• Location: France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain
• Industry: Pipe technologies
• Web site: www.amiantit.eu
“iScala 3.0 gives us everything we need. It allows us to function as one business entity and lets us share information quickly, informing business decisions. We anticipate that because of our new standardised methodology and knowledgesharing approach, we will be able to continue to take our business from strength to strength.”
Penio Penev, IT Solutions Manager | Amiantit
Since its launch in Saudi Arabia in 1968, Amiantit has grown and developed into a major diversified industrial group with a number of manufacturing plants, technology companies, materials suppliers, and engineering subsidiaries in more than 70 countries worldwide. The group's core business activities include the manufacture and sale of pipe systems, the ownership and sale of pipe technologies, the provision of water management consultancy and engineering services and the manufacture and supply of polymer products.
To coordinate activities and bring business intelligence to Amiantit's processes in Europe, the group decided to upgrade its existing European enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to Epicor iScala 3.0.
1,000 pages to standardise tools and processes
Employing more than 600 people in Europe and managing over €100 million in revenue is a challenge in any industry. But when it comes to the complex matter of managing sewer and water treatment projects, it's vital to have clear processes from the tendering stage, right through to project management.
When Penio Penev, IT solutions manager at Amiantit, joined the company, he knew it was important to standardise processes across EMEA. All started by building a flowchart of each procedure in the business, looking at the various tasks and responsibilities within each decision making process to build a sophisticated company manual.
Penev says, “This manual is now the basis of everything we do. It's about 1,000 pages long, which gives you an idea of the complexity of our work. The manual is vital because our business operates across several continents and time zones. In order to act like one entity, it was important to have unifying methods in place.”
With the manual in place to provide clear processes across the group, Penev then started to update Amiantit's existing Epicor ERP iScala solution to the latest version- iScala 3.0.
iScala as the backbone of Amiantit's European operations
iScala had been central to Amantit's operations since it was first implemented in 1990. Amiantit had worked with several versions of iScala and when the launch of iScala 3.0 coincided with the new process manual, Penev took the opportunity to upgrade the existing iScala version to bring the very latest in ERP software to the business and help standardise processes across the company.
Penev explains, “iScala is the backbone of our operations, and our sales and distribution arms rely on it to coordinate our pipe system projects. We are a global business so the ability to input data directly from different locations is valuable. For example, if sales data is entered into iScala from one location, this can be picked up in the relevant regional production facilities, tracking every project across its lifecycle.”
In addition to iScala, Amiantit also has its own bespoke applications for data management and production that have been developed to work directly with the ERP. This means that everything at Amiantit, from raw material transactions, to stock checking and from updating orders to managing shipping processes, is automated.
Migrating to iScala 3.0
Amiantit operates 24 hours a day so the migration needed to be meticulously planned in order to cause minimal disruption.
Amiantit works with VMware. To make the migration swift, Penev started by creating a new virtual machine (VM) and installing iScala 3.0. Using the new VM as a test server, Penev then checked that all of Amiantit's existing applications worked with the new version, before migrating systems across.
Penev explains, “Because iScala is mission-critical to our business, the upgrade needed to cause zero disruption across the entire company. The migration was planned in detail, so it was easy to implement - we connected the new iScala, configured the security settings, tested our bespoke applications and we were up and running in just two weeks. We didn't even need to make changes to the operating system. In fact, at most locations, the migration took place in just 12 hours.”
Helping business operations flow
After migrating across to the latest version of iScala, Amiantit had a training session with Epicor to make sure key users were familiar with the software.
Penev says, “The new layout is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. There were some small changes and updates to the interface, so we only needed to spend an hour with Epicor and our key users before we were ready to make the most of it across the division. We now have 106 employees using the product on a daily basis, across 12 sites in Europe and Africa.”
Through its grid-based order entry and enquiry screens, iScala gives Amiantit the ability to track orders and integrate processes across the group. Amiantit now has a comprehensive view of all activity and iScala users have all of the information they need on particular projects at a glance. For example, when the business is taking on a new water treatment project, the order processing department can easily access information about existing water treatment projects to improve decision-making and customer service.
The country-specific functionality of iScala also means that Amiantit can use its iScala installation as part of its overall fiscal and regularity compliance regime, without the need for separate, third party tools.
Penev concludes, “iScala gives us everything we need. It allows us to function as one business entity and lets us share information quickly, informing business decisions. We anticipate that because of our new standardised methodology and knowledge-sharing approach, we will be able to continue to take our business from strength to strength.”
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.