The Createch Group - 25th Anniversary

Success Stories

EXFO

Project: Implement a new ERP using SAP R/3 software

Client

  • EXFO is a high-tech company specializing in the design and manufacture of test equipment, measuring and surveillance equipment, and automated solutions for the telecommunications industry. The company has about 1,800 clients in over 70 countries
  • In the last two years, EXFO has made four strategic acquisitions: Burleigh Instruments Inc., EFOS Inc., Avantas Networks Corporation and, more recently, gnubi communication, L.P.

Challenges

  • Significant increase in the company’s complexity due to its sudden and remarkable growth over the last 10 years
  • Diverse and obsolete information management systems implemented over the years in various company departments
  • Introduction of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system in a complex environment that is in constant mutation (in 2001, 45% of EXFO sales were from equipment that had been on the market less than two years; that same year, the company launched 20 new products)

Objectives

  • Implement an ERP system that is able to support the company’s capacity for innovation as well as its anticipated growth
  • Simplify company management (sales forecasting, product manufacture, inventory management, calculation of sales commissions) that was further complicated by the fact that each product has about ten main configurations and up to a hundred possible combinations

Actions Completed

  • Integrated implementation of version 4.6C of SAP R/3 software simultaneously in the company’s financial and logistics divisions (Modules SD, PP, MM, IM-WM, CS, FI, CO)
  • Training of a project team that included over 30 employees
  • Series of interviews to maximize information collection and identify needs
  • 12,500 hours of training provided in just two months
  • Transfer of competencies in order to ensure the company’s self-sufficiency to maintain and support the application after the consultants have left

Achieved Results

  • The newly implemented business solution will support EXFO’s geographic, organizational and functional growth for years to come, particularly through the exchange of real-time information between the company’s various corporate units. This exchange of real-time information allows EXFO to react quickly and efficiently to customer requests
  • This new technological platform serves as a solid base for improving the company’s financial, manufacturing and logistic processes. From this springboard, EXFO is now in an excellent position to properly manage the company’s activities and to offer good service to current and future customers
  • A customer who orders EXFO equipment built according to his requirements and specifications is now in a position to be informed more quickly of the date his equipment will be manufactured and shipped. Before the implementation of the SAP business solution, this process of confirming the delivery date could take more than a week
  • Every day, inventory managers can now view which parts and other components are needed to assemble equipment that has been sold. Using this daily information, inventory managers can react very quickly to needs while reducing stock outages and inventory levels

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