Manufacturing and distribution companies face challenges throughout their supply chain...
IFS Applications 10 upgrade streamlines business processes.IFS Applications 10 upgrade streamlines business processes.">
Fuel cell engineering business, Intelligent Energy, originally implemented IFS Applications 8 in 2015. In October 2017, the company was acquired by Meditor Energy, part of the Meditor Group. The acquisition heralded the start of a new chapter for the business and also presented the perfect opportunity to begin the process of reviewing their IFS solution to ensure the company was operating in the most efficient way, with the most up-to-date business system that would fully meet its needs.
Furthermore, the Oracle database version Intelligent Energy’s current IFS solution was running on was confirmed as ‘end of life’, therefore with support unavailable, change was required.
Intelligent Energy began to look at their spending on IFS. An extensive exercise was carried out, with the support of Cooper Software, where the company considered alternative ERP solutions as a means of potentially saving costs. The outcome however, was that IFS would continue to provide the necessary capability to help the business meet their aspiration to supply tier 1 suppliers in various industry sectors, whilst also preventing the need for a costly vendor migration.
“When the business was restructured it gave us an opportunity to really take stock of our existing IFS solution.” said Lee Coxon, IT Manager at Intelligent Energy. “The people within the business knew how to perform their tasks but were sometimes unclear as to how all processes linked together. What’s more, IFS documentation was sometimes poor and processes and workflows needed refining or in some cases creating from scratch. After a thorough review it was clear that the time was right to begin the process of upgrading to IFS Applications 10.”
Upgrading to the latest version of IFS would allow Intelligent Energy to upgrade their Oracle database version. They would also benefit from enhanced functionality and therefore gain additional cost and business advantages as well as improving the performance of the user interface. What’s more, the upgrade would provide the perfect opportunity to evaluate and change existing processes and workflows, undertake a much-needed re-design of their security model and implement new permission sets, as well as improve knowledge and engagement by up-skilling staff across the business.
The actual upgrade process, taking Intelligent Energy from IFS Applications 8 to Applications 10, was carried out by IFS. Intelligent Energy had already been working with Cooper Software’s IFS Service Desk team for the past 3 years, with the service desk providing a central point for Intelligent Energy to raise escalated IFS queries and issues. Given Cooper Software’s insights into their business and the relationship already in place between the two companies, Cooper Software was appointed to consult on IFS functionality before and during the upgrade.
Cooper Software began working with Intelligent Energy by undertaking a process mapping exercise delivered through a series of workshops, coordinated by Cooper Software’s IFS consultants. It was identified during these workshops that finance and purchasing were the processes which needed the most attention and refinement in advance of an upgrade. During this time, Cooper Software worked closely with Intelligent Energy to gain a full understanding of the current processes with the view to developing and refining them to ensure they were structured in the best possible way for the business in advance of upgrading to IFS Applications 10.
The upgrade process began with the process workshops taking place from February 2019. The actual upgrade started in September 2019 and had a go live date of June 2020, which was achieved.
Benefits of the solution
- Fully integrated solution providing real-time visibility across the entire business.
- Increased expert knowledge of IFS within the business, with deeper understanding.
- Opportunity to re-evaluate and re-design processes, security and permission sets.
- Chance to develop clear processes and associated documentation to allow every department to do their job effectively.
- IFS Lobby and dashboard views ensure everyone has visibility of their role and tasks.
- Full support provided by Cooper Software support desk to continue to educate and up-skill users.