Allowing transparency and predictability to drive MCI performance.

For Maersk Container Industry (MCI), an outdated business system had resulted in a shift towards spreadsheet usage and non-optimal communication across the global operations. After the successful Dynamics 365 implementation MCI had improved its

  • transparency and understanding of risks and costs,
  • data consistency and accurate cost settings,
  • predictability and pro-active, data-driven decisions.

MCI manufactures refrigerated containers, refrigeration machines and dry containers to the intermodal industry, which covers shipping lines, fruit multinationals and leasing companies. Furthermore, MCI has a global after sales service network and sells spare parts to 400 service providers across the world. With a production of 400 dry and more than 150 highly technical reefer containers per day in the facilities in Chile, South and North China, seamless communication and transparency is key.

In 2015, MCI and IZARA partnered to conduct a thorough infrastructure and application landscape review to assess the current state and outline a path for the future.

During the analysis phase, we found that MCI was facing some of the most common challenges for businesses operating in a margin-driven industry, namely outdated and single resource dependent infrastructure and an ERP which was neither fully implemented nor up to date. Thus, MCI could benefit from improved

  • communication through access from all locations,
  • data consistency through a single data repository and maintenance,
  • transparency of cost and resource usage,
  • planning tools,
  • user rights control and segregation of duties.

All in all, the analysis depicted a sizeable improvement potential for MCI, both in the internal use of systems and applications as well as in the customer facing parts of the business. The journey forward was named “Ten years in one” to highlight both the size of the change and the speed in which it would be implemented.

To determine the best way forward, MCI and IZARA immediately started identifying the selection criteria and with keywords such as predictability, flexibility, and scalability and a desire to move IT from internal pain to external service, a perfect fit was found in the cloud- and subscription-based Dynamics 365.Based on the analysis, we identified three alternative strategies: a) leave as is and accept, that the business system wouldn’t be as business enabling as newer systems allow for, b) upgrade from the current business system, M3 version 6 to version 13 which would mean re-implementation, and c) look at alternative ERP solutions.

The pre-implementation testing phase showed that majority of the standard Dynamics 365 components were suitable for MCI which would not only make the solution easily supported but also improve MCI’s time-to-value significantly. The final solution comprises of a standard ERP system with seven add-on ISV solutions centered in an AZURE datacenter on the US east-coast as that network-wise has proven to be the right ‘center of the world’ for MCI’s global operations.

MCI’s new and stronger backbone integrates 700 users in the four MCI locations, connects 400 service providers through real-time integrated e-commerce, seven global 3rd party logistics distribution centers, mobile device framework for efficient warehouse and shop floor operation, and can receive EDI orders directly from the needing vessels and other customers.

The case also revealed how resource-intensive manual testing is for successful ERP implementation and upgrades. MCI’s new solution therefore ensures monthly patches and bi-annual feature upgrades by IZARA’s partner Sonata. This is ensured through test-automation of 90% of discrete and end-to-end business processes.

The business add-on and improvement phase is still ongoing, with no disruptions of course. So far 700 users have been moved to the new platform and we expect 50-100 users to follow in the next 3-6 months as we move into QC management, product lifecycle management integration, and digitalization of internal operations.

“Dynamics 365 has provided us with increased transparency and flexibility across our businesses, supporting data driven decision throughout the value chain.

IZARA assisted us in analysing and mapping our IT-spend and confirmed that we probably did not spend too much in total, but a big part of the spend was not really-value adding activities. After a thorough business objective and needs analysis by IZARA, Dynamics 365 in the cloud and surrounding services was shortlisted. During implementation IZARA took charge of project management as well as finance lead to ensure implementation of the agreed project objectives in all corners of the company.

Post go-live IZARA is still dedicated to optimizing our implementation and usage, helping us setting the direction and ambition for the usage and integration of the business system as an evergreen solution so we hopefully never have to implement again…unless technology disrupts.

Lars Heineke, CFO, MCI Group

For a short video on the Microsoft Dynamics implementation at MCI, click here.

About us

At IZARA we put your freedom first. Freedom from overspent IT projects and disruptions. Freedom through a long-term partnership focusing on reaching your objectives. Because as your ERP partner we give you the freedom to choose a future in which IT is a scalable helping hand, business enabler, predictable monthly budget post, and a mean to a business oriented, leaner and less complicated organisation.

IZARA – Peace of mind, as a service.