Many companies running Infor Baan ERP software are reaching a crucial juncture. Do they upgrade to Infor's ERP LN software, stick with their current software or expand the search to include other vendors.
When to Consider Expanding the Search Beyond ERP LN
In general, companies running Baan IV ERP software should consider expanding their search to include vendors in addition to Infor. Why? Because LN represents wholesale changes in technology, user interface and functionality. Implementation and training will probably be more akin to a new implementation than a version upgrade.
Companies in this position are - for all intents and purposes - evaluating a different product in ERP LN. Given the differences, there is no certainty that LN will be the right fit. And, even if LN is good enough, another system might prove to be an even better fit.
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In my February article, ERP Buyer’s Corner: Making 2011 the Year of Success, I predicted that “some of the bigger ERP vendors [would] go acquisition hunting to quickly fill strategic gaps in their product repertoires.” This prediction has come true in spades.
A few days ago, GC Software Holdings, Inc. – an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital and Infor – agreed to acquire Lawson, another Tier II ERP vendor for about $2 billion (U.S.). The intention is to integrate the Lawson ERP suite (M3 and S3) into Infor's software suite. This acquisition follows Infor's recent integration of SunSystems, financial management software.
This recent M&A activity is likely to have both positive and negative effects on Infor's ERP LN and Baan users.
In terms of the positive – and assuming that Infor/GC Software can successfully pull off the integration – Infor's ERP LN and Baan users could achieve the following benefits:
In this series of bi-weekly tips, we break down the secrets to effective replenishment planning and shop scheduling. Pemeco Consulting is a leading vendor-agnostic provider of Supply Chain and ERP services to companies running Infor LN and Baan ERP systems. Learn about our niche speciality Infor LN and Baan ERP services and our Planning Dashboard for ERP LN and Baan.
In our previous ERP planning tip, we covered time and quantity order-based modifiers to back-schedule supply requirements from demand. This previous tip dealt with the “when” and “how much” questions of planning. In this week’s tip, we cover the “what” questions of planning, which is represented by the bill of materials, or BOM (there is also an element of “how much” in BOMs).
In our previous ERP planning tip, we discussed routings, the final data set-up requirement for making an item. In this tip, I dig deep into another critical data requirement – the need to maintain timely and accurate inventory counts and movements.
If inventory counts and movements aren’t accurately reflected in the planning engine, MRP will issue inaccurate recommendations. This might mean that replenishment order recommendations are issued to soon – which could lead to unnecessary increases in operating costs and constraints to cash flow. It might also mean that replenishment order recommendations are issued too late – which could create customer churn caused by avoidable order delays. Finally, it might mean that replenishment order recommendations are made for the wrong items or quantities – which could result in unnecessary orders of depreciating inventory.
The key, therefore, is to ensure that the planning engine issues planning recommendations for the correct items and quantities at the appropriate times. To issue just-in-time, time phased replenishment orders, the planning engine requires five basic data elements: