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Microsoft Dynamics AX Pays Off For Pipeline Flow Control Specialist

Continual efficiencies across the entire company pays off for global business

“Our data represents now; not what happened last week or last month, but what is happening this very minute,” says Aitor Laso, Regional General Manager – Europe of Rotork. “Using Microsoft Dynamics AX and having the centralised view of the organisation as a whole, is the only way to run a business today.”

Rotork, a UK-based FTSE 250 company, is a market leader in the pipeline flow control business, designing, manufacturing, selling, servicing and supporting its products and systems across the globe. With factories in 32 countries and a presence in around 180 more, its operations and supply chains are widespread and complex.

A policy of rapid organic growth and a string of acquisitions over the past decade has made its AX system, an increasingly important factor in its success. “If you are dealing with nine different business units as I am, it’s essential to have the information, the processes and the control the system brings,” says Laso.

Rotork’s vision was to use the system to make incremental improvements across every aspect of their operations, finding the right and best way to do things and implementing best practices and high quality processes across the board – from their factory and assembly line to their customer service and delivery. This strong and efficient business would then be the foundation for improvements in customer service and a platform for further growth. “It means we can acquire and open new businesses and quickly extend the same best practices across these new units,” says Phil Wood, Programme Director for the implementation of Dynamics AX.

“Rather than doing everything differently, ad hoc or by chance, we needed a framework to systemise processes and make sure we were carrying out every task as efficiently as we could,” says Alastair Spur, Rotork Group Operations Director.

Rotork’s AX programme began in 2009. Phil Wood, now Group IT Director and CIO explains why they chose the system: “When you take a step into the future, you need to be sure you have a solid and reliable brand behind you. We recognised that Microsoft was committed to the ongoing development of AX and there would be significant investment and some extremely bright people working on continually enhancing its functionality.”

The company used similar criteria to select HSO as its implementation and development partner. Wood continues: “We needed consultants who could work with us across the world. We operate in some locations across the world to which many organisations wouldn’t typically extend their ERP systems. HSO with its international focus was – and still is – well-placed to help us realise our vision the same, everywhere.”

Rotork has continued to work with HSO to enhance and deploy its AX system and gain the best return on its investment. Recent upgrades to the system are bringing more capabilities that can be delivered to the business. “The implementation of AX has significantly improved our day-to-day routines, and we are making efficiency and customer service gains everywhere” says Laso.

“This directly improves our relationships with our customers as our lead times are reduced and our deliveries are more accurate.”

Wood is clear that these were the key objectives for the programme from the outset, and the more of the company that migrates onto the AX platform the more a centralised view across the entire company accelerates the realisation of these benefits.

“One thing that I value most is having live KPI updates across the whole of the Rotork Group. As a result, we can see what’s going on in every facility at any given time, their delivery performances, whether they have backlog and whether their orders are on time,” comments Spur.

Rotork emphasises the role HSO has played in these major achievements. “From defining the project to implementing it across the globe, the HSO team has been instrumental in its success. “Not every partner would have had the stamina, the long-term view or the right relationship with Rotork to make these things happen,” says Wood.

“And we haven’t finished yet. Rotork and HSO are continuing to plan the future together.”

Process Industry Informer

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