Sematic Group has been a key player in constructing elevator systems around the world. Over the past 10 years, the company expanded quickly, establishing production facilities and operating units in booming cities and emerging markets: Europe, China, India, North America—wherever developers are building skyscrapers, you’re likely to find Sematic. Facing challenges of rapid growth and globalization, Sematic set out to identify an ERP system that would help them harmonize their operations—both data and processes—into a unified business.
|Now, with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, we have a single, common ERP. Our people across the world are becoming a real part of the one Sematic.|
| Luca Caremoli|
As a supplier to some of the biggest elevator manufacturers in the world, the Sematic Group
fabricates and delivers complex doors, cabins, and even complete elevators. The company has been a key player in constructing elevator systems around the world, including those at the Word Trade Center (Freedom Tower) in New York City, the Antillia Building in Mumbai (the famously most expensive private residence in the world), and Palazzo della Regione Lombardia in Milan, the tallest building in Italy.
Because Sematic’s finished product can weigh several quintals - on an order-to-ship cycle as fast as 20 days—fulfilling orders from their headquarters in Italy just isn’t an option. Instead, Sematic must go to where its customers are. Consequently, over the past 10 years, the company expanded quickly, establishing production facilities and operating units in booming cities and emerging markets all over the world: Europe, China, India, North America—wherever developers are building skyscrapers, you’re likely to find Sematic.
“Our customers can place an order from anywhere in the world,” says Luca Caremoli, CIO of Sematic S.pA. “But wherever they are, whether they’re in Brazil, Germany, or China, they see only one Sematic. We present a unified face to our customers, and our own internal operations need to reflect that unity.”
Meeting the Needs of Worldwide Expansion
“Maintaining a distributed manufacturing operation carries a unique set of challenges,” explains Caremoli. “Our customers depend on standard parts and designs, so we must maintain consistency and process control among plants and operations that are often a half a world away.”
And, for a company that has grown from 150 to 900 employees over 10 years, continued success depends on the ability to scale efficiently and effectively.
“Until last year, each subsidiary maintained its own ERP system, usually from a local vendor, and some systems are 20 years old,” says Caremoli. Local entities also established their own business processes, and it was extremely difficult to share customer or operational data among the companies.
Facing these challenges of rapid growth and globalization, Sematic set out to identify an ERP system that would help them harmonize their operations—both data and processes—into a unified business.
|Sematic provided the elevator for Antillia Building in Mumbai|
Getting to One Sematic
Caremoli’s vision for “one Sematic” calls for pulling together operations on a single instance of ERP and maintaining master data for the entire operation centrally: products, bills of materials, scheduling information, and customer and supplier data, and presenting a single, common view of the enterprise to customers, partners, and operations everywhere. Sematic evaluated major ERP vendors, including SAP and Oracle, before determining that Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 was in the best position to simplify Sematic’s international, cross-company business processes.
The ability to deploy localized versions of the ERP application from a single instance dramatically simplified management of the multi-company implementation. Built-in support to comply with country-specific regulations in some of Sematic’s developing markets, including China, and India, reduced the need for site-by-site customization and further supported the decision to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.
Aggressive Deployment Timeline
Sematic chose Microsoft Dynamics partner MHT to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 to meet an aggressive timeline.
"MHT has excellent knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions, especially in areas considered strategic by us, particularly in the areas of production and management and control,” explains Caremoli. “In addition, we know that MHT keeps current with newer versions of the Microsoft Dynamics solutions, which allowed us to schedule the various phases of the project in line with our plans while acquiring the latest version of the product.”
With a separate legacy ERP system in place in each local area, Sematic has taken a country-by-country approach to rolling out Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2. Operations in Italy, the United Kingdom, China, and Hungary recently migrated to the new system with subsidiaries in the US. Mexico is set to go live in the first half of 2013 and Germany’s migration will be completed by the end of the year. The aggressive roll out will continue through early 2014—ultimately the new system will be deployed to 16 separate legal entities, in 10 languages, all operating on a single instance of the application and sharing data and processes.
"The global project is a success because we were able to provide the implementation for all Group companies,” says Franco Coin, CEO and founding partner of MHT. “Implementation for the Semantic headquarters was completed in six months, and the first foreign company (UK) only two months later, and China has been live since November,” says Marco Auddino, MHT CTO, “The plan continues, on schedule, with the support of System Advisers Group Alliance. The go-live of other foreign companies in the group will follow."
Sematic is already seeing the benefits of harmonization of data and processes, with three countries fully deployed and three more poised to go live in the coming months.
When the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is complete, Sematic Group expects to take an evolutionary step forward in a competitive business. “Already, intercompany flow between the headquarters in Italy and the manufacturing plant in the UK has streamlined procurement and enhanced CTP planning and sales processes,” says Caremoli. Most notably, having a common repository for customer and supplier data has driven initial efforts at standardizing common business processes.
“Now, with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, we have a single, common ERP,” Caremoli observes. “Our people across the world are becoming a real part of the one Sematic."
|Servers||Windows Server 2008 R2|
|ERP System||Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2|
|Business database||Microsoft SQL Server|
|Communications infrastructure/Desktop systems||Lync/Windows 7|
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Document published January 2013