Skip to content
< Back to blog

Harland & Wolff Re-implement IFS to Support Business Growth.

Harland & Wolff Re-implement IFS to Support Business Growth.">

Project Background

Cooper Software have a long-standing relationship with Harland & Wolff having previously implemented IFS Applications 9 and providing consultancy services and bespoke development for several IFS related projects.

Despite Harland & Wolff running IFS Applications 9, the solution had not been fully embraced by the business. Rather than utilising IFS to drive the business forward, it was largely being used to only record transactions. Many processes remained paper-based and some disparate systems were still in operation, particularly in relation to the company’s financial reporting, which was managed by an external accountancy firm using Xero.

Harland & Wolff recognised that they had to improve their systems landscape. The company had recently completed the purchase of three new shipyards: Appledore in North Devon, Methill in Fife and Arnish, close to Stornoway. As a result, there was an immediate need to have the entire company running its operations on a single platform, underpinned by a strong financial backbone, replacing all legacy systems, to improve efficiency and increase visibility across the entire organisation. 

“We were really just using IFS as a record keeping system. It was very retrospective with a lot of paper-based processes still flowing through the business. IFS wasn’t being used to its full potential to enable strategic decision-making or drive the company forward. We were still doing things the way they had always been done, which is not what was intended when we implemented the solution. We were not getting the best value out of the system.” 

IFS Support Lead, Harland & Wolff

Our Solution

Cooper Software were re-engaged, and it was decided that Harland & Wolff would leave IFS Applications 9 behind, and start again with a re-implementation of a new, clean instance of IFS Applications 10 across the entire group of companies. This would allow for a more strategic infrastructure to be developed and create a consistent user interface across all parts of the business. 

Cooper Software set up the basic data within IFS Applications 10 from scratch and only current standard data for parts, customers and suppliers and all open purchase orders, projects and supplier invoices was moved across into the new environment, leaving redundant data behind. IFS was essentially implemented ‘out of the box’, with all CRIMS stripped out alongside all unnecessary and convoluted business processes. The go-live process was phased over two and a half weeks which allowed for all existing data to be checked as it was loaded into the new environment, which removed a lot of risk and ensured that only accurate, current data was used. All redundant data was left behind in IFS Applications 9. The solution is also running on Microsoft Azure, which as a cloud-based offering, allows Harland & Wolff to easily increase the breadth of their deployment as well as scale the number of users as and when required, in line with future business growth.

Since go-live, training has been on-going to build up the internal knowledge of IFS within the business and ensure it is consistently used. Harland & Wolff also has access to Cooper Software’s IFS Support Desk, allowing them to call for expert help to answer any issues that can’t be resolved in-house.

“The project was very much an ‘as-is’ upgrade. We stripped out a lot of customisations, there were processes in 
place with little rationale as to why we were doing things in that way, so we have reverted to standard IFS processes in some areas. We also rolled out purchase requisitions and supplier invoices in-system approvals. This was a paper based process which we have got rid of which has been a massive improvement.” 
- IFS Support Lead, Harland & Wolff.

Benefits of the Solution

• A fully integrated solution implemented across the entire group of companies. 
• Improved efficiency and streamlined processes. 
• Enhanced reporting from all areas of the business. 
• Significantly reduced financial close times. 
• Increased project and cost visibility across the business. 
• Reduced paper and paper-based processes in many parts of the business, particularly around supplier invoice 
approvals and requisition. 

“All group companies are now on IFS, which means that financial reporting in particular is coming from a single 
source, which has made a great difference and removed the need for the 3rd party accountancy firm. The time spent on reconciliation has been removed, visibility is now fantastic as we can see all the companies on a single screen.” 
- IFS Support Lead, Harland & Wolff.