World-class manufacturer Arabian United Float Glass Company wanted modern business management software for its newly commissioned factory in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company chose Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2009 after evaluating Microsoft against Infor, QAD, SAP, and Oracle. The software ensures that the new factory can compete effectively in domestic and export markets and will deliver a rapid return on investment for investors.
Every day, Arabian United Float Glass Company manufactures 600 tons of high-quality float glass from its plant at Yanbu industrial city on the Red Sea coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Founded in 2006 by prominent Saudi corporate investors, the company is using technology from the world’s leading suppliers to the float glass industry. Its output supplies both the domestic Saudi and export markets.
|With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, we have driven out paper processes and have a business management system that matches the excellence of our manufacturing plant.|
Chief Information Officer,
Arabian United Float Glass Company
Saudi industry works to high standards and Arabian United Float Glass Company is no exception. The purchase of modern business management software to ensure that the state-of-the-art unit operates to the highest levels of efficiency was a top priority for management.
Once the plant was nearing completion—production started in March 2009—the directors felt the company had outgrown its startup Peachtree accounting system from Sage, especially for procurement, which was still largely a manual process. It viewed Peachtree as an accounting rather than a business management system. Ferdinand Balaga, Chief Information Officer, Arabian United Float Glass Company, says: “We wanted a new system that would give us control over workflows, purchasing, inventory, and spending—and, at the same time, simplify compliance and improve the capacity for decision making. Peachtree is useful for managing expenses, but it’s not a business management application in my view.”
In assessing the market, the company considered enterprise resource planning solutions from Infor, QAD, SAP, and Oracle but disregarded these systems based on performance and total cost of ownership. In addition, Arabian United Float Glass Company was already using Microsoft® technologies, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Office 2007, and the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.
Working with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Maison-Naizak Global Engineering, the company deployed Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with Process Industries for Microsoft Dynamics AX software to gain even deeper insights into the business. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, which offers a service-oriented architecture and tight integration with Web services, is designed to manage the complexities of an organization involved in global markets, such as Arabian United Float Glass Company. It helps consolidate and standardize processes and provides visibility across all departments.
Time to market was critical so that the company could begin earning revenue and ensure full transparency for shareholders. To meet the timetable set by the directors to start production, the system needed to be ready in just six months, which was a considerable challenge. Maison-Naizak was also responsible for training and personal development of users, many but not all of whom were familiar with the look and feel of Microsoft technology.
Sultan Hamdani, Chief Operating Officer, Maison-Naizak, says: “The proof of concept we undertook showed that Microsoft Dynamics AX was sufficiently scalable and flexible to meet the customer’s exacting standards and fit for purpose for a world-class manufacturing plant. We were able to show them a reference site in Indonesia where the technology had been successfully implemented at a similar manufacturing plant. We delivered the project on time and to a fixed price contract, which helped to engender business confidence on both sides.”
Balaga adds: “Our directors said they wanted cutting-edge software and that was what Microsoft and Maison-Naizak delivered. We operated as a true business partnership and not in a traditional customer–vendor relationship. Maison-Naizak offered continuity of engagement and its senior people were available to us from day one.”
Microsoft Dynamics AX has given the company full control over its procurement process, which was previously done manually and therefore prone to human error. The manufacturer is saving time and effort with workflows that enforce and enhance controls based on specific risk and compliance scenarios. Balaga says: “Everything is now done electronically and not just for procurement. With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, we have driven out paper processes and have a business management system that matches the excellence of our manufacturing plant.”
- Better control over supply chain. The Process Industries for Microsoft Dynamics AX software is helping the Saudi manufacturer increase the speed and efficiency of its manufacturing operations, and communicate more effectively with its extended supply chain. It provides real-time information, giving the company a deeper insight into its businesses.
- Streamlined workflows. The technology builds and quickly modifies work streams to take advantage of new opportunities and adapts quickly to changing industry and customer demands.
- Easier monitoring of inventory. With the new tools the company is finding it less of a major task to monitor and control its inventory, thereby helping streamline its cash flow.
- Faster management decision making. Microsoft Dynamics AX expands the reach of decision making with self-service business intelligence and reporting tools that help people analyze data and key performance indicators through Microsoft Office Excel® 2007 spreadsheet software and other tools.
- Minimal training. The familiar look and feel of Microsoft user friendly information worker tools help people concentrate on customer-facing work instead of spending time learning how to use applications.
- Enhanced business confidence. The investment by Microsoft in its business management software solutions gives confidence to new companies such as Arabian United Float Glass Company. Balaga says: “The investment by Microsoft in business management software is unprecedented. We’re happy to run our business on a system that will embrace technologies as they emerge.”
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