Infor ERP Baan IV – A Proved Industrial Solution

Cooperation that crosses company borders is another step to optimizing business processes. Because flourishing companies more and more tightly cooperate with their customers and suppliers to be able to supply required products „just in time“. They use the Internet to exchange relevant information. Cooperation is becoming an important factor of success, integration a necessity, and the information a competitive advantage.

Using the Internet a customer can now easily and quickly compare different offers. In the near future a customer himself will dictate the exact configuration of his product in a wide range of market segments. More and more the companies have to respond to this situation by producing small quantities of goods and make-to-order goods to be able to win new customers and retain existing customers in the future.
The increasing force of customers and their increasing focus on short delivery terms, delivery on time and individual service have a impact on all who participate in the value making chain: from material suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors up to retailers. They all face the necessity of communicating efficiently, responding to changes in demands and making prompt and right decisions even in environments having multiple sites and companies.
Along with this there is a growing demand on speeding up business processes and organizing common business procedures crossing the company borders. Barriers between suppliers and manufacturers or between manufacturers and customers disappear because in the value-making network there must be free information flows.
Collaborative Commerce. This allows the companies to cooperate efficiently with their business partners, simple integration of using and fluent exchanging of the information crossing the company borders.

Collaborative Commerce in the value-making network

Within the Collaborative Commerce suppliers, manufacturers and distributors closely cooperate. A supply chain becomes a value-making network with common business processes whose activities are synchronized across the company borders. Integrated using and fast exchanging of the information facilitate the cooperation. An „extended company“ becomes reality.

Material and information flow control becomes essential for every manufacturing company. Processes necessary for this are more and more complex because with decreasing production volumes the number of participants is growing. In addition to this, customers expect shorter and shorter delivery times. The companies therefore have to speed up the production and increase efficiency. The products should preferably be configurable, and the production becomes dependent on customer wishes. More and more factors influence whether all materials and components necessary for making a product arrive at the right time and the right place. A sequential supply chain can no longer secure this. Structures linked into a network are required that will actively include all companies that participate in value making. A properly working value-making network helps you optimize manufacturing, distribution and service processes, and thus increase your efficiency. When you correlate your activities with activities of your business partners, this will result in common business processes that will help you put your products in the market faster than your competitors and meet your customers’ requirements more accurately.
The Internet is the most efficient tool for common business processes since it allows cooperation on a common basis and makes proper information available for all people in the value-making network. In the future it will therefore be necessary to merge all information relevant for your staff while it will not be necessary for everyone to understand and use all business applications and data sources laid on the basis. Or more plainly, help your staff and business partners to focus on their key tasks: „to get to the point“ as we in Baan say.

Common Business Processes

In the future the importance of common business processes will grow in all industry sectors: automotive, high-tech and electronics, telecommunication as well as aeronautics and cosmonautics. Looking closer to those sectors’ requirements we can see their tending to make-to-order production and individual services, which brings a necessity of applying new business cooperation models.

Automotive

For some time the automotive sector has been working with narrowly structured supply chains integrated across several levels. A car manufacturer stands at the head of such chain. Next relation is a first-level supplier who supplies the car manufacturer with components and parts ready for fitting in. Producers of accessories and dealers are other important participants in the value-making chain.
The automotive sector thus makes up a complex system that has to organize multi-part supply levels efficiently. It is just this sector that has to take into account also a number of other economic, political and environmental restrictions. Only those companies in the automotive industry that extend their business methods with internet features and common business processes will be flexible enough to survive in this market sector.

Nearest Future Challenges

  • Overall sector reconstruction
  • Globalization accelerating
  • Cutting development and delivery cycles
  • Building a functional e-commerce system for accelerated and extended processing of customer orders

High-tech & Electronics

The high-tech & electronics sector covers discrete manufacturers (OEM and suppliers) of computers and peripheral devices, industrial electronics, communication devices, semiconductors, electronic components and accessories. Especially the demand for smaller, faster and easily portable products speeds up tending towards the miniaturization and integration. Shorter and shorter lifecycles of products and increasing demands on the innovation and high quality of products are another challenges. To keep pace with small vendors and big competitors, using business processes across the common value-making network becomes necessity.

Nearest Future Challenges

  • Fast technological changes
  • Keen competition
  • Low margins
  • Customer wishes as an important sector driving force

Telecommunication

In the telecommunication sector a real revolution has set in: supranational companies supersede state-owned monopolies, and new services like mobile networks, media, Internet, call-centers and data communication supersede the traditional telephone services. Services offered by telecommunication companies thus range from a limited portfolio of special services to a limited spectrum of complete services. Common business processes and cooperation are success essentials since the telecommunication sector is driven by the challenge to make a customer available every time and everywhere.

Nearest Future Challenge

  • Consolidation, assumption, competition
  • Fast introduction of new technologies (DSL/ADSL, WAP, UMTS)
  • Focus on customer services and customer relationship
  • Offering new services via the existing radio and land networks
  • Shorter market-entry times

Aeronautics and Cosmonautics

This sector covers discrete manufacturers of aircrafts, guided missiles, spaceships and such components as driving mechanisms, driving units, take-off vehicles and auxiliaries. All leaders in this sector have already restructured their businesses and focus more on direct competence and tighter partnership in supplier chains to cut market-entry times and increase efficiency. Two essential objectives of that restructuring have been reached and are reached mainly by means of common business processes across the value-making network: integration of the know-how of all the participants and maintaining measures associated with critical outputs for each task.

Nearest Future Challenges:

  • Commercialization
  • Consolidation
  • Globalization
  • Cutting costs, while observing legal rules

Collaborative commerce control

All these market trends and movements bring new chances since the collaborative commerce offers a number of still unused possibilities, provided the business processes are optimally managed.

Cooperation

Efficient cooperation in the value-making network is only possible provided every participant has tools available that he needs to cooperate in the common overall process. This requires a common technological platform: Internet. Most people are familiar with the web technology that can be provided to large numbers of users worldwide minimum costs. It is a global standardized technology that, using a simple viewer, allows access to a variety of information. Collaborative commerce solutions use all these benefits for integrating partial processes and providing information.

Integration

The collaborative commerce requires the integration of applications for a variety of tasks including production control, financial control, distribution control and transport control. Origins of those applications must be of no importance since the business partners are independent companies that may have different IT strategies. Trouble-free integration of already existing systems and applications is thus a key factor of all solutions.

Information

Business processes in the economy linked into a network require trouble-free and fast flow of information between all participants. Having more and more information becomes necessity for a growing number of people, while we have to face a continuous flow of data and facts from all over the world. The objective is to process them so that everybody can see just what he/she needs to make right decisions. Individually adjustable portals offer this, and proactively supply the users with relevant real-time user-specific data from all applications.

Infor ERP Baan IV: A proved solution for industrial sectors

Infor ERP Baan IV offers you solutions using which you can link an internal partial process and a process that crosses company borders into a general overall process. Covering all business partners of your extended company: Simply, efficiently and unfailingly.

Infor ERP Baan IV belongs to a generation of products based on proved technologies and longtime experience in integrated and linked business solutions. Infor ERP Baan IV, as a base, is extended with a number of additional products in such areas as Infor Supply Chain Scheduler and Planner, Infor Supply Chain Management (SCM), Infor Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Infor Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Infor Collaborative Order Management, Infor Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), and Infor Corporate Performance Management (CPM).

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