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Microservices Journal Authors: David Sprott, Lori MacVittie, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, John Wetherill

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Instron Implements IFS Applications for Global ERP

IFS Applications is being implemented by Instron, a world-wide leading high tech manufacturer of materials testing equipment. Instron’s global implementation involves five manufacturing sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy and 17 sales/service sites throughout the world.

Instron was looking for a new business system capable of supporting its expected business growth and increased operational needs, while providing attentive, customer-focused communication. Its previous solution was a collection of aged and disparate business systems that was no longer sufficiently supported by the software vendors.

In 2012, Instron began implementation of IFS Applications as its global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system of record. IFS Applications modules to be implemented include: IFS Business Performance, IFS Financials, IFS Distribution, IFS Manufacturing, IFS Engineering/Product Design, IFS Maintenance, IFS Sales and Support, IFS Human Resources and IFS Sales & Marketing (CRM).

“We needed to reduce the risk of failure of a business critical system,” Instron Director of Strategy Development Mark Ritter said. “We needed to improve efficiency via modernized tools and process simplification. And lastly, we needed accurate and timely business data to analyze and improve our business.”

Goals of Instron’s IFS Applications Implementation Project:

  • Reduce business risk by replacing aging business systems with high quality sustainable products supported by reputable companies, with agility for future growth.
  • Improve customer experience by providing support for a world class interaction at every customer touch point.
  • Improve efficiency by simplifying and automating processes, with little need for software customization.
  • Improve competitiveness by providing easily accessible, timely, and global business analysis data at both strategic and tactical levels.

In the pre-selection process, Instron’s business system needs were identified. It was determined the company needed software with additional emphasis on support of multi-company, multi-language, multi-currency, mixed-mode manufacturing, and mixed-mode distribution. Instron determined that top tier Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendors were too big, complex and costly, while many lower tier products could not meet all of their needs.

Instron’s selection process identified a strong similarity between its long term goals and the long term goals of IFS. This, combined with a good functional product fit, led Instron to choose IFS Applications as its new global ERP solution.

“The IFS sales team was very professional throughout our extensive due diligence selection process and was well supported by directors from IFS’ services and technical groups,” Ritter said. “We were impressed by the breadth of the product and the technology underlying it, and even more so by IFS’s customer focused culture as witnessed by the positive feedback from many IFS customers who we personally interviewed.”

The high-tech industry is one of IFS’ targeted vertical markets. IFS offers industry-specific solutions for companies in the electronic equipment, electronic component and semiconductor industries. These solutions support all business processes from design and mixed-mode manufacturing to after-sales support and warranty management. IFS’ high-tech customers include Brightpoint, Gables Engineering, K&L Microwave, QuadTech, NEC, Kitron, Maxwell Technologies, Beijer Electronics, and Olympus Keymed.

About Instron

Instron designs, manufactures, and services materials testing instruments, systems, and accessories used to evaluate the mechanical properties of materials and components using tension, compression, flexure, fatigue, impact, torsion and hardness tests.

About IFS

IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in approximately 60 countries with 2,800 employees in total. For more information about IFS, please visit: www.IFSWORLD.com.

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