12. March 2012
Atherton chooses IFS Applications to put mobility and customer service at the core of ERP system
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announced that Atherton, Australia’s only manufacturer of large infection control equipment and one of the largest manufacturers and installers of commercial kitchen equipment, will implement IFS Applications to put customer service management and mobility at the core of its ERP system.
With a manufacturing base in Melbourne and 65 field technicians offering 24x7 after-sales maintenance and technical support around Australia, Atherton’s 122-year-old business is built around long-term relationships with customers who rely on lifetime equipment service.
Atherton’s business is also built around the use of state-of-the-art technologies to constantly improve its products and services. So when a key piece of technology—a mobile service management solution integrated with its ERP system—became unsupported and had to be decommissioned, Atherton decided to replace both with a single long-term business information platform.
After extensive consultation with 13 leading ERP suppliers and an in-depth evaluation of five ERP solutions, Atherton found only two with a field service management solution 100% developed by the supplier.
“If after-sales service is a core part of your plan, then you have to be extremely diligent in your selection of an ERP solution. There are not many ERP vendors that have service management and mobility as part of their core DNA,” said Sean Boston, Atherton Chief Executive Officer. “When we viewed every other ERP system, service management was either bolted onto the system or was a third-party system that had been purchased and integrated. With IFS, you could see that service management was a core component.”
In addition to core Service Management and Mobility components, the new IFS solution will handle Atherton’s Financials, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Project and Contract Management, Customer Orders, Distribution, Maintenance, Document Management and Quality Management.
Offering a complete range of functions on a single information platform—with real-time business intelligence available across Atherton’s operations for the first time—the solution is expected to drive a number of business improvements including:
- Improved service efficiencies with easier access to information covering the entire product lifecycle, from manufacture to installation to maintenance
- Improved visualisation and more timely analysis of demand and capacity across all areas of the business using inbuilt data analysis and enterprise dashboard tools
- Improved shop-floor utilisation with the ability to coordinate project engineering requirements and high-volume product manufacturing in a single system
- More efficient compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Agency (TGA) with Document Management and Quality Management both part of the core ERP system
- Reduction in Quality Assurance overheads with the ability to document process workflows easily within IFS replacing existing procedure manuals and control charts
“Previously, we weren’t able to act on real-time intelligence, it required a manual review of the reports. IFS has an inbuilt ability to act on the data as it happens and that will aid us in improving our efficiencies,” said Boston. “IFS’s project-based manufacturing solution is exactly the type of tool we need to schedule our project engineering requirements through our shop floor, at the same time maintaining production for high-volume infection control products,” he added. “We also anticipate it will reduce our QA overhead significantly by more easily documenting the workflows that are required.”
“Organisations are looking for smart ways to integrate their service management and mobility solutions with their ERP systems,” said Rob Stummer, Managing Director at IFS Australia and New Zealand. “But Atherton realised that if you are serious about after-sales service, then service management and mobility really need to be more than integrated. They should be part of the same flexible and agile enterprise suite, sharing key functionality including finance, human resources and project management.”
About Atherton & Sons
Founded by Fred Atherton in 1889 in Melbourne, the Company has been operated through four generations by the Atherton family. Atherton & Sons is the only Australian manufacturer of medium to large infection control equipment and one of the largest producers of kitchen equipment.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in approximately 60 countries with 2,800 employees in total. Net revenue in 2011 was SKr 2.6 billion.
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