Vertical Solution for ETO Companies Using Microsoft Dynamics AX
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ERP systems are useful for MTS and ATO manufacturing strategies. When evaluating the ERP systems in an ETO environment there is not much research available on the matter, but the general understanding is that ERP system lacks specific business processes that are special to companies in the sector. In addition, the few studies that are available on the subject conclude that there is need for more empirical studies. By conducting a thorough literature study on the topics ERP, ETO, and project life-cycle processes, information was gathered and used for creating a survey and interview questions. All the questions were based on how companies handled the business processes that were considered critical in an ERP solution for ETO companies. The companies that participated in the case study were in the maritime and offshore ETO segment and they were currently using the ERP software Microsoft Dynamics AX. The results from the surveys are a contribution to the empirical study this specific area of research needs. During the evaluation of the current solutions there were areas where AX was not sufficient at all, areas where AX needed extra functionality, and areas where AX was sufficient. Where AX was not performing up to standards, new software had been implemented and most often integrated with AX. Industry specific requirements had also been included as new, customizable functionality in AX. This extra functionality was very important because of the focus on a specific industry. In conclusion, the findings from the case studies were used to generate requirements that represented real needs to be fulfilled by an eventual solution. The general solution was therefore based on a combination of best-practice solutions from all three cases. Benefits of the solution were also identified.