Water treatment and engineering business Integrated Water Services (IWS) is deploying a £500,000 ERP platform to support its mobile workforce and streamline operations.

The company has signed a deal to use the IFS ERP platform with support and related services. As well as supporting its mobile workforce, IWS says the platform will streamline service operations and optimise project management efficiency. "This will improve business agility and support continued business growth", said IWS.

IWS is a sister company of South Staffordshire Water and provides specialist services in all aspects of water hygiene, abstraction, distribution, analysis and treatment. The company employs 400, including 300 mobile engineers across sites nationally.

IFS applications will be brought in to the business to replace "various informal systems" and integrate with other critical IWS systems to deliver better support to all IWS staff, IWS said.

Pete Aspley, IWS managing director, said: “We recognised the necessity of implementing an ERP system capable of supporting IWS’ continued expansion and our growing mobile workforce.  Our existing systems have served us well but we can’t afford to stand still in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market place.”

Service Management and Project Management are among the core IFS modules IWS intends to deploy. The service management and project control functionality will enable IWS to closely analyse and improve efficiency, whilst ensuring that delivery times, for instance, are well within the limits of customer service level agreements.

Aspley estimated that some managers "currently spend 80 percent of their time gathering information and 20 percent using it". He said, "We aim to flip this ratio so that managers have the information they require to facilitate continuous improvement within all of our operations."

The new ERP application is scheduled to go live in nine months' time, following a staged roll-out across the IWS business.

Last month, Severn Trent Water denied accusations from a trade union that a water shortage in the Midlands was caused by the implementation of its SAP ERP platform.