Exheat upgrading to AX2012 to support organic growth

A designer and manufacturer of electric process and heating control systems is hotting up its growth plans as it upgrades its Microsoft Dynamics AX4 system, implemented by Columbus, to the latest AX 2012 version. The investment is expected to further improve efficiency across multiple office and manufacturing sites for the global business.

Founded in 1991 in Norfolk, globally renowned Exheat develops systems suitable for installation in hazardous areas within the extreme environments commonly found in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Having achieved constant organic growth, Exheat now has two manufacturing locations in the UK and offices in Singapore.

Since implementing Dynamics AX4 across the entire business in 2009, Exheat has benefited from having a fully featured end-to-end ERP system, signifying a major step in the growth of the global business, crucially allowing it to efficiently operate across multiple office and manufacturing sites.

Exheat made the decision to upgrade to the latest AX solution to reap the numerous and widespread benefits that AX2012 delivers. These include increased functionality, improved BI, on-time reporting, integration with other Microsoft products and improvements to the company's purchasing, planning and production modules.

Zek Meadows, Group Finance Director at Exheat said: "The implementation of AX 2012 is obviously a significant capital investment for Exheat. However, as a group of companies we are known for the unrivalled quality of our products and their timely delivery. In order to maintain this reputation it is essential that our business is supported by a state-of-the-art ERP system that integrates all parts of our operations worldwide. As with any business, having the right information on a timely basis that the right people can see is very important to us, and we believe this can be achieved with AX2012."

Columbus' Business Process Modelling Tool RapidValue was used during the diagnostic phase to aid the decision making process and allow Exheat to clearly document the processes it had in place. Exheat benefited from significant time savings during this phase and staff were, thanks to business process mapping, better able to visualise and modify the company's processes used.

Additionally, RapidValue's ability to accurately map Exheat's system with a set of process flows and links to the live AX2012 system will allow them to use the tool as an effective and long-term training application.

David Downes, Group Systems Accountant at Exheat, said: "The diagnostic phase of the project was a key stage in the decision making process as to whether the implementation of AX2012 was right for us. Columbus used RapidValue to identify the processes we currently had in place, and to highlight what best practice would be. At the end of the diagnostic phase it was clear that AX2012 was the right choice for Exheat and Columbus was the right business partner to guide us through the full implementation process.

"The key benefit of RapidValue is the speed at which it allows you to clearly document the processes you have in place. The end goal of our implementation process is to operate an efficient and well maintained ERP system, that all of our employees can intuitively use."

Mary Hunter, Managing Director at Columbus, feels that the upgrade will hugely benefit Exheat, and that the strong relationship between the two companies will ensure the re-implementation will run smoothly.

"We've been working with Exheat for over five years now and we therefore have a deep understanding of how their business operates. The upgrade project will bring a number of key benefits to the company as it continues to grow, and we're delighted to be working together through the upgrade process to ensure maximum efficiency is gained from their ERP solution."

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