When your business is finding its monolithic ERP to be squashing it’s growth to success, the idea of migrating to a new platform can be scary. Amtico International had just this issue but with Easy On Boarding, they were able to lift and switch with no downtime.
“We had outgrown our existing system and expanding our IT capabilities to continue on premise was not a good investment for us. We need to concentrate on our core business and leave 24/7 ERP vigilance to the experts.” Simon Smith, Head of IT, Amtico
Company makes upgrade leap using easy on boarding
The company: Amtico International
For over 50 years Amtico has been designing, innovating and manufacturing flooring that is not only beautiful but flexible, durable and sustainable. As a leader in the specialty residential and commercial flooring market, the company is professionally respected, industry accredited and advocated by designers, contractors and architects alike.
Amtico International — a subsidiary of the U.S. based Mannington Mills, Inc. — is headquartered in the United Kingdom with operations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia employing approximately 500 people around the world.
The challenge: an ageing on premise ERP system in a growing company
Amtico used QAD’s ERP solution on premise for a number of years across its sites. Since joining Mannington Mills, Amtico’s product portfolio has grown and become more complex, their customer base larger and their supply chain more intricate.
As a global manufacturer, Amtico recognized that they could improve their operational efficiency and realise cost savings by upgrading their ERP solution and migrating to the cloud at their sites in the United Kingdom, Germany and Hong Kong.
Some of the areas Amtico knew they could benefit from an upgrade included:
- Customer Service – As the company grew Amtico needed to ensure there would be no administrative disruptions that would impact customer engagement.
- Responsive Supply Chain – With the increasing complexity of the supply chain, diversification of customers and expansion into developing markets, Amtico knew they needed supply chain improvements to handle flexibility and fast turn-arounds.
- Procurement – It was critical for Amtico to ensure they would always have the right product available at the right time.
- Streamlined Manufacturing – Escalating pricing competition required reducing costs, which meant streamlining their manufacturing process where possible.
- Information – Amtico knew they needed real time and relevant information to support business decisions and to support all their employees. This would be vital for driving improvements through the business.
QAD conducted a Q-Scan evaluation of Amtico’s on premise ERP system and determined that Amtico’s business and current ERP system were not aligned.
There were many manual processes in place, a duplication of effort, and some limitations in visibility of operations — resulting in siloed information and external systems including multiple spreadsheets.
All of this was time consuming, increased the risk of errors, endangered data integrity and restricted access to management information.
To keep up with its rapid growth, the company also needed information to be real time, delivering the right information to the right people at the right time.
With limited IT resources available to manage an upgraded on premise ERP system, QAD estimated the cost of delay to Amtico was £10,000 and 325 hours of operational efficiencies per month.
“Our business goals include increasing our product portfolio, growing our customer base and expanding into new geographies and sectors,” comments Andrew Elsby-Smith, finance director.
“We had outgrown our existing system and expanding our IT capabilities to continue on premise was not a good investment for us. We need to concentrate on our core business and leave 24/7 ERP vigilance to the experts,” comments Simon Smith, head of IT.
The solution: Upgrading to QAD Cloud ERP using easy on boarding
The upgrade began with the QAD project manager detailing QAD Easy On Boarding (EOB) in the first meeting.
QAD EOB utilises standard QAD processes which are introduced in a series of workshops. QAD EOB is designed to provide the company with a roadmap to follow through every stage of the upgrade. The workshops are also used to acquaint users with all the aspects of QAD Cloud ERP including new capabilities and key modules which are updated versions of those Amtico used in their previous QAD ERP system.
The planning phase sets the groundwork for the implementation and includes finalising all of the control documents. This also ensures the implementation teams (QAD and Amtico’s) know what is required, the expected timing and who has responsibility for specific tasks.
“QAD EOB was the key that gave us a good sense of where we were going. The planning stage gave us a head start with good building blocks to work from,” remarks Martin Stott, project manager.
Moving into design and configuration, QAD Services worked with Amtico’s project team finalising business processes, process roles and responsibilities. The project team members were trained by QAD using specific Easy On Boarding training documents and work instructions. These were amended where required to meet specific Amtico needs.
During this period the Amtico team worked on data cleansing and the migration of dynamic data from the old database to the new.
“Working with the data and ensuring that all the information was in the best shape and migrated correctly was the hardest part of this process,” notes Simon Smith.
“We used quite a bit of QAD resources with the data process and some ‘hot off the press’ QAD tools,” adds Simon Smith. “It would have been very difficult without the resources. It was invaluable having an experienced QAD person on the data extraction loads.”
The design phase also included process mapping in workshops. The Operations and Finance teams had many discussions and engagements working through some of the challenges Amtico had been struggling with before the upgrade. This collaborative approach helped gain support with users and not just acceptance but enthusiasm for the new system.
“The QAD EOB approach in the workshops worked very well in terms of explaining what QAD Cloud ERP could do, while also allowing the users to interact with the consultant,” continues Martin Stott. “The upgrade was also very successful in terms of being able to remove the majority of customizations that existed on the old system.”
Once the processes were determined and the data migrated, the upgrade moved into the testing phase and then ‘go live.’
“’Go live’ went astonishingly well,” notes Simon Smith. ”The day we went live everything was working as expected.”
“QAD Easy On Boarding had the greatest impact on the entire upgrade process,” states Martin Stott. “We carried the EOB methodology all the way through and it provided a very good framework for managing the project. We tailored QAD Cloud ERP where needed and EOB managed the process quite efficiently. EOB gave us the direction to do what we needed to do from the start to the finish.”
“It was a very successful implementation,” adds Simon Smith.
The benefits: savings, efficiencies, scalability, accessible data, 24/7 cloud support
By upgrading to QAD Cloud ERP, Amtico has realised savings of more than 330 man hours per month including:
- More than 80 hours per month saved due to better visibility into customer orders, availability of information and improved order acknowledgement capabilities
- Time savings of more than 114 hours per month as a result of improved inventory management and reporting
- A 50% time reduction in period end reporting
Amtico estimates the cost savings as a result of the upgrade to be over £119,000 savings per year. In addition, Amtico now has scalable process maps in place and adaptable for future possibilities. Users, customers, products and country-specific compliance, language and support functionality can be easily added.
Company-wide, communication and access to real time data has resulted in reporting tasks that used to take 20 minutes being done in 20 seconds – multiplied many times across many areas of the company.
Manual processes, siloed information and reliance on spreadsheets or offline systems have been eliminated. Data is now error free, easy to access and kept in one database with access controls for Amtico’s various locations around the world.
“From a technical point of view we’ve moved from an environment that was very heavily dependent on internal specialists to keep it running. People who aren’t available 24/7,” concludes Simon Smith. “What we have now is a system that runs 24/7 using QAD experts. To provide that kind of service internally as Amtico grows would have been a huge cost that we would not have been able to support.”
“Having the best products and the right ERP system makes us a good business to do business with. Great products, great people, great processes.”
Andrew Elsby-Smith, Finance Director