ABF – 24/7 ERP-Support
ERP system as extension of the enterprise with outsourced managed services
Bearings, bearings and still more bearings. There are 10 million of them in the ABF warehouses, in 90,000 different shapes and sizes. Whether customers are looking for ball bearings, sleeve bearings, needle bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, Y bearing blocks or bearing housings, ABF has them in stock. With 41 people, ABF isn’t an enormous company, but in terms of its complexity the implemented Oracle JD Edwards ERP system is extremely welcome. Due to the size of the company, ABF chose not to have an in-house JD Edwards specialist but rather to receive 24/7 support from Redfaire International, a European umbrella organization of JD Edwards specialists of which Cadran is one of the founders.
As well as its large range of products, ABF also offers its customers rapid delivery and 24/7 service. This means that the ERP system must also run 24/7. Peter Wijburg, ABF’s IT manager, about this matter: ‘Because we are a relatively small company, we don’t have a dedicated in-house JDE application manager. At the same time, the system is highly complex due to our diverse stock and global distribution. We definitely need management and support for our Oracle JD Edwards solutions.’
ABF turned to Redfaire International for 24/7 support and deployment. That can cover anything, explains Wijburg: ‘It could be a really simple question from a user such as “Where do I find this?” or “How do I do that?” But we can also go to Redfaire International for the addition of new functionalities or solutions to issues. For us, they’re an extension of our ICT department.’Up until now, ABF has needed Redfaire International on a weekly basis for small changes to the software and business logic in certain processes. Fortunately, the company has not yet needed to call for assistance in solving critical situations, as none have occurred so far.
High-level knowledge assurance
Wijburg: ‘Knowledge is shared extremely effectively within Redfaire International. Normally, a new person has to go through a steep learning curve. They have to get to know our customers, know where the priorities lie, etc. I think the knowledge assurance and knowledge sharing are exceptionally good. If you have someone from Support on the line, they’re up to speed on the issue within a minute. One of their staff works in Mauritius and another in Italy, and they’re both equally capable. Their follow-up is also excellent and effective.’
System to play a greater role
The great strength of our company is our huge inventory that customers can always rely on. This strength is also increasingly used in sales processes such as drop shipments and cross selling. ‘Because we have a professional support organisation behind us, opportunities or issues can be followed up more quickly and we can add far more value to our system, making it serve even more as an extension of our enterprise,’ Wijburg declares.