ERP System Maintenance and Code Optimization for LISI Aerospace

  • Post-implementation support and maintenance of a comprehensive ERP system complemented with homegrown modules
  • Legacy code optimization and system productivity uplift
  • Decreased technical support effort and reduced TCO

Context

LISI Aerospace is the world’s third largest manufacturer of aeronautical fasteners and assembly components counting Airbus, Boeing and Rolls Royce among their clients. The company is headquartered in France, but its multiple manufacturing entities are located in the USA.

Striving to improve operational efficiency of the company’s distributed divisions, LISI Aerospace implemented a comprehensive Infor M3 ERP system several years ago. Later on, the core ERP solution was complemented with a number of custom bolt-on modules.

Post-Implementation Pitfalls

The system post-implementation stage revealed numerous maintenance issues triggered by a geographically distributed environment the ERP solution was implemented in. Homegrown modules with code inefficiencies added to system complexity. LISI Aerospace was forced to resort to technical support services frequently, while system ineffectiveness was aggravated by constrained IT support resources.

System Productivity Rescue

Struggling to achieve the cost-effectiveness implied by ERP system implementation, LISI Aerospace switched to Itransition from their previous India-based ERP vendor. The choice for Itransition was determined by our vast expertise in system maintenance and extensive geographical coverage. With offices located in North America and Europe, Itransition is enabled to provide on-premise support and facilitate seamless communication between the Client’s divisions scattered across two continents.

To optimize system productivity, Itransition team was to perform a number of tasks:

  • to examine the ERP solution to find out how business needs are mapped to ERP modules and how the functionality is implemented;
  • to identify software pitfalls entailing involvement of the technical support team and eliminate them;
  • to enhance system maintenance and extensibility through code optimization;
  • to carry on further system support, maintenance and development.

Project

ERP represents the back-office of a complex software system used by hundreds of LISI Aerospace employees. The core Infor M3 system automates such critical business processes as manufacturing operations, financial management, supply chain management, enterprise asset management, etc., while custom bolt-on modules reconcile functionality gaps.

Identifying Ways of System Optimization

Our primary task was to reliably enhance the code quality of bolt-on modules so that LISI Aerospace could decrease the system maintenance effort and cut its TCO in the long run.

To determine ways of system maintenance and extensibility issues resolution, Itransition specialists carried out a detailed examination of the Client’s ERP system. The major challenges were posed by:

  • remote systems acting like “black boxes”, thus, hindering detection of where failures originated from (whether it is the external system, the application itself or a delivery channel);
  • several data sources leading to synchronization errors difficult to detect;
  • lack of detailed description of the business processes;
  • lack of implementation details provided by the previous software vendor;
  • time zone difference holding back smooth knowledge transfer and communication between geographically distributed teams.

Fixing the Legacy Code

Our primary task was to reliably enhance the ERP modules code quality so that LISI Aerospace could decrease system maintenance effort and cut its TCO in the long run.

Alongside with fixing and optimizing the legacy Java code, Itransition developers had to ensure code clarity and maintainability, as well as to secure productivity uplift and efficient runtime of ERP modules. A QA-engineer was involved to ensure that the code behavior was sustained and no bugs crept in when introducing changes to the source code.

Expanding Functionality

The applications under maintenance are integrated with third-party software, e.g. a dispatch control system for calculating optimal packaging parameters according to shipping methods and space availability. The modules interact with external systems using Web services or direct APIs and synchronize the data obtained from different sources.

Itransition was responsible for creating APIs for new features and facilitating integration of bolt-on modules with M3 ERP system and other enterprise applications.

Functionality Overview

The M3 bolt-on modules under maintenance are currently used by hundreds of LISI Aerospace employees. They cover all the company’s manufacturing processes:

Shop floor system

The Shop floor system is installed on user workstations. It is responsible for: taking control over the manufacturing processes; displaying lists of tasks; gathering information (lists of activities/current activity/work stations assigned to each activity/workstation adjustment time/operation duration/interruptions in the workflow, etc.) throughout the whole manufacturing lifecycle; weighing ready-made parts.

Packing system

The Packing system is launched at user workstations. It is responsible for: packaging manufactured components indicating container type weighing filled containers printing labels with bar codes scanning barcodes.

Allocation system

The Allocation system is a web application providing access to inventory control features. It allows for viewing the current location of the ready-made parts, assigning locations, relocation, etc.

Receiving system

The Receiving system is a web application used for receiving and registering the items delivered.

Print service

The Print service is an auxiliary web application enabling to print documentation based on Crystal Reports templates using Crystal Reports API.

Shipping system

The shipping system is a web application enabling to perform finalizing operations, such as:

  • quality control;
  • selection of delivery service type;
  • printing accompanying documentation;
  • deregistration;
  • report generation, etc.

Results

Itransition achieved remarkable results optimizing performance of ERP components and reducing system support costs. Increased Java code flexibility allowed for software functionality enhancement and assured smooth workflow of enterprise in-house high-technology processes as well as those transcending company boundaries.

So far, the Itransition team managed to successfully fit in the specified timeframe. The project still on track, LISI Aerospace is satisfied with the progress that has already been made and is determined to continue partnering with Itransition on further system development.

Screenshots

Highlights

  • Solutions

    Enterprise Resource Management

  • Industries

    Manufacturing

  • Technology

    Java

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