Lightweight ERP: Centralized Workflows & Resource Management

  • Advanced SaaS-based resource planning system for chemical manufacturing industry
  • Procurement and preventive maintenance automation optimizing production schedules and minimizing inventory investments
Expertise
Business Intelligence
Business Process Automation
Verticals
Manufacturing

Iflexion delivered a simple and lightweight, yet powerful ERP system available on SaaS model and tailored to the specific needs of the chemical manufacturing industry

Calendar
18
Duration
Months
Gears
22
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Our Customer is a global provider of practical asset management and regulatory compliance solutions to chemical manufacturing enterprises throughout the North America. The company decided to develop an easy-to-use lightweight ERP solution to help a chemical manufacturing company to manage the variability and complexities of its products and processes, as well as accurately account for all equipment and finished tasks.

The project idea was to offer a simple and robust solution tailored to the specific needs of the industry and deprived of unnecessary features.

To implement the idea, the Customer needed a reliable software developer with strong business analytical skills, who would get deep into the chemical manufacturing business domain and deliver the adequate solution. A trusted long-term technology partner of the Customer, having demonstrated brilliant analytical work in former projects, Iflexion was engaged for the full-cycle project development.

Solution

Leveraging solid expertise of ERP systems implementation along with the complex web application development, Iflexion developed a powerful, lightweight and high-performance solution enabling management staff to account for all equipment, spare parts and consumables, and control over the production lifecycle and employee performance in geographically distributed networks of manufacturing plants.

The solution unites all participants of manufacturing, from top managers to average executives, providing them with limited availability of the functional features:

  • User. Average employees receive access to a particular plant(s), in the frames of which they can manage equipment maintenance tasks, submit purchase orders and log work time.
  • Manager. Besides the above-mentioned functions, managers are enabled to deal with vendor lists, track employees’ working timesheets and manage vendor invoices.
  • Corporate user. This user role relates to the top management and provides access to the corporate dashboard and all reports generated by the departments of the whole corporation.
  • Administrator. Each plant of a corporation has a number of administrators, who perform all-round content and user accounts management, system configuration within their plants.
  • System administrator. Having full access to the system, an administrator is responsible for the overall system configuration on the corporate level.

Targeted at specific industry segment, a custom ERP system supports typical workflows of chemical manufacturing, including equipment maintenance, consumables and spare parts accounting, procurement management and employees’ work tracking.

Equipment Maintenance

The ERP system allows for keeping track of all tasks related to the equipment maintenance, including repair, modernization, scheduled servicing etc. Our team implemented preventive maintenance master automating tedious repetitive tasks creation according to the predefined pattern.

Meanwhile, end users are enabled to create/ edit/ remove the emerging tasks for equipment repair, log time spent on them in individual timesheets, mark the task status (in progress, delayed, fixed, overdue etc.), comment, upload files and many more.

Procurement Management

Having analyzed the chemical manufacturing industry, we recognized the factories’ necessity of efficient procurement management. Applying our experience of supply-chain solutions implementation, we implemented automated spare parts and consumables accounting.

The system stores an extended list of spare parts and consumables, each one attributed a full name, catalogue number, manufacturer, vendor and current amount on stock. A user can also define a threshold amount, upon reaching which the system generates a purchase order automatically.

The system also keeps a full vendor list with all contact information used for purchase orders and invoices generation.

To ensure transparency of all banking operations related to procurement, our team implemented report generation feature. Top and senior managers are provided with Batch Header reports describing banking transactions of each purchase order.

Employees’ Work Tracking

To support manufacturing workflows, our team implemented issue tracking engine that helps to capture and organize tasks, assign work and follow employees’, departments’ and plants’ activity. Based on the manually logged information (the time spent on a task, the issue status etc.), the system generates extended time reports of 3 types for the top and middle management:

  • Timesheet reports on individual employees’ work
  • Timesheet reports on groups of users (departments, factories) for a period of time
  • BI-weekly hours reports giving a summary for employees’ general performance

The solution brings in transparency and order into business processes, which makes it especially valuable for the strict-disciplined chemical plants.

Development Process

Iflexion was the sole vendor performing all the project works, including:

  • Requirements analysis
  • Architecture design
  • Development
  • QA
  • Support and Maintenance

Collaboration with the Customer started with thorough examination of the business requirements. As the project was built around a SaaS-based ERP system for a narrow market segment, our business analysts researched the chemical manufacturing domain, identified and pointed at the crucial features which could bring added value for the chemical manufacturing factories.

The Customer’s primary goal was a light-weight and highperformance ERP system development at an affordable price. Our team concentrated on the most valuable features for the Customer and did all their best to cut down on his expenses on the software implementation.

As soon as the business logic of the system was approved, we got down to implementation. During the cooperation strong and trustful relationships were established with the Customer, so we could understand him very well, execute tasks quickly and adjust our work fast to his requirements.

Iflexion organized communication with the Customer through the email correspondence and everyday Skype calls, keeping him aware of all changes and challenges of the project. Moreover, the Project Manager provided the Customer with weekly reports on the completed tasks and the project dynamics.

Quality Assurance

Ensuring the system’s high quality and correspondence to the project requirements, our quality assurance specialists monitored and tested the software quality throughout the entire pre-development, development and post-development process.

Iflexion boasts an independent quality assurance department with a strong pool of professionals having hands-on experience of all-round quality assurance of projects of different scale and complexity. Within each iteration, the solution underwent unit, acceptance, regression and compatibility testing, and defect validation.

Results

The delivered ERP-system has been successfully deployed into production in time and on budget. Providing efficient tools for centralized workflows management and resource planning, the solution currently serves 50+ factories of the chemical manufacturing industry.

The Customer was utterly satisfied with our job that perfectly met his value-for-money expectations and currently continues collaboration with us on the system enhancement and functionality extension.

Screenshots

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