Prepare your midsize organization for growth and global demands.
by Patricia Waddington, August 2008
Doing it all with fewer people and less money, as well as finding ways to prepare for and sustain growth, are universal themes for midsize organizations. Neither scenario can be successfully managed without an effective information technology (IT) infrastructure in place. True, IT systems on their own can’t fuel growth or make a company successful, more profitable, and more efficient. But in the midsize arena, you’d be challenged to find a success story that doesn’t involve IT playing a leading role. A 2007 Economist Intelligence Unit report titled Technology and Growth at Midsized Companies: The Next Ten Years notes that “a resounding 78 percent of survey respondents agree that IT makes their company more competitive, and two-thirds believe that it gives their organization the flexibility to respond to market changes.”
Using Oracle Accelerate solutions delivered through Oracle Certified Partners G&W Electric, a 103-year-old manufacturer, and Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm, are maximizing their IT budgets, achieving value quickly, and moving into position to handle the changing demands of the future.
G&W Electric: Midsize Manufacturing with Room to Grow
Coping with rapid growth, increasing competition, and global marketplace concerns, as well as meeting the expectations of customers and partners while still controlling costs, are not challenges that can be met in isolation. In fact, they all share a common and significant thread: the state of the underlying IT infrastructure. The 2007 white paper published by the Economist Intelligence Unit states, “a flexible, well-integrated, and secure IT infrastructure holds the key to raising profitability as well as improving the customer experience.” The answer for midsize organizations is to choose IT solutions that are low-cost and low-risk and provide industry-specific functionality and faster time-to-value. G&W Electric, long at the forefront of specialized manufacturing for the electric power industry, is taking such an approach. The company is implementing Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications for manufacturing to refine and globalize its industrial manufacturing processes.
G&W Electric was founded in 1905, starting out in a small machine shop in Chicago, and has grown to occupy a 162,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Blue Island, Illinois, and another facility in Shanghai, China. Over time, the company developed custom systems that could no longer effectively support its global business. Its specialized systems had aged, leading to problems with support as well as with the consistency and accuracy of business reporting data. G&W also wanted to adopt leading practices into the elements of its operation where the existing software could not support current best practices. G&W’s growth and its desire to maintain its demonstrated excellence in its field necessitated the implementation of state-of-the-art manufacturing solutions. According to John Pederson, G&W project lead, “G&W absolutely did not want changes in its manufacturing processes to have any adverse effect on its customers. Nor did we want the change of systems to have a negative impact on the way our employees execute their tasks.”
Oracle Accelerate partner Terillium joined G&W’s team for planning and deployment of the company’s new system, with a scheduled go-live date of August 8, 2008. G&W is using TIMM (Terillium’s Industrial Manufacturing Model), an Oracle Accelerate solution, to implement its new JD Edwards functionality. TIMM includes industry best practices and business flows for heavy equipment and machinery manufacturing.