Kitron’s roots as an electronics contract manufacturer stretch back to the 1960s, when the foundation for the company was established in Arendal in southern Norway. Since those days, Kitron has expanded greatly, establishing operations in Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, China, and the U.S. Today, the company is one of Scandinavia’s leading Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies. The global nature of Kitron’s business requires an agile business solution with an intuitive and user-friendly interface that promotes correct data registration, efficient navigation and uniform business processes. By coupling IFS Applications with the IFS Enterprise Explorer interface, Kitron now has a corporate solution that enables streamlined productivity, regardless of geographic location.
New ERP solution to meet market challenges
In a highly competitive, globalised industry, Kitron’s basic recipe for success has been to cultivate its industry experience and competence, and build a global supply chain. Kitron realised rather early the importance of one common ERP solution and business processes as a foundation for productivity and profitability. In addition, any global system must also be universal, meaning that the application had to be as easy to use in the U.S. as in China. Olaf Kristen Kristensen, Solutions Competence Center Manager, explains, “When evaluating solutions, one of the central requirements was that the system must support all daily business data at all of our global sites. Each transaction was to be registered through the system- making intuitive navigation and usability of critical importance.” In 2009, Kitron chose IFS Applications to standardise its multinational operations. By consolidating all business data in one integrated system, and by making it easy for users to enter the correct data, Kitron was well positioned to strengthen its market position by increased efficiency and data quality.
The decision to implement IFS Applications followed an exhaustive evaluation process and the formulation of a number of stringent requirements. “We wanted an ERP provider that was present in the regions where Kitron is present- a truly global provider. IFS already had a proven track record within the EMS industry, could present a solution that supported our current business needs and offered a solid partnership for our future plans,” said Kristensen. “From the very start of the process and throughout the implementation project, the interaction with IFS has been very positive. The project has been characterised by professionalism, clear communication and rigorous follow-up activities. This made for a speedy implementation project; a vital measurement of any ERP project.”
The importance of IFS Enterprise Explorer
The IFS solution that Kitron selected came with the IFS Enterprise Explorer interface- a deciding factor for Kitron’s choice. “User-friendliness was an absolutely essential criterion and one of the most compelling reasons for choosing a solution from IFS. We knew that the success of any major ERP implementation is its acceptance among the people using the system every day. It needs to be easy to use, without unnecessary processes and mouse clicks.” Kristensen said. Having rolled out IFS Enterprise Explorer to all sites within the corporation, Kitron has secured a unified way of working, for the benefit of the entire organisation. “The IFS Enterprise Explorer interface has generally been very well received among the daily users. Although it is a bit too early to talk about hard ROI figures, we can comfortably say that the solution supports all of our current work processes and all of our future plans. Rolling out the new interface has been one very important step in our overall enterprise applications strategy,” Kristensen continued.
Looking forward with IFS Applications
Kitron’s continued success in its focused market segments, and the productivity of its some 1,100 employees, are in many ways linked to the efficient use of its IFS corporate solution. “IFS Applications plays a very important part in the future development of our business. We invested in more or less the entire suite, using it as the central repository for all operational data,” said Kristensen. “We are currently exploring some additional areas of the IFS suite, mainly within HR and Supply Chain, where we see real potential for streamlining our business, both in the short and long term.” Another important part of Kitron’s business technology strategy is to get actively involved in the development of future functionality and to participate within the IFS industry community. “We work with IFS as a business partner, not only as a software provider. For instance, we can influence the direction of future solutions, thereby ensuring functionality anchored in our daily business reality,” Kristensen said. By participating in the IFS High-Tech Industry Advisory Council, Kitron has established itself as a key resource within the IFS industry network. “By interacting with IFS and other companies within our market segment, we are able to extend our knowledge and maximise the use of IFS Applications. This is a very important part of the investment. By optimising our use of IFS’s technology and expertise, we can deliver better products and services to our En5002-1 Production: IFS Corporate Marketing, February 2012 customers- which has been our ultimate objective all along,” Kristensen concludes.