Concrete manufacturer lays new ERP foundations – and realizes sustained value by staying current

Upgrade is a business decision for any organization – balancing the value and innovation enabled against the financial impact and resource commitment.

Unfortunately, all too often, budget concerns and a lack of clarity around the business benefits and ROI that an upgrade could enable lead to status quo. Many companies opt to stay on their existing ERP solution, and even though they are painfully aware of the limitations and inefficiencies inherent in older technology, they are unable to qualify the cost and disruption of an upgrade. And that can leave an otherwise dynamic company shackled to an ageing ERP solution that drives up integration and maintenance costs, and limits productivity, scalability and agility.

That’s why it is great to be able to share success stories like the case that came over my desk earlier today about a company that built its business on concrete – but refused to get set in its ways (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).

The company in question – Oldcastle Precast –  is a leading manufacturer of precast and polymer concretes, and plastic products in the United States. After being locked in to a legacy ERP solution for almost 15 years, Oldcastle faced increasing risk and cost in supporting the aging system. In 2001, they decided to migrate to Axapta 2.1, realizing immediate and significant benefits from the decision. Based on this positive experience, they made the strategic decision to stay current on their Microsoft Dynamics AX solution as subsequent versions became available. Through their decision to continually upgrade their ERP solution, they realized significantly greater value, at a much lower cost each time.

Now, with their current Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 installation, they have standardized their infrastructure on the Microsoft platform, improved their performance and manageability, and continuously taken advantage of new functionality and capabilities to lower inventory variance, consolidate overheads, centralize business functions, and further improve their manufacturing operations.

By 2010, for every U.S.$1 invested, the company generated almost U.S.$5 of benefits. That’s an upside that’s hard to ignore. It’s also a great real-world example of the role of ERP as a change-agent and critical enabler that allows dynamic businesses to thrive by capitalizing on new opportunities. As Bob Quinn, CAO at Oldcastle Precast puts it, “Without Dynamics AX, the job [of implementing rapid change in these difficult times] would have been insurmountable.”

Ross Thorpe

Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product Marketing