What does IFS Cloud 21R2 deliver for you and your market?
IFS Cloud lets you harness a level of industry experience and expertise you simply won’t find in other products. Here are some of the feature and capability highlights in 21R2 and what they deliver for the manufacturing,-, energy, utility and resources,- and service management industry.
First published on blog.ifs.com
IFS Cloud 21R2 helps businesses collect the data needed to demonstrate their compliance and improve their performance against environmental sustainability standards—IFS Cloud Sustainability Hub is soon to be available in Microsoft Teams.
As a market differentiator and ongoing driver for the evolution of IFS Cloud, the platform’s user experience has also been updated. New branding capabilities allow you to integrate your own look and feel and create a more engaging experience for users. Adding customization and analytical capabilities lets you join up data, insights, actions and transactions in one place.
The Update Studio is at the heart of enabling our customers to stay evergreen. It enables you to analyze the release update and understand what impact it might have on configuration or customization, before making any changes. This has proved especially critical to our customers in regulated industries.
The pressure and general disruption faced by manufacturers has never been higher. Recent examples include Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing level of digital disruption as businesses move towards Industry 4.0, and in 2021, issues such as the Suez Canal blockage. Business agility has always been crucial, but the current climate has re-emphasized the importance of having the right tools in place; organizations have needed to react not just quickly, but with significant insight into what the best response actually is. Our fast-paced manufacturing customers in particular—who often receive early morning orders that must be shipped by the end of the day—are increasingly asking themselves:
Can I accommodate this order request in full? What’s the impact of changing today’s schedule to prioritize this order? What’s the optimal schedule going forward—to not only meet this request but future orders too?
The new intraday planning answers such questions by bringing key information all onto one screen. You can now balance the short-term supply and demand for materials and resources, based on the optimal schedule within the day. This can be performed down to the minute level, letting you capitalize on a highly granular form of production planning. Executing same day orders through intraday planning lets you boost your bottom line and customer service levels, while keeping any scheduled production disruption to a minimum.
Helping you deliver service excellence in any industry is a cornerstone of IFS Cloud. The new service logistics functionality empowers you to keep an end-to-end service running smoothly and boost first-time fix rates. Ultimately, we want the service technicians—who can’t travel with the material required to complete work—to always have what they need when on-site. That’s why you, with the new capability, can now deliver materials direct to site before work is due to begin. Furthermore, procurement punch-out easily enables approved ad-hoc procurement of parts. When a service technician is on-site and discovers they’re missing parts or supplies, they now have the option to purchase the item from an approved local supplier to quickly address that need and deliver a first-time fix.
The new service catalog lets you advance from time and materials-based services to productized services. It’s now possible to define how you package, execute and sell productized services, helping you achieve consistent and repeatable results. Single templates define component-based services, making it easy to update the catalog as your business and offerings change.
It’s important that field workers can update their work status throughout the day so it’s accurately reflected and visible to other users. With IFS Mobile Work Order, field workers use their mobile client to manage their day from start to end, including breaks, changes of scope and re-assignments. Additionally, checklists (list of questions) can be configured to appear to the user when they sign in or out. Shift status updates in the mobile environment are then used by the automated scheduling and dispatch services to make the best possible decisions about resource scheduling and dispatch of work.
Energy, Utilities and Resources
You’ll always know your business processes best, so the smartest way to improve them is with you in the driving seat. With the new asset performance management (APM) enhancement and new cloud storage options, greater control and choice is given to our customers. Within APM, Business Process Automation (BPA) design flows have been added to Equipment Data Collection (EDC), providing a more visual way to configure the system. Thanks to new drag and drop capabilities, you’ll no longer need to be a software developer to configure data collection outputs.
With the new release, IFS introduces new cloud storage options, allowing you to store documents and other media outside of the core ERP database. This gives you the option to leverage cheaper storage for these types of data, and also makes it easier to manage the transaction database. Separating documents and media from the IFS environment speeds up back up times, especially for customers processing large volumes.
With the new procurement punchout functionality, you no longer need to hold, for example, all the supplier’s parts within your database. Instead, you can now “punch out”—i.e. go to the supplier’s web shop, select the parts, and bring back into an approval workflow within IFS Cloud. By making it easier to use external web shops, the overall efficiency of the procurement process increases significantly.