Hi-Tech Printing Market Leader ATMA Adds to its Advantage with New ERP System
Microsoft Dynamics AX is Key to its “Compact yet Competitive” Strategy with Aligned Internal Application & Suppo rt for Partners
“Time is money, and is also key to competitiveness. A company needs to be adjustable at all times and avoid idling. We chose Microsoft Dynamics AX for its flexible customization, easy operation and management, and we also hope to reduce reliance on manpower employment through IT automation, which is aligned with our “compact yet competitive” strategy.”
Capable of independent R&D, manufacturing, sales and service, ATMA Champ Ent. Corp (ATMA) claims over 70% of the 3C touch screen printing market. The company had contributed to production of hot gadgets from first generation iPhone to Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and along the way has exhibited outstanding stability and accuracy.
However, the company’s nearly 20-year-old ERP system could no longer support such growth. ATMA was thus urged to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics AX as its one and only enterprise application platform which consolidates multiple function modules such as MRP, BI, APS, RM and SCM. Users will also include external suppliers and dealers in the future.
“Time is money, and is also key to competitiveness”, says Chairman Chen Dong-Chin of ATMA. “A company needs to be adjustable at all times and avoid idling. We chose Microsoft Dynamics AX for its flexible customization, easy operation and management, and we also hope to reduce reliance on manpower employment through IT automation, which is aligned with our “compact yet competitive” strategy.”
The Industry Leader’s Best Practice Lies in Customization
ATMA is the only supplier capable of designing, manufacturing and selling plane surface, roll to roll and drum-type printing machines, which are used in industries such as automobile, architecture, home appliances, biomedicine and advertising.
With plants in Taiwan and China and over 40 agents globally, ATMA serves more than 70 markets. However, the nearly 20-year-old ERP system has been deficient despite constant upgrades. Upon confirming retirement of the incumbent system, ATMA started evaluation of 7-8 local and foreign brands on criteria including compatibility, comprehensiveness, easiness of maintenance, cost of introduction, after-sales service, the supplier’s level of familiarity with its own products, and overall performance.
In addition, Microsoft AX is highly compatible with Office and SQL Server database. The fact that IT personnel familiar with Microsoft framework are easy to find allows ATMA to maintain the system on its own, free from dependence on suppliers and from continued large-scale investment in the system.
Chang Kai, Associate Manager to CEO’s Office concludes that as top leader in the industry, ATMA should build the best practices out of its unique system and production process, instead of copying from other companies. Such expectation of ATMA can be realized with support from K&S Inform and Microsoft teams. Microsoft Dynamics AX not only consolidates all systems but also allows development of new function modules through customization.
3-Staged Automation Goal
ATMA has always been pursuing a 3-staged goal from automation, minimal staffing, to an unmanned manufacturing system, both in terms of factory and IT management. Since more than 10 years ago, ATMA has invested 3-4 times more than its competitors in automated machines, which allowed the company to replace frontline technicians with operators. Considering the shortage of talents nowadays, this strategy is more effective, and also shields the company from the influence of changing cost of manpower.
Chairman Chen points out that while developing new technologies, ATMA invests more than its competitors in automation of manufacturing and IT processes, aiming at achieving minimal staffing, even an unmanned manufacturing system. Automation also enables faster and more efficient consolidation of reports, which facilitates immediate analysis and decision making. These, are key to success amid fierce competition.
In fact, ATMA’s original enterprise application platform consists of different brands and had not been appropriately integrated. The company had been unable to access timely information on manufacturing and research progress as well as overall feedback. Important information such as items and days of inventory, and estimated date of delivery had been communicated through phone. However as business grew, manual operation has become burdensome and prone to errors.
ATMA is planning to establish comprehensive, timely and integrated management procedures, to enable all personnel to understand their performance, conduct analysis and reinforce management at any time. The key is to have all staff use the same system and thus to access correct, identical data, instead of taking uncoordinated actions.
All Needs Covered by One Single Full-Featured Platform
ATMA launched phase I of the introduction project in January 2015, and within one year basic function modules such as procurement, sales and inventory as well as MRP will be completed, explains Chang. Both phases II and III will take place in 2016, the former including BI and APS systems, and the latter CRM and SCM systems. All three phases will be implemented simultaneously across the company’s Taiwan and China offices. Notably, Microsoft Dynamics AX provides users with an edge in international expansion, allowing ATMA’s global agents and overseas sales points to access inventory data at real time for more effective sales.
In terms of actual system introduction, ATMA highly recognizes K&S Inform’s professional consulting team, rich experience, tested procedures and outstanding customization skills. The Microsoft team also assisted with back office integration including security, mobility and cloud applications to prepare for ATMA’s future needs.
Chen says, “I am hoping to build a compact yet competitive company. There will be fierce competition for talents globally. High quality manpower will be expensive and hard to find. My strategy is to cut down on manpower employment and thus lowering costs. Manpower needs not be allocated to what can be done by computers. Microsoft Dynamics AX gives us the ability to do exactly this.”