Waelco’s use of ERP

When it comes to supplying active coolers for various modes of transport, including cars, trucks, buses and boats, Waeco International is a market leader with branches in various countries. The Australian branch, Waeco Pacific Pty. Ltd., was recently faced with the dilemma of having an out-dated ERP system that caused managers to create individual systems specific for each department of the organization. Amongst other problems, this poor system meant that operations had to be done manually. So, it was decided that a new, more modern ERP system would be integrated, and the first step was to find out what employees wanted.

Consulting employees has its pros and cons; on the one hand you find out what you need to know ‘direct from the horse’s mouth’ but the expense of such a way must be considered, as well as the huge amount of time and effort required. When looking at the costs of this approach, you need to take into consideration the expenditure of the systems analyst, which includes time, travel hours, interview/monitoring time, and compiling the findings in an organized and understandable manner. The employees being interviewed also need to be considered, as they will not be able to work if they are being interviewed.

The benefits of this approach are that the managers will know exactly what is wrong with the current system because the information is coming from the people who are faced with the problems. Once implemented, it can be assumed that the new system is efficient due to the aforementioned factor. A final factor to be considered is the culture of the organization. By listening to the employees and valuing their opinions and suggestions, one can assume that the employees feel happier in their work due to the fact that managers listened and the employees have contributed and been a part of such an important process.

The initiation of the new system began in 2005. Assuming that the new system is now fully functional, I think that the top benefits derived from this system are ease of use and time-saving. ‘When an order is placed, the docket automatically prints the correct warehouse location […] and a consignment note is automatically generated.’[1] The above example of the system in use shows that the process is made easier and also that the chance of human error is reduced. Furthermore, this new approach saves time and we all know that time is money.

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