|Cooling Sails at Bradford College
manufactured and supplied by SPC
When replacing its old enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, S & P Coil Products Ltd (SPC) avoided the traditional approach of installing new software onsite. Instead, the company selected a tailored, hosted and managed SYSPRO ERP system from K3. The cloud delivered ERP solution is provided as a fully managed solution by K3 Managed Services. This method offers many advantages to an onsite installation. These include state-of-the-art hosting, disaster recovery, security, scalability, regular updates and enhancements, plus the benefit of K3 Managed Services providing a one-stop-shop, single point of contact for SPC's business software needs.
SPC is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of heating and cooling equipment to the public and private sector and is based in Leicester, UK. Its product portfolio includes heating/cooling coils, fan convectors, trench heating, radiant panels, radiant conditioning sails, heat pipes and air curtains. In addition to its UK business, SPC has sites in Dubai and Qatar covering the Middle East. As a world leader in heat exchange and heat recovery, SPC is able to provide bespoke solutions and help customers with special requirements and tight project deadlines thanks to its flexible manufacturing approach. IT plays a critical role in the organisation and is necessary for its growing business, hence why the company replaced its old ERP system.
"We needed a solution that would enable SPC to move forward and it was important that the software would adapt to the evolution of the company. We've seen our work volumes increase and SYSPRO will allow us to scale up and improve our efficiencies. This is particularly important as we operate just-in-time business processes and we need these to be effective," says Ali Soomro, MIS Project Manager, SPC.
There are two important data security reasons for opting for a cloud solution reports Ali Soomro: rapid data recovery, as SYSPRO can be fully restored within 24 hours, and limited data loss because the system backs up automatically every 15 minutes. System failures are rare but when they happen K3 Managed Services responds immediately to get the system restored to full operational status. Therefore, system up time is maximised by the virtue of its resilience and the expertise of K3 Managed Services.
Ali Soomro adds: "I wanted to get away from the blame culture associated with ERP systems whereby a problem results in a nonproductive situation where the user's IT department blames the vendor and vice versa. By having K3 Managed Services hosting and managing the SYSPRO deployment for us, we can monitor how effective it is for our business. If there is a problem, we know that K3 Managed Services will resolve it for us. We have 24/7 support and this frees our internal IT team from general system and network management and troubleshooting, which allows them to concentrate on developing our products.
As a growing business, the decision to deploy SYSPRO in the cloud fit in well with SPC's company strategy. As a growing business, SPC is looking to expand even further over the next few years adding workforces in a number of overseas countries. Adding new users to the company IT network is an easy and fast process when using a cloud solution.
The idea of having mobile access to the business IT network is another aspect that appealed to SPC. Thanks to having SYSPRO deployed in the cloud, staff at the company are able to access the network on the go, from their iPads and smart devices and don't always have to have easy access to a computer.
"By having SYSPRO deployed in the cloud, we are able to easily add new sites to the solution. It just makes our whole working infrastructure so much easier. Staff can access the cloud from anywhere on a multitude of devices so it helps us to continue to move forward without having to constantly return to the office for menial administrative tasks."
SPC is constantly updating its stock and adding new products. The company's sales team sells products to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) contractors. Sales staff use a custom product configuration tool that integrates with the company's cloud-based SYSPRO ERP system. This integration allows product developers to update the dimensions and costs of the products that the customer wants. This approach gives SPC a development sandbox that allows the product developers to use the data for prototyping outside of SYSPRO and then transfer it to the system once the work and quote is completed. This retains the integrity of the original data held within SYSPRO.
"It is also very reassuring to know that our data is being looked after offsite in a data centre that is shared by other big businesses and recognised brand owners. It also means that we don't need lots of IT hardware onsite and that experts are looking after our data. This gives us peace of mind at all times."
The new system was introduced in two phases. Phase one was the installation of the cloud-based SYSPRO software and phase two covers the implementation of the hosted data exchange, email system and file storage, converting SPC to a full cloud-based software environment. Such cloud implementations make good business sense to progressive multinational, multi-site organisations as they enable relatively easy integration of each site. This enables relatively easy integration allowing them use of common systems such as email and calendar scheduling and this improves communications. This approach also eliminates 90 per cent of the data security risks that exist with onsite ERP installations.
Phase one saw SPC and K3 Managed Services working closely together to get the software installation completed in only 12 months from start to finish. SPC in Dubai was the first site to go live with the new cloud system, with the UK Leicester site three months later. Phase two is underway, with the objective of having all sites in the cloud by the end of the year. Additional sites such as India will be added as required.
"We have been impressed with SYSPRO since we went live with it in Leicester and in our Middle Eastern offices, So far we have integrated our sites in Leicester, Dubai, Saudi, Qatar and our workshops in the Middle East. We are also looking to expand the business into India. Because we use the solution in the cloud, it is very easy to add new users. We pass on the login details we require to K3 Managed Services and within 30 minutes the new users have access to the system," says Ali Soomro.
Editorial - Ellen Hoefste, Marketing Manager, K3 Syspro on 0161 876 4498 or
Gary Lillistone, Bridge PR & Media Services on 024 76 520025, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About K3 Syspro
K3 Syspro employs 80 people at its Manchester head office and its branches throughout the UK and Ireland. The company offers solutions in enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management, advanced planning and scheduling, warehouse management, human resources and e-business. SYSPRO is used by some 14,500 sites in over 60 countries. K3 Syspro is a division of K3 Business Technology Group, a global leader in providing next-generation enterprise software for businesses in the retail, manufacturing and distribution sectors. With more than 3,000 customer installations in over 30 countries, K3 is recognised as a safe, innovative and reliable provider of world-class solutions, backed by world-class service.