Manufacturing CIOs expect budget rises

More than half of New Zealand and Australian IT managers in the manufacturing sector expect their departments' budget to be increased in the coming financial year, a survey says.

More than half of New Zealand and Australian IT managers in the manufacturing sector expect their departments’ budget to be increased in the coming financial year, a survey says.

ERP vendor SAA Global Technologies canvassed the views of several hundred CIOs and IT managers from the manufacturing sector in a global survey earlier this year. Among the results was the finding that 62% of New Zealand and Australian respondents expect their budgets to be increased.

The survey also found that 47% of Australasians who took part plan to deploy a new application but don’t want to build their own. They expect to be able to modify products bought from vendors.

“They don’t want to develop packages,” says SAA Pacific general manager Jeremy Goddard.

“They want vendor packages with clear upgrade paths and forward flexibility.”

Goddard says 80% of respondents said they expect to do some customisation, inhouse, of enterprise applications.

“They may be expecting higher budgets, but the focus will be on maximising returns from existing core systems.”

Fisher & Paykel logistics general manager Don Cooper says the whiteware manufacturer didn’t take part in the survey.

“We have a company policy of not participating in surveys. We get two or three requests a week for IT-related surveys.”

Cooper says F&P “did a big upgrade” to JD Edwards’ OneWorld two and a half years ago, “and now it’s time to get payback from what we’ve invested in”.

Modules have been added since the initial installation, he says.

SAA’s Goddard says the average lifespan of an ERP system is 17 years. Cooper says F&P beat that average by five years with its Maxim system. “We had it for 22 years before getting OneWorld.”

The SSA survey found that 38% of New Zealand and Australian IT managers plan an e-commerce deployment, but Cooper says the lack of cheap, easily upgradable alternatives for smaller customers means e-commerce won’t be saturating the manufacturing sector in a hurry.

“[It won’t happen] until someone comes up with a Microsoft-priced ERP system that small businesses can afford.”

F&P uses e-commerce in dealing with larger companies with “good, centralised ERP systems”, he says.

“But when you’re dealing with retailers, most don’t have an integrated system.”

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