Ingersoll Rand is a Multi-Billion dollar, US-based industrial manufacturer that has traded for 135 years, operating brands including Bobcat industrial vehicles, Schlage locks and Thermo King transport temperature control equipment.
Its globally diversified business has followed the economic trend of international sourcing and manufacture, as well as for production and delivery. This has led it to trade across a complex set of international borders, time zones and local import/export regulations. Making, assembling, selling and shipping products for export was supported by a disparate IT infrastructure that had grown with the company in a piecemeal fashion over the years.
Strained supply system
However, carrying out these increasingly distributed functions was testing the limits of its legacy supply chain management systems.
“Tax, trade tariff and customs requirements, not to mention restrictions according to the US export list, all affect how and who we trade with in other countries,” says Michael Macrie, CIO of Ingersoll Rand. “The increasing constraints of new legislation at both a country and regional level has led to some compliance problems in the past.” The company wanted to improve processes in this area but realised applying updated regulatory procedures to inconsistent data about demand levels in its complex supply chain would render any operational change difficult.
"The IT benefits will, at the very minimum, cut processing time and increase accuracy for improved compliance as the main goal"
Michael Macrie, CIO, Ingersoll Rand
Strategic change was needed in the first place, also Macrie says the cost of maintaining discrete local supply chain systems was becoming increasingly difficult to justify. “We looked at who would offer a set of systems and tools that would allow us to reduce the number of ERP vendors from 35 down to one,” he says.
Over the last couple of years, the company has moved to just six Oracle ERP suites globally, as part of a strategy to standardise IT systems business processes throughout the world. “Since we had already made the strategic decision to move on to Oracle, we were looking at the breadth of options for adding better compliance tools on top of that,” says Macrie. Ingersoll Rand made the decision to implement Management Dynamics’ Global Trade Compliance suite, including the Trade Import, Trade Export and Trade Agreements modules, as part of a global enterprise-wide initiative to standardise its order management and trade compliance operations. According to Macrie, the compliance suite investment is designed to significantly improve regulatory compliance and operational efficiencies by reducing total costs, cutting cycle times and mitigating corporate risk exposure in international transactions. “Today the whole process is paper and fax intensive,” he says. “So the IT benefits will, at the very minimum, cut processing time and increase accuracy for improved compliance as the main goal. But we also hope to reduce shipping costs across all the organisations in the company, as well as streamline processes for greater efficiency.”
The new compliance system will meet Ingersoll Rand’s key requirements for establishing an end-to-end trade clearance process and managing trade compliance by centralising and standardising its import and export process across five of its major business units. The Freight Forwarder portal will enable its network of logistics service providers and freight forwarders to modify and update details of in-transit shipments with real-time access. The integration with Ingersoll Rand’s Oracle ERP system will provide a standard technology architecture for the entire company and the scalability to accommodate hundreds of users and high transaction volumes.
“Few IT vendors can give us the global scale and IT benefits we need but we’re now on the first step of a three-year, phased global rollout. We are also adding some other major Oracle modules. I’m looking forward to the first deployment soon,” says Macrie.