OSTROJ achieves more efficient production thanks to InfoConsulting and ERP system IFS


One of the most important companies in the Moravian-Silesian region, OSTROJ a.s., is a major manufacturer of a range of mining machines for deep mining of coal and ores.

These machines include, conveyor systems for surface applications, special mobile formwork for tunnel concreting and automated conveyor lines, plus  a wide portfolio of other engineering products.

Ostroj decided to replace its original ERP system in 2019 and was looking for a solution that would help it standardize and automate processes, and at the same time unify them to the maximum extent possible across the company’s divisions. After a thorough evaluation of several vendors and the solutions they offered, InfoConsulting Czech and IFS Applications 10 won the tender, and offered a highly functional solution, particularly in the areas of preparation, planning and management of production and related processes.

IFS Applications 10 is used by nearly 800 employees in OSTROJ, who use a substantial part of the system’s wide range of functions designed specially for manufacturing companies. The functions cover planning and management of all types of production in the individual divisions, as well as purchasing and inventory management, quality management and control, preparation of quotations and quotations by sales teams, financial management and accounting, complete maintenance management of production and non-production equipment and buildings, and other areas.

Why IFS?

“We chose IFS Applications and InfoConsulting as a supplier not only because they offer comprehensive support for our operational, especially production requirements, but also because we were looking for a solution that would support the future development of our company.

For  example, by managing material flows in both warehouse management and production, or by overlapping functions in the area of production management, for which the company would otherwise have had to purchase a specialized MES production management system,” said Aleš Martínek, CEO of OSTROJ.

The information system was put into live operation in January 2022. Since day one, it has been running in all implemented modules without any failures. Considering the extent of the parameterization of the new system, the training of both key and all other users, and the volume and complexity of the data transferred from the original ERP to IFS Applications, this is a huge feat and an undisputed success.

Selection procedure, setting objectives and revealing our own shortcomings

The entire change was divided into five stages. For the preparatory stage before implementation, which preceded the tender for the supplier of the new ERP systém the company management decided to invite the external consulting firm Deloitte. The output of the first stage was the mapping of existing processes and their shortcomings and the preparation of the assignment for the tender in the form of functional and so-called non-functional requirements for the new “backbone” information system of the company. Among the shortcomings identified were, for example, inconsistent methodology for processing duplicate  processes, complex approval processes and a large number of paper outputs. Communication within the company was essential for the successful implementation, and it was important that everyone understood the objectives set for each phase of the implementation. Another important condition for success was to analyse the data in the existing information system, evaluate its use and correctly map its migration (conversion) to the relevant data fields in the new ERP system.

Data migration - one of the most complex tasks of the whole project

Migrating data between the original and new systems was one of the most complex tasks. In general, it should be started as early as possible during the implementation project, both with regard to the volume of data, the necessary checking and “cleaning” by key users and the relatively frequent

“corrective” migrations of individual batches of data (e.g. material items, suppliers, customers, purchase requests, purchase orders, etc.), as well as to verify the identification and retrieval capabilities of the data from the original ERP. It is always an intensive collaboration between the vendor providing the data migration and the key users. One of the cornerstones of successfully managing the data migration between the two systems was the development of a migration scenario that defined the scope of the data to be migrated, mapping and linking the data storage architecture in the existing and new systems, and the methodology for verifying the migration results (“manual” verification by key users vs. bulk data verification using control reports).

The success of the system implementation depends on the training and involvement of users

The success of the implementation is directly related to the training and involvement of key and end users in the process of implementing the new system. The content of the operational readiness test were mainly tests of the main end-to-end processes with the participation of both key and end users,with continuous correction of the identified deficiencies by the supplier. This was followed by the final migration of data to the future IFS Applications production environment. A substantial part of the so-called transactional data could only be transferred to the new system after the shutdown of the original system, which the user project team set for mid-December 2021. In the original ERP system, all transactions were terminated, inventory was taken, and any financial and closing transactions were limited and strictly controlled so that all end states from the original system could be closed and transferred to the initial states of the new system in a controlled manner. The actual transition to the new system took place during the last fortnight of 2021 so that the new IFS Applications ERP system would be in full use from January 2022. From Tuesday 4 January 2022, the new system went live. As part of the cut-over plan, the operation was started with maximum support from the supplier and the last data was transferred and the initial states were set during the first two weeks of January 2022. The launch of the new IFS Applications at OSTROJ can clearly be considered a great success, with the system operating flawlessly from the start with the full range of required functionality of all modules used without any major errors.

Intensive cooperation between system supplier and customer

This crucial step in the implementation project is not the end of the cooperation between the user and the supplier. For six months after the launch of the system, both partners operated in a mode of increased support from the key consultants of the supplier, the so-called hyper care.



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