum for the IFS community, to discuss their evaluations of the product and request alternative features and functionality to best suit their needs.
“Technology and productivity is vital in all aspects of our company. The early adopter program was an exciting opportunity for us to help create and influence the development of a cutting-edge application that will move us into the future. Enterprise Explorer has great potential to change the way we work with our business processes using IFS Applications, and we were delighted to be able to work with IFS to enhance the application further,” said Jay Gnuse, ERP project manager of Chief.
“Its intuitive and ergonomic interface appeals to both casual and power users and has dramatically reduced training times. Casual users will be able to work more independently while the power user can take advantage of IEE’s more advanced features. We have been impressed by the level of support we have received by IFS throughout the testing period and look forward to rolling out IEE across the entire business.”
IFS AB President and CEO Alastair Sorbie said: “We developed IFS Enterprise Explorer to revolutionize enterprise software interfaces. Developments in consumer technology, particularly web browsing, made it clear that slow and hard to use enterprise software interfaces were no longer acceptable for businesses. Search difficulties and poor navigation are two key areas addressed by our innovative solution, taking the nuances of data held in the application into consideration to deliver second-to-none search and usability results. Chief involvement in the early adopter program has been invaluable in helping us develop a tool that will drastically improve productivity for all our customers.”
IFS Enterprise Explorer will be available for general release in July 2009.
 Launched in 2008, openIFS is a collaborative community for everyone with an interest in IFS and IFS Applications. Customers, partners and IFS employees are invited to participate in the virtual community to share best practice and tips.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a fully-integrated, component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. The company has more than 2,000 customers in more than 50 countries and focuses on seven main industries: aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail & wholesale distribution, and construction contracting & service management. IFS has 2,700 employees and net revenue in 2008 was SKr 2.5 billion.