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What is IFS ERP? Everything You've Wanted to Know About IFS Cloud ERP

What is IFS ERP? Everything You've Wanted to Know About IFS Cloud ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are crucial for modern businesses looking to streamline their operations and increase efficiency. IFS Cloud ERP is a leading ERP solution that offers a range of powerful tools for financial management, supply chain management, project management, asset management, and human capital management.

In this blog, we will explore the key features of IFS ERP, the process of implementing and customizing the system, and how it compares to other popular ERP systems on the market. We will also take a look at real-world case studies of companies that have successfully implemented IFS Cloud ERP and the benefits they have seen as a result.

Whether you are considering implementing an ERP system for the first time or are looking to upgrade your current system, this blog will provide valuable insights into the capabilities of IFS ERP and how it can support the growth and success of your business.

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If you're embarking on the journey of selecting and implementing an ERP, it can have a transformative impact on your business. A well-chosen ERP solution can enhance efficiency, save time and money, and propel your organization forward. Ensuring that you make the right choice is crucial, and it requires dedicated time and effort.

If you're new to exploring ERP solutions, it's important to understand that researching and evaluating different options takes time. Proper planning and allocation of hours for investigation are necessary. Additionally, it's crucial to consider the needs of all stakeholders in your company. The best ERP for your organization is one that effectively supports your overall business strategy.

If you've already started researching ERP software, you're likely aware of the numerous vendors in the market, all making similar promises. However, it's challenging to differentiate between them unless you have expertise in this area.

While well-known vendors like SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft spend significant amounts on marketing campaigns, being a household name doesn't necessarily mean they offer the best ERP software. In this article, we want to introduce you to a reputable ERP vendor that may not have the same level of recognition but has already established a strong global presence and is gaining recognition in North America: IFS. Their ERP product, IFS Cloud, offers a comprehensive suite of industry-specific applications and has a proven track record of successful deployments.

At Astra Canyon, we have seen the value that IFS Cloud ERP brings to organizations, and we believe you'll appreciate their offerings too. Our goal in this Buyer's Guide is to provide unbiased and informative insights to help you evaluate whether IFS Cloud ERP is the right fit for your industry, budget, and long-term business goals. Let's explore the possibilities together.

 

IFS Company Overview

IFS, which stands for Industrial and Financial Systems, was founded in 1983 in Sweden. The company has grown to become a leading provider of enterprise software, with a focus on ERP, EAM, and FSM solutions. Over the years, IFS has expanded its offerings to include a range of other products and services, such as business intelligence, enterprise service management, and more. They have over 4,000 employees and serve 10,000+ customers worldwide.

Some of the key milestones in IFS's history include the launch of its first ERP system in 1986, the introduction of its first EAM solution in 1996, and the release of its first FSM solution in 2000. In recent years, the company has also made several strategic acquisitions and partnerships, such as the acquisition of Astea International in 2018 and the partnership with Microsoft in 2020.

IFS has also been recognized for its growth and innovation, such as being listed in Gartner Magic Quadrant for field service management and being named as a leader in the Forrester Wave of EAM.

In 2015 the company returned to being privately held, and since then it has invested heavily in its technology and ecosystem of partners, completely retooling its ERP solution for the cloud and becoming a leader in the European market.

With IFS applications now on its 10 generation, IFS has worked hard to understand how industries operate by regularly participating in advisory councils that meet regularly with customers, always working towards continuous product improvement. IFS's primary objective is to provide solutions that are easy to implement, easy to use, and provide companies the flexibility to respond to market conditions and opportunities. 

Historically IFS is widely known to service mid-large size companies within the aerospace, industrial manufacturing, construction and process manufacturing industries such as food & beverage.  

While they possess a solid foothold in North America IFS is ever-evolving and heavily investing in their product offering and presence to become a household name like that of SAP or Oracle within the US market.  

 

IFS Applications Overview

IFS offers a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software designed to meet the unique needs of various industries. With a focus on manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and defense, engineering and construction, oil and gas, service management, retail, wholesale distribution, and the public sector, IFS ERP Applications provide organizations with the tools to effectively manage their mission-critical operations. Built on a common technology platform, IFS ERP Applications offer a user-friendly interface, real-time visibility into all aspects of the business, and the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. Whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud, IFS ERP Applications deliver the functionality needed to drive operational excellence.

What sets IFS apart is its ability to address the specific challenges faced by different businesses. For instance, IFS excels in supporting complex manufacturing companies that offer field services and manage a multitude of assets. We'll explore these industry-specific capabilities in more detail later, but it's important to note the robustness of IFS in meeting diverse needs.

In addition to ERP, IFS also offers Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software to help organizations effectively manage and maintain their physical assets. IFS EAM provides a comprehensive solution for asset lifecycle management, from acquisition and installation to maintenance and performance tracking. By streamlining asset management processes, IFS EAM empowers organizations to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Furthermore, IFS Field Service Management (FSM) is a powerful application designed to optimize field service operations. With centralized visibility into field service activities, efficient scheduling and dispatching capabilities, and robust reporting and analytics tools, IFS FSM enables organizations to enhance their field service performance and drive customer satisfaction.

At IFS, they believe that software categorization is merely a distraction. Their approach with IFS Cloud ERP is to incorporate all the functional capabilities of ERP, EAM, and FSM into one unified solution. Each component is individually deployable, allowing organizations to add or extend modules as per their specific business needs. IFS Cloud ERP encompasses the entire suite of capabilities, from procurement to payroll integration, remote assistance to reverse logistics, with a software architecture that addresses the modern business value chain. By embracing disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobility, and augmented reality (AR), IFS Cloud ERP empowers businesses to work smarter, innovate faster, and achieve more.

 

Want to see the software in action?

Check out this brief IFS ERP Demo

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What's Included With IFS ERP?

Module Overview

IFS Financial Management Module

IFS Financial Management Module is an innovative, comprehensive software solution that was designed to simplify all aspects of financial management. Whether you are looking to streamline budgeting processes, monitor cash flow, or analyze financial trends, IFS Financial Management has everything you need. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to navigate and use, and its advanced reporting tools allow you to quickly gain insights into your organization's financial health. 

IFS Finance supports the following features and more:

IFS Engineering Module

The IFS Engineering Module is an essential tool for engineers working in a variety of fields. This powerful module allows engineers to easily model and analyze complex systems, making it an invaluable asset for designing efficient and effective products. Whether you're working on a mechanical system, electrical circuit, or computer program, IFS has the tools you need to tackle even the most intricate design challenges. In addition to its powerful modeling capabilities, IFS also provides excellent data management features, allowing you to effectively store and organize all your project-related information and data. With IFS's advanced features and intuitive interface, there's no doubt that it's one of the best engineering software platforms on the market today. So if you're looking for a comprehensive tool that can help take your designs to the next level, look no further than IFS Engineering Module.

Includes the following features:

  • Design collaboration
  • Plant design and commissioning
  • Engineering change management
  • And more

IFS Manufacturing Module

IFS Manufacturing Module is designed to streamline and optimize manufacturing businesses. The IFS Manufacturing Module provides a complete solution for managing the entire manufacturing process, from product development and order management through production planning, execution, and delivery. IFS Manufacturing Module includes a wide range of features and functionality to support both discrete and process manufacturing environments. IFS Manufacturing Module is built on IFS's industry-leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform and offers customers a flexible, highly configurable solution that can be easily customized to meet their specific business needs. IFS Manufacturing Module is available in both on-premise and cloud deployment models. IFS customers can choose the deployment option that best meets their business requirements. IFS Manufacturing Module provides a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that helps manufacturers increase productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction while reducing costs.

The IFS manufacturing solution includes the following features and more:

IFS Project Management Module

IFS's Project Management Module enables you to manage your projects effectively and efficiently. The module provides you with a clear overview of your project portfolio, and allows you to track and monitor project progress. It also enables you to allocate resources and track costs, ensuring that your projects are completed on time and within budget.

IFS's Project Management Module is an essential tool for any organization that wants to ensure the success of its projects. With its comprehensive range of features, the module can help you to deliver your projects on time, within budget, and to the highest standard. IFS's Project Management Module is the perfect solution for organizations that want to improve their project management processes.

IFS Projects includes the following features and more:

IFS Supply Chain Management Module

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is integrated as a module of the IFS Cloud. No matter where you’re located in the world, its purpose is to help you run smooth and profitable operations. It can handle multiple languages, currencies, and sites on a single platform. 

Optimize warehouse processes and space with a fully integrated Warehouse Management System. Plan for demand and forecast accurately while cutting admin costs. 

Manage orders and returns. The IFS Cloud multi-site integration gives you greater visibility and control of your products, capacity, and inventory. 

Includes the following features:

IFS Maintenance Module

IFS offers world-class optimization solutions and service management capabilities. Make sure your business can handle even the trickiest maintenance use cases. 

The IFS module helps you accelerate and manage your digital transformation goals. Take your business into the future with a ERP system capable of handling current and future ways of doing business. 

Includes the following features:

IFS Human Capital Management Module

Human Capital Management (HCM) is an integral part of your business (and the IFS Cloud). Develop your greatest resources-- your people-- through strategic sourcing and planning, talent development, time and expenses allocation, performance management, and core HR tasks.

IFS Cloud enables complex, time-based costing, with variables tailored to your requirements. The ERP system gives you the power to manage people’s activities in accordance with your corporate, legal and contractual rules.

What resources does your business need to succeed?  What skills do future employees need? Where will your people be deployed? How many do you require? Have you factored in attrition?

The ERP system helps to digitize your strategic goals. You get the data you need to move ahead in the people planning process.

Because the ERP system is integrated, budget teams can share the same data to get accurate headcount forecasting. You can plan for the future and develop your current workforce to maximize talent and keep your most valuable employees engaged.

Includes the following features and more:

IFS Sales and Service Module

Today’s business landscape is changing rapidly. To stay ahead of the competition, you need flexibility, control, and insight to meet your customers’ needs. Without the ability to make real-time sales and service decisions, companies fall behind. 

Built to meet the specific needs of your business and the markets you serve, IFS Cloud combines deep industry and functional strength with intelligence that can be put to work from day one.

Includes the following features and more:

Overwhelmed by all the info? We get it. This seems like a ton of functionality and it is. But keep in mind that not every company and user will need access to each and every IFS module and its associated functionality.

Astra Canyon’s purpose is to listen and advise. We’ll help you craft and propose an IFS solution to handle what makes your business unique. As we begin to grasp the challenges you face and understand your organization, we'll ensure that your users have proper access to all the features and functions necessary to run your business successfully on IFS Cloud ERP.

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Industries Supported by IFS ERP

Tailored Solutions for Specific Industries

Unlike other leading ERP solutions, IFS is a frontrunner in tailored solutions. They lead the way with industry-specific applications that are optimized to handle certain businesses right out of the box.

Sure, you can try customizing other ERP solutions to accommodate your specific business processes, but when you implement an ERP solution with deep capabilities baked right into the core offering, your business gets up and running faster. You enjoy the benefits of reduced implementation and optimization costs, driving lower TCO (cost of ownership).

In essence, you get more value, spend less money, and reduce complexity within your infrastructure. Now, that’s a benefit you can’t put a price on. 

As you consider various ERP systems you'll begin to see that many of the ERP systems in the market today tend to be generalist-type solutions. They are designed for the masses and offer the ability to either customize the ERP for their particular industry and/or offer a robust ecosystem of 3rd party products you can “plugin” natively to support various business processes, which some refer to as a "best of breed".  While a “best of breed” approach on paper sounds nice, it really falls short of the promises it makes by adding additional complexity to your infrastructure (integrations), generally increasing your IT spend, and creating more software vendor relationships to manage.  

On the other hand, IFS Cloud ERP delivers native capabilities to support industries right out of the box, without the need for multiple third-party products or heavy-duty customizations. 

While this particular blog post is focused primarily on IFS Cloud ERP, IFS also provides Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Field Service Management (FSM) capabilities. This is where IFS really shines brightest-- it helps companies manage more than what a typical ERP would handle. 

Companies that need to overhaul their ERP software and also need solutions to support service workers in the field and have an extensive list of expensive assets they need to maintain. Being able to manage the entire business with three unified applications from a single vendor is a very powerful value proposition.  

If you are in one of the following industries you owe it to yourself to see if IFS Cloud is right for your organization:

IFS ERP FOR AEROSPACE & DEFENSE

  • Defense In-Service Support
  • Military Market
  • A&D Manufacturing
  • Airlines & Fleet Operators
  • Independent MRO

IFS ERP for CONSTRUCTION, INFRASTRUCTURE & INDUSTRIAL SERVICES

  • Construction, Infrastructure & Industrial Services
  • Engineering Contractors
  • Shipbuilding & Maritime 

IFS ERP FOR MANUFACTURING

IFS ERP FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY, UTILITY & RESOURCES

  • Mills & Metals
  • Mining & Mining Services
  • Oil & Gas
  • Power Distribution
  • Power Generation
  • Power Transmission
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation, Infrastructure & Operations
  • Water Supply & Treatment

IFS ERP FOR FIELD SERVICE MANGEMENT

In terms of where IFS is heading next, they’ve made substantial investments in their Field Service Management (FSM) portfolio and have the goods to prove they are the go-to vendor for companies looking for FSM solutions, including mobile capabilities. See Gartner's Magic Quadrant reviews below.

IFS has made several FSM acquisitions in recent years and continues to view this as a sweet spot, especially in the mid-market enterprise space. So you can probably be on the lookout for more Field Service enhancements. To learn more about IFS Field Service Management and it's capabilities go here to read more.

 

IFS Security

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, data security is a top priority for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether it's ERP, FSM or EAM handling sensitive information, it's vital to have rock-solid security measures in place. IFS gets it - they're all about safeguarding your data and providing a robust, secure environment for their customers.

Picture this: your data, safe and sound with IFS applications using encryption at rest to protect it on servers, databases, and other storage devices. Even if someone gets their hands on the physical storage medium, they won't be able to access your sensitive information. And when it comes to data transmission, IFS has your back with encryption in transit, ensuring your data remains secure while it travels between systems, users, or cloud services.

Access to IFS applications is smartly managed through role-based access control (RBAC). You can define user roles and grant permissions based on job responsibilities, ensuring that users only access the data they need to get the job done. And let's not forget single sign-on (SSO), which simplifies the authentication process by allowing users to access multiple IFS applications with just one set of credentials. Talk about streamlining access management and boosting security! Plus, IFS applications support two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of protection to user accounts.

Rest assured, IFS hosts its cloud deployments in secure, cutting-edge data centers. These facilities employ top-notch security measures like round-the-clock monitoring, biometric access controls, and video surveillance to protect your data and infrastructure. And to keep your IFS cloud environment safe, network segmentation and firewalls are put in place to prevent unauthorized access.

IFS applications come with robust data backup policies, featuring regular backups stored in secure offsite locations. This means your customer data is safe and easily restorable in case of data loss or system failures. And if disaster strikes, IFS has got you covered with comprehensive recovery strategies to minimize downtime and keep your business running smoothly.

IFS proudly holds the ISO 27001 certification, showcasing their commitment to implementing a thorough Information Security Management System (ISMS). This certification is a testament to IFS's ability to manage and protect customer data in line with international standards. So, when it comes to IFS security, you can trust that they have your back!

IFS ERP Scalability

IFS ERP stands out as a powerful solution for large enterprises seeking to scale effectively, especially those with multiple locations and high data volumes. Its design and features are tailored to address the unique challenges these organizations face while ensuring an engaging and user-friendly experience.

One of the key strengths of IFS ERP is its ability to manage operations across multiple sites and regions, offering streamlined processes, centralized data, and consistent control over diverse operations. This global, multi-site functionality comes with support for multiple languages, currencies, and regulatory requirements, ensuring seamless coordination and compliance in every corner of the world.

Built on a robust, high-performance architecture, IFS ERP is designed to handle large amounts of data and transactions, making it a perfect fit for growing businesses. This scalable data architecture guarantees that the system will expand alongside your organization, easily accommodating increased data volumes without compromising performance or user experience.

To help you make informed decisions and identify areas for optimization, IFS ERP offers advanced analytics capabilities that enable you to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data. By driving continuous improvement across your organization, you can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge.

IFS ERP's flexible deployment options cater to the diverse needs of large organizations with complex IT infrastructures. Whether you choose on-premise, cloud deployment, or a hybrid approach, you can rest assured that your ERP system will adapt to your changing needs and priorities as you scale.

The modular design of IFS ERP is another essential feature that allows you to add or upgrade modules as your business evolves. This ensures that your system remains tailored to your specific needs, while its configurable nature enables you to adapt processes and workflows to suit the requirements of different locations and departments.

Additionally, IFS ERP's scalable supply chain and production management capabilities empower your organization to optimize resource allocation, inventory management, and production planning across multiple sites. By responding to changing market conditions, customer demands, and growth opportunities with agility and precision, your organization is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of growth and expansion.

 

IFS ERP Software Reviews

Industry Analysts

Gartner

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Gartner is a leading research and advisory company that provides insights, advice, and tools for leaders in the technology and IT industries. In its review of IFS Cloud ERP, Gartner highlights the system's strong capabilities in the areas of project management and asset management. Gartner also notes that IFS Cloud ERP is well-suited for companies in the manufacturing, engineering, and construction industries, as well as for service-based companies with complex project-based work.

One of the key strengths of IFS Cloud ERP according to Gartner is its ability to support the entire project lifecycle, from planning and execution to completion and review. This includes features such as project scheduling, cost tracking, resource management, and document management. In addition, IFS Cloud ERP offers robust asset management capabilities, including maintenance management, asset lifecycle management, and inventory management.

Overall, Gartner's review of IFS Cloud ERP is positive, with the system receiving high marks for its functionality and ability to support the needs of businesses in various industries. 

This recognition by Gartner is additional proof that IFS Cloud ERP provides a very compelling ERP value proposition to businesses that also require a field service capability in conjunction with an ERP solution.  

IDC

Analyze the future (4)

 

IDC Industry Analysts are the leading provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. IDC's analysis and insight is based on more than 40 years of experience in the IT industry.

Although IFS Cloud lacks name major recognition in the United States, the IDC MarketScape report on Cloud-Enabled ERP placed IFS within the "Major Players" category, ranking them higher than Oracle and SAP on the "capabilities" axis with the ability to execute. 

The report went on to highlight why IFS is such a great ERP for complex manufacturing companies, citing one example in IFS's Dynamic Scheduling Engine. They mentioned:  "Artificial Intelligence (AI) was applied to the IFS Dynamic Scheduling Engine for a transportation company, which increased the availability of working machines by 20%—allowing more contracts to be completed without the addition of staff."

*IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Operational ERP Applications 2019 Vendor Assessment, IDC #US43702818, March 2019

 

IFS ERP Customer Reviews

Gartner Peer Insights 1 IFS ERP has been well-received by end users, with many IFS ERP reviews praising its ability to help businesses streamline their operations and improve efficiency. IFS ERP is also lauded for its flexibility, as it can be customized to meet the specific needs of any business. While IFS ERP does have some drawbacks, such as a manageable learning curve and a high price tag, these are outweighed by its many benefits. But don't take our word for it. Check out some real life customer reviews about how they are leveraging IFS ERP and how it's making an impact on their organization.

"It offers an attractive, efficient user experience that helps in finding what you need to do your duty. So, you can spend more time managing your business and less time managing the software. It allows you to stay agile, ready for evolution without interrupting implemented solution. It contains HR and finance modules and makes it easier to check data. One major benefit is that it has a live dashboard to view everything on one page and is completely customizable. It has a live stream button that displays the progress of the invoice. It is secure ERP software and is available for every scale of the company. It is inexpensive as compared to other trending ERPs in the market. " Source: Gartner Peer Insights
"My whole experience with IFS Cloud was quite positive, and it provided me with the ability to manage all of our assets from one location. The primary feature that draws me to services and is beneficial from the start of using this product is configuration. I was able to customize it quickly and simply according to my company goals and specifications, which resulted in an increase in our total income and productivity. By using this fantastic tool, I was able to save a significant amount of money. Reporting is now controlled and centralized. Previously, data was stored outside of data systems, posing a threat of incoherence." Source: Gartner Peer Insights

Some common customer complaints include:

"Id like to see more documentation on functionality (i.e. how you do something). For example, Id like to see more documentation around posting controls. The documentation provided is great that it lists all the posting controls and all the options. However, Id like to know what type of transaction will trigger a particular ..." Source: Gartner Peer Insights

Another popular ERP software review site, G2Crowd, gives some good feedback, too. On that site, 70 of the 86 online reviews rate IFS Cloud with either 4 or 5 stars. 

By considering both the professional analysts’ and the end-user reviews of IFS Cloud, we can see that it ranks highly no matter who is evaluating it. And, with continued research, we feel you’ll get the sense that IFS is ready for prime time, especially for complex manufacturing and service industries. 

Another popular ERP software review site, G2Crowd, gives some good feedback, too. On that site, 70 of the 86 online reviews rate IFS Cloud with either 4 or 5 stars. 

By considering both the professional analysts’ and the end-user reviews of IFS Cloud, we can see that it ranks highly no matter who is evaluating it. And, with continued research, we feel you’ll get the sense that IFS is ready for prime time, especially for complex manufacturing and service industries. 

 

IFS ERP Software Pricing & Licensing

IFS Cloud ERP software pricing is based upon a named-user licensing approach, not concurrent as with some other software applications. With this transparent and simplified licensing approach, you essentially get access to all the modules (features & functions) necessary for your business to run on IFS ERP when you license the IFS Cloud ERP application suite.

Unlike other software applications where there is a separate price for the suite, the modules, transaction volumes, and the users, IFS offers both subscription-based licensing (paying an ongoing fee) and perpetual licensing (one-time upfront payment), catering to different budget preferences. Furthermore, the IFS software license price also includes application hosting (provided by IFS). Therefore there's no need to build out the internal infrastructure to support the ERP application like you would with traditional on-premise ERP software. However, keep in mind this is an option if you are required to deploy IFS on-premise.

As part of the hosting and support services, IFS provides clients with twice a year annual updates to take advantage of new feature releases, enhancements, and bug fixes. Be sure to factor in any additional costs for ongoing support and maintenance, such as annual maintenance fees or support packages that cover various levels of assistance, like standard or premium support.

 

IFS ERP Implementation Cost

There is no simple answer to the question of how much an IFS ERP implementation will cost. The size and complexity of your organization, as well as the specific features and functionality you require, will all play a role in determining the final cost. Factors such as company size, industry, complexity of processes, and the extent of customization required can influence implementation costs.

That said, there are some general guidelines you can keep in mind when budgeting for your IFS implementation. Generally speaking, IFS implementations tend to fall in the range of $250,000 - $1,000,000. However, there are always exceptions to this rule - organizations with very complex environments may end up paying more, while those with simpler setups may be able to get by with less.

If your organization requires customization or integration with existing systems, consider the potential impact of these additional costs on the overall implementation cost. IFS offers customization and integration services to meet your specific needs. Additionally, consider the average implementation timeline to plan and prepare for the transition to IFS ERP, including resources required for staff training and potential downtime during the implementation process.

The best way to get an accurate estimate for your particular situation is to speak with an IFS representative or partner like Astra Canyon. We will be able to assess your specific needs and give you a more tailored price.

 

IFS ERP Implementation Methodology

The implementation timeline for IFS Cloud ERP can vary depending on the complexity of the system and the specific needs of the company. However, a typical IFS ERP implementation will include the following steps:

Planning and preparation: This phase involves identifying the business goals and objectives for the ERP implementation, determining the scope of the project, and assembling a project team. At this stage, it's crucial to select an experienced implementation partner who can guide your organization through the process, leveraging best practices and providing industry-specific insights.

Analysis and design: During this phase, the project team will work with the company to analyze their current business processes and identify any areas for improvement. This will include gathering requirements and designing the new system to meet the company's specific needs.

Data migration: This phase involves transferring data from the company's existing systems into the new ERP system. This can be a complex process, as it requires the accurate and secure transfer of large amounts of data.

Testing and training: Before the new ERP system goes live, it is important to thoroughly test it to ensure that it is functioning as intended. This phase may also include training for employees to ensure that they are comfortable using the new system.

Go-live and post-implementation: Once the new ERP system is up and running, the project team will work with the company to ensure a smooth transition and to address any issues that may arise. This phase may also involve ongoing support and maintenance to ensure the system continues to meet the company's needs.

In addition to the technical aspects of an ERP implementation, it is important to consider the impact on the company's employees and the need for change management. This may include communicating the benefits of the new system to employees, providing training and support, and addressing any concerns or resistance to change. Proper change management can help ensure a smooth transition to the new system and help ensure its long-term success.

An IFS ERP implementation can vary in length depending on the size and complexity of the organization. However, on average, it takes between six months to two years to complete. Allocating sufficient resources for the implementation process, including dedicated personnel such as subject matter experts, IT staff, and project managers, can help maintain momentum and keep the implementation on track.

For less complex organizations, the process may be shorter, while larger more complex organizations may take longer. It's essential to set realistic expectations for the implementation timeline, invest the necessary time and resources, and allow for contingencies to ensure a successful implementation.

Some actual examples of time frames for IFS implementations include:

A small economic development agency in New York State took 18 months to implement IFS Applications across its entire organization.

The international offshore drilling contractor Borr Drilling deployed IFS Applications™ to improve operations and optimize its IT landscape. IFS was implemented onshore and across seven oil rigs in six months. Read more https://www.ifs.com/news/customer/borr-drilling-deploys-ifs-applications-in-record-time

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IFS ERP Integration Options

IFS ERP offers seamless integration capabilities with leading iPaaS platforms such as Dell Boomi or Cleo, making it easy for IFS Cloud ERP to extend its functionality and allow data to flow to and from other departmental software applications.

IFS Applications run on all major hardware platforms, including IBM AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Oracle Solaris, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of IT infrastructures. Additionally, IFS Applications supports all major relational databases, such as IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Sybase.

One of the key strengths of IFS Applications is its flexibility, which allows for a wide range of customizations during the integration process. This means IFS can be tailored to fit specific business needs, whether it's adding new fields to the database, creating new reports, or modifying the user interface.

Astra Canyon has a dedicated team to assist with IFS ERP integration services, providing expert consultation for your specific use cases and ensuring smooth integration with your existing systems.

IFS CONNECTOR: CLEO INTEGRATION CLOUD

Astra Canyon’s Relier connector provides native support for IFS Applications for customers seeking to access the power of the Cleo Integration Cloud platform. With this integration, mid-market and enterprise organizations can seamlessly connect their internal data flows as well as their external ecosystem interactions with customers, suppliers, logistics providers, and other trading partners to IFS Applications.

AstraCanyon’s Relier not only extends the power of IFS Applications but also simplifies the integration process by seamlessly connecting CRM, EDI, WMS, fulfillment, and other enterprise applications and ecosystems, enabling a streamlined and efficient data flow.

Relier gives IFS customers fast access and integration of critical workflows, optimizing the performance of fundamental business processes like Order-to-Cash and Procure-to-Pay. This allows organizations to quickly and seamlessly address any integration need, driving greater efficiency and improved decision-making across the business.

In addition to these integration capabilities, it's essential to highlight the importance of a comprehensive integration strategy that takes into account the unique requirements of your business. This ensures a smooth transition and maximizes the value derived from your IFS ERP system.

 

IFS ERP Customization Options

One of the key strengths of IFS ERP is its flexibility in terms of customization, allowing organizations to tailor the software to their unique needs and ensure that it complements their existing IT infrastructure. Customization in IFS ERP can be achieved through various methods, enhancing the system's capabilities and user experience.

Customization methods in IFS ERP include:

Configuration: This involves adjusting system settings to match the specific requirements of the organization. Configuration is a low-risk and non-invasive method of customization, as it does not require changes to the underlying code. This can involve setting up workflows, defining user roles, and tailoring system preferences to better align with business processes.

Personalization: IFS ERP allows users to personalize the system according to their preferences, which can include modifying screen layouts, creating custom fields, or setting up personalized dashboards. This level of customization improves user experience, encourages user adoption, and empowers employees to work more efficiently.

Extension: For more advanced customization needs, organizations can develop custom applications or extensions using IFS ERP's development tools and platforms. These custom applications can be built to address specific business requirements or to enhance existing functionality. By leveraging IFS ERP's extensibility, organizations can create tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and objectives.

Some common use cases where business leaders might want to customize IFS ERP include:

Industry-Specific Requirements: Different industries have unique requirements and regulations that may not be covered by a standard ERP implementation. Customizing IFS ERP to accommodate industry-specific processes, standards, and compliance requirements can help organizations meet the demands of their particular sector.

Streamlined Operations: Customizing workflows, automating manual tasks, and integrating IFS ERP with other systems can significantly streamline operations, resulting in increased efficiency, reduced errors, and faster response times. Business leaders can identify areas where customization can improve operations and drive better performance.

Enhanced Reporting and Analytics: Business leaders often require customized reports and dashboards to gain better insights into their operations, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), and make data-driven decisions. Customizing IFS ERP to create tailored reports and analytics tools can help leaders more effectively track their organization's performance and make informed strategic choices.

Unique Business Processes: Every organization has its own set of unique business processes that may not be accommodated by a standard ERP solution. By customizing IFS ERP to support these specific processes, business leaders can ensure that the system aligns with their organization's needs and operational structure.

Improved User Experience: Personalizing the user interface and functionality of IFS ERP can lead to a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, resulting in increased user adoption and productivity. Business leaders may choose to customize the system to better support their employees' needs and preferences, fostering a more efficient and enjoyable work environment.

By taking advantage of the customization options available in IFS ERP, organizations can optimize the system to better support their business processes, improve employee productivity, and drive innovation. The flexibility and adaptability offered by IFS ERP make it a powerful solution for organizations looking to refine and enhance their operations.

 

IFS ERP Competitors & Alternatives

There are several ERP systems on the market that compete with IFS Cloud ERP, including prominent players like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, and Infor. While these alternatives offer their own unique features and benefits, IFS Cloud ERP stands out for customers seeking a fully integrated ERP, EAM, and FSM solution from a single ERP vendor.

Here are a few ways in which IFS Cloud ERP distinguishes itself from its competitors:

  • Industry focus: IFS Cloud ERP excels in serving companies in the manufacturing, engineering, and construction industries, as well as service-based companies with complex project-based work. It provides specialized tools and features tailored to the specific needs of these industries.
  • Flexibility and customization: IFS Cloud ERP offers an impressive level of customization, enabling companies to adapt the system to their unique business processes and workflows. This can be especially valuable for businesses with complex or distinctive operations.
  • Scalability: Designed to support companies as they grow and evolve, IFS Cloud ERP can scale up or down as needed, accommodating fluctuations in demand or future expansion plans.
  • Cloud-based delivery: IFS Cloud ERP is delivered via the cloud, meaning that it is hosted and managed by IFS and accessed via the internet. This approach eliminates the need for companies to invest in their own hardware and infrastructure to run the system.
  • Integration: IFS Cloud ERP boasts robust integration capabilities, seamlessly connecting with other systems and software that a company may be using. This feature is essential for businesses aiming to consolidate their operations and eliminate the need for multiple separate systems.

For further reading about IFS' competitors and alternatives, check out the links below.

IFS vs SAP Comparison: SAP has multiple offerings in the ERP space: SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business One, and SAP Business ByDesign. One of the major differences between IFS and SAP is the industries each system is best suited to serve. This blog also explores differences in ease of integration, software updates, data migration, and end-user experience.
Learn More: https://www.astracanyon.com/blog/ifs-vs-sap 

IFS vs Oracle Comparison: Both IFS and Oracle offer robust ERP and EAM solutions serving the modern enterprise throughout its lifecycle. Each provides enterprise planning and asset management tools aimed at helping organizations operate at their max potential. Where they differ is IFS’s focus on mid-market manufacturing.
Learn More: https://www.astracanyon.com/blog/ifs-cloud-vs-oracle-cloud 

IFS vs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Comparison: This guide compares Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP solutions with IFS Cloud ERP, examining key features such as EAM, report generation, supply chain management, field service management, frequency of software updates, implementation time, costs, and licensing.
Learn More: https://www.astracanyon.com/blog/ifs-erp-vs-microsoft-dynamics-365-erp-business-central 

IFS vs Acumatica Comparison: In this comparative guide, we examine the differences between IFS Cloud ERP and Acumatica Cloud ERP, exploring vital aspects such as EAM, reporting capabilities, supply chain management, field service management, software update frequency, implementation duration, costs, and licensing options. As both platforms target distinct industries and company sizes, it's essential to evaluate their unique advantages and limitations to find the most suitable solution for your business.
Learn More: https://www.astracanyon.com/blog/acumatica-vs-ifs-erp-which-is-better  

It's essential to note that choosing the right ERP system depends on your organization's specific needs, goals, and industry. Carefully consider the unique requirements of your business and evaluate each system based on its ability to meet those needs effectively.

 


IFS ERP Pros & Cons

PROS:

  1. IFS provides a robust and comprehensive suite of applications, including ERP, EAM, and ESM, specifically designed for various product and asset-centric industries like Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Energy and Utilities, High Tech Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, among others.
  2. Being private equity-backed, IFS heavily invests in R&D, focusing solely on its cloud-based ERP, EAM, and Service Management products. Unlike Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft, which offer multiple ERP products, IFS ensures a clear product roadmap without overlapping functionalities.
  3. With thousands of global deployments and a team of over 4,000 employees across more than 30 countries, IFS is an established and reliable ERP vendor.
    IFS ERP software presents diverse deployment options, including public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise.
    IFS Cloud employs responsive design and is optimized to work seamlessly on any device or location.
  4. User-friendly Interface: IFS ERP has a modern and intuitive user interface, which enhances user adoption and productivity.
  5. Strong Integration Capabilities: IFS ERP is designed to integrate seamlessly with various third-party systems and software, facilitating efficient and streamlined business processes.
  6. Customization and Flexibility: IFS ERP allows for extensive customization, making it easier to tailor the system to meet specific business requirements and workflows.

CONS:

  1. IFS is not as well-known as competitors like SAP or Oracle, leading companies to overlook it unless specifically recommended by a colleague or ERP selection firm.
  2. The IFS ecosystem is comparatively smaller than that of larger vendors, making it challenging to find consultants with extensive IFS experience. Astra Canyon Group is currently the largest IFS consulting organization in North America.
  3. IFS offers an advanced ERP solution tailored for complex organizations. However, the depth of functionality comes with a price point that might be prohibitive for many small to midsize businesses (SMBs).
  4. Learning Curve: While IFS ERP has a user-friendly interface, the wide range of features and functionality may result in a steep learning curve for some users.
  5. Implementation Time: Depending on the complexity of the organization and its specific needs, the implementation process can be time-consuming, potentially leading to longer downtime for businesses.

 

IFS ERP FAQ:


Q: Is IFS ERP deployed in the cloud or on-premise?
A: Both, historically IFS has been an on-premise solution but in recent years has retooled it’s ERP to be deployed in the cloud in IFS data centers (public cloud), or in your own datacenters (private cloud) or can be deployed on-premise.

Q: A common question we get is "What does IFS (the letters) stand for"?
A: IFS is short for "Industrial and Financial Systems"

Q: What is IFS ERP software used for?
A: IFS develops Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to help businesses better manage their financial resources, their inventory, and their people and processes. IFS also offers world class Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software and Services Resource Planning (SRP).

Q: What type of companies use IFS ERP Software?
A: IFS is used by a wide variety of businesses around the world. The solution enables complex businesses to successfully handle four key processes:

  • Service and Asset Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Projects
  • Supply Chain Management.

IFS has expertise in dealing with companies in specific markets: Aerospace and Defense, Asset Intensive, Automotive, Energy and Utilities, Engineering, Construction and Infrastructure, High Tech Manufacturing, Industrial Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Process Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, and Service Providers. Their domain expertise in these segments sets them apart. See references http://www.ifsworld.com/corp/our-customers/

Q: How many employees does IFS have?
A: IFS boast over 4000 employees worldwide.

Q: How many customers does IFS have?
A: IFS claims to have over 10,000 customers worldwide in more than 30 countries.

Q: How much does IFS Cloud ERP software cost?
A: IFS does not publicly publish their list pricing information however a typical customer could expect to spend around $4,500 per user, which includes full ERP access, hosting and support. For more detailed pricing click below.

Q: Who are IFS' primary competitors:
A: IFS' primary competition consists of SAP ByD and SAP S/4, Oracle NetSuite and Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, Epicor and Infor CloudSuite, Acumatica and Sage X3.

Q: Can I get free trial access to IFS ERP software?
A: Astra Canyon Group can provide potential IFS customers a highly specialized demonstration but currently does not have the ability to offer prospects a IFS trial product.  

Q: What are the system requirements for running IFS ERP?
A: IFS ERP can be deployed on various platforms, including IBM AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Oracle Solaris. It supports major relational databases like IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Sybase. For cloud-based deployment, IFS manages the infrastructure and resources, so specific system requirements are less of a concern for customers.

Q: What kind of support does IFS provide for its customers?
A: IFS offers multiple support options, including standard support and premium support. These options include access to a dedicated support portal, customer support by phone or email, and access to software updates and patches. Additional consulting and training services are available to help customers maximize the value of their IFS ERP implementation.

Q: How does IFS ERP handle software updates?
A: IFS regularly releases software updates to enhance the system's features, functionality, and security. Customers can choose their update cadence to minimize disruption to their business processes. Cloud-based deployments typically receive updates more frequently and with less effort, as IFS manages the update process.

 

Is IFS ERP Right for You?

IFS Cloud ERP is a powerful and flexible ERP solution that can bring significant benefits to companies across a range of industries. With its strong capabilities in financial management, supply chain management, project management, asset management, and human capital management, IFS Cloud ERP can help businesses streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and increase profitability.

If you are considering implementing an ERP system, it is important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced partner to help you determine the best solution for your specific needs. Astra Canyon Group is a leading provider of IFS Cloud ERP solutions and can help you evaluate the options and determine the best fit for your company. 

Let's have a conversation to discuss the specifics of your particular initiative. We'll help you uncover if IFS ERP makes sense given your needs, your timeline and budget. Astra Canyon Group is IFS's leading ERP partner in North America.  We have IFS certified consultants ready to assist you with your biggest ERP challenges. 

Get started with IFS ERP

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