The local operation (which covers Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Thailand) began using software that is now part of the Infor range since 1991. It had upgraded to Syteline 4 prior to being acquired by Siemens, but was then required to switch to SAP.
When it parted from Siemens, the company was given 90 days to decide whether or not to stay with SAP, and to act on that decision.
CIO Allan Davies told iTWire that the company was given the option of buying more time by cloning Siemens' SAP system and continuing to use that for 12 months, but that would have costs around $3 million.
The choice was basically between staying with SAP and returning to Syteline. The respective licensing costs would be $600,000 or $100,000 per year, so once Infor regional vice president James Brackenrig committed to a Syteline implementation in the 73 days that remained, the decision was made.
Did the project succeed? Find out on page 2.
"SAP is a unique system" said Davies, and one that was a great fit for Siemens - but smaller companies need more flexibility, and Dematic gets that from Syteline.
Over time, the company installed more Infor software.
The PM 10 corporate performance management application allowed Dematic to replace a cumbersome planning and budgeting system involving 33 Excel spreadsheets in just two days. The software has now been adopted globally by the group, including the regions that chose to stay with SAP.
Dematic previously outsourced its expenses management system to Siemens, but this was an expensive proposition at around $45,000 per year. The company installed Infor's XM at an annual licensing cost of $14,000, and gained a simpler system with good integration with the ERP software including easy allocation to specific projects.
"That saved us an enormous amount of labour," said Davies. Another advantage was XM's ability to accept data feeds from Visa and Amex.
The XM implementation was expected to show a return o investment in 18 months, but that was achieved in a year.
What of the future? Please read on.
He welcomed Infor's ION strategy for providing a common user interface and integration among its products. As Dematic uses three Infor products, it "is of real interest to us," Davies said.
"It's certainly something we're keeping a close eye on," he said, adding "we're keen to see what comes to market" as far as Infor's mobile apps are concerned.