11 weeks to ERP: How a high-growth company took care of business systems fast

Published on the 23/03/2004 | Written by Zag

Crystal oscillator



  • Export and Manufacturing


  • Modern enterprise resource planning solution to replace legacy system
  • Improve visibility across the business, improve management’s access to inventory and other information


  • SAP Business All-in-One for Finance, Procurement, Warehouse, Production, Engineering and Sales


  • Integrated and standardised business processes
  • Standardised information flows across the business
  • A platform for growth: smoothly operating ERP system allows executives to focus on business issues, not technology problems


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With the expertise of Soltius, Rakon implemented SAP Business All-in-One in just 11 weeks…

As one of New Zealand’s leading exporters, Rakon recognised that it needed a world class information system to overcome the mounting costs of maintaining a legacy system and provide a platform for future growth. It selected SAP Business All-in-One, implemented in an ambitious timeframe by Soltius.

Rakon is a leading developer of high performance frequency control technology based on quartz crystals, with an annual turnover of approximately NZ$180 million. More than 95 percent of its business comes from exports and the company was recognised as the Supreme Exporter for 2005 at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Awards.

Founded in 1967, Rakon employs approximately 500 staff in New Zealand.

Driven by a period of strong growth, the company’s management team recognised the requirement for a flexible and fully-integrated, company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. Rakon’s Information Services Project Manager, Brent Clarke, explains why: “The old system had trouble coping with the needs of a growing business. Every time we went through a stock take, it would take us three or four months to get the final analysis.

“That was very challenging. We needed to have the absolute latest information at our fingertips and be sure it was accurate.”

After an extensive four-month evaluation of potential solutions, Rakon selected SAP Business All-in-One for Finance, Procurement, Warehouse, Production, Engineering and Sales.

Soltius was the chosen SAP implementation partner and, driven by a business goal to be live with the new system by the end of the financial year, the initial implementation was completed in an accelerated timeframe. Clarke explains why: “Once we decided to get serious about upgrading our Information Systems (IS) platform we wanted to move quickly. We had endured the challenges of the old system long enough and didn’t want to mess around with a low-end solution that would cause problems down the track.”

Despite challenges which included meeting the unique requirements of the high-tech industry, Rakon’s complex supply chain and large numbers of customers, and a substantial inventory, Soltius met the project deadline.

“We started the implementation in January and went live on April 1 with Sales, Financials Purchasing and Stores – it was frantic, but with Soltius’ help, we achieved it. It was a longer process to get the production areas sorted, but that was largely due to the fact that we had a complex bill of materials, with master data issues rather than system issues,” recalls Clarke.

Clarke says the purpose of the implementation was clear: “We were looking to achieve a business advantage with a solution that would enable better inventory scheduling, so we could roll out better and more efficient production and sales processes. Money was a big driver. Our management supported the process and didn’t mind which system we went for as long it was capable and cost effective.”

That’s been borne out in practice: as a result of the SAP implementation Rakon is more effectively running its business and managing its growth, Clarke confirms. “After the project, we experienced a strong period of growth. That’s been supported by the SAP system without any issues. The stability of our systems and processes has also allowed us to engage with investors, thus driving further growth for Rakon.”

Clarke said that most of the solutions they considered had the ability to drill down into information in real time, which was important for Rakon. But they couldn’t match SAP’s flexibility and integration. He said Rakon has committed to other SAP Business All-in-One components, such as Business Warehousing and CRM, and was also inclined to install Workflow and Quality Management.


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