“Moving toward a more unified ERP environment helps consolidate, standardize, and integrate our technology platforms.”
—William Blausey, CIO and Senior Vice President, Eaton Corp.
Multi-pronged systems overhaul improves efficiency and enables growth
Eaton Corp. is known for its diversified power, electrical, and industrial systems. Unfortunately for Eaton, until recently, its IT infrastructure was equally diversified.
Contending with a global reach and customer needs that varied widely by business and region, Eaton found itself supporting a variety of heterogeneous systems for everything from manufacturing to customer service. The systems infrastructure was hampering the company’s ability to be flexible enough to aggressively grow its global business because the architecture was not scalable and introduced process inefficiencies.
In early 2009, Eaton’s leadership team agreed that the company should embark upon a global standardization and integration effort. Eaton launched a multipronged project that overhauled the company’s IT applications from the supply chain to the shop floor. Multiple initiatives were launched simultaneously, including a global ERP standardization effort, an integrated shop-floor operational dashboard, and a global customer relationship management application.
The ERP initiative included eliminating non-scalable systems and rolling out Oracle E-Business Suite, JDEdwards, and QAD MFG/PRO across multiple sites.
As an extension of the ERP effort, Eaton deployed a shop-floor operational dashboard, which the company calls “ERP Healthcheck,” to drive working capital improvements and materials management competencies. The dashboard, which has been deployed across 140 manufacturing sites, integrates the ERP transactional information to improve internal key operational metrics such as inventory and on-time delivery.
And the global CRM effort, based on Siebel CRM, extends the supply chain by integrating customer-facing technologies to improve Eaton’s aftermarket capabilities and enable growth in leads, contacts, and customer opportunities. The goal is to drive consistency and efficiencies in sales and marketing process across all regions of the world.
“The results of the programs have helped contribute to improvement in our operations,” says William Blausey, Eaton’s CIO and senior vice president. “Moving toward a more unified ERP environment helps consolidate, standardize, and integrate our technology platforms. Our shop-floor dashboard enables operations leaders to monitor production in real time. And the global customer relationship management environment integrates customer-facing technologies to strengthen our customer relationships. As a result, we have built a strong platform through enterprise standardization that provides operational efficiencies and helps contribute to increased free cash flow.”