Tag Archives: Business

Antony Bourne, Global Industry Director, IFS

Antony BourneAs the Global Industry Director at IFS, Antony’s responsibilities include acting as the Global Industry Director for Industrial Manufacturing and High Tech as well as managing the other global industry directors. Antony has over 15 years experience in the IT industry, including working in the manufacturing sector. Prior to joining IFS in 1997, he held Business Analyst positions with Ford Motor Company and AlliedSignal. During this time he implemented ERP applications as well as business process improvements.

1. What did the audience learn from attending the webinar?

They learnt that cost is not always the most important factor when choosing a new ERP package, functionality and usability are instead.

Another key factor is that flexibility of the solution ensures ROI.

2. What did you most enjoy about presenting to a live audience?

I always enjoy getting questions and feedback from the audience since it shows that they have understood the issues and want to learn more.

3. How did you get into the industry and what do you most enjoy about your role?

Started as a business analyst at an automotive supplier, installed a new ERP package when our plant was sold to another company, then was going to go to Ireland to be trained in a German ERP package, but had a call from IFS and have been there ever since (since 1997).

 4. What’s the best thing someone has ever taught you?

To always try my best, be honest, and don’t say that I know everything because I don’t and I never will. I am always learning new things from different companies on how they operate their business as well as embracing new technologies as they emerge in the market.

5. How are you hoping to help IFS to grow in the near future and what are your plans for 2015 and 2016?

By showing IFS Applications 9 to both existing customers and prospective customers, and by working with marketing and the analyst community to ensure that they are aware of what we can do and what makes us different to other ERP providers.

6. What motivates you?

I really enjoy meeting customers that I helped with during the sales process successfully going live and meeting up year after year. Listening them tell me that they are still happy with the solution and the support that they get from us makes me feel so happy.

Anthony presented along with his colleague Nick Castellina the IFS webinar ‘Select Flexible Enterprise Software and Be Prepared for Business Challenges’.

The session is now available to watch here.


Is Your Business Solution Adequate to Support Your Growth: Find Out in my Upcoming Webinar

Finding a needle in a haystack is hard, but the task pales in comparison to finding a specific needle in a pile of needles. Selecting the ideal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution from among the numerous options on the market can feel like just as daunting a challenge. ERP represents a serious investment for any organization and is vital to future success. As such, a great deal is at stake. The ERP selection process should be regarded as a top priority, with appropriate time and resources devoted to it. Top performing organizations approach the selection process with a clear plan in mind and come away with solutions that implement smoothly and help drive business immediately. Further, those that get the most value out of ERP choose a solution that can support them through business change and as they continue to grow. On the other hand, less meticulous organizations become saddled with solutions that continually disappoint, put additional strain on the organization, and often need to be replaced.

In many of my past research surveys, I asked survey takers to indicate the selection criteria they choose when selecting ERP. Functionality and ease of use always come out on top. But while these two selection criteria are integral to selecting a solution that fits your organization today, neither of these criteria are necessarily permanent. Functionality may no longer be adequate as your organization’s needs change, and a system that seems easy to use today may feel clunky in comparison to newer, upgraded solutions over time. In fact, a recent study of mine asked survey takers to indicate the reasons that they replaced their old ERP system (Figure 1). Three of the top four reasons concern solutions that are no longer able to support the business. Maybe it does not have the features needed to continue to operate effectively; maybe it is unable to support connections with emerging technologies; or maybe it can no longer handle the business due to explosive growth. Regardless of the reason, what is the point of paying maintenance on an ERP solution that can no longer support the business?

Figure I: Is it Time to Replace Our System?

But replacing an ERP can be expensive and disruptive to the business as well as carry a lot of risk. Organizations could be better off staying on the latest version of their solution (the Best-in-Class are 61% more likely to be on the latest release), as well as doing necessary tailoring themselves. For this reason, Best-in-Class organizations are 83% more likely to have a solution that can be quickly tailored to reflect business change. Therefore, flexibility needs to be a top criteria used when selecting an ERP.

This flexibility expands an organizations ability to grow, support new business models, remain compliant, and take advantage of emerging technology. My research has uncovered numerous benefits from selecting an adaptable solution. I have also uncovered many tips on how to take advantage of this flexibility to become a more effective organization. I would like to invite you to attend a webinar that I am presenting on June 9 at 10am EST in partnership with IFS to hear some of these tips. You can register for the webinar by clicking here. I hope you can make it.