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Applications Lead to Reduced Downtime, Increased Productivity

Infor, a leading provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, partnered with Infor Syteline user Preferred Sands to help increase connectivity at the company’s six plant locations and 54 distribution terminals.

Through a deployment of Infor ION, Infor’s purpose-built middleware solution, Preferred Sands has been able to connect Infor SyteLine, third-party maintenance and finance applications, and the systems employed by the warehouses. Preferred Sands also implemented Infor Mongoose, an innovative application development framework and platform as a service (PaaS) offering, and Infor Ming.le, a platform for social collaboration, business process improvement and contextual analytics, to move forward with further integration and communication between the company’s applications.

ION, Mongoose and Infor Ming.le have positively impacted the way Preferred Sands’ users communicate and collaborate by creating visibility across departments that previously would not have worked together.  The accounting team now has greater visibility into operations and can provide instant feedback on decisions.  With direct insight into spending, rather than waiting for an end of the month report, accounting can alert operations decision-makers when budgetary limits are reached. Departments now have a better understanding of their financial impact, which contributes to the success of the entire organization.

“Our core business applications are able to work independently while operating as a unified whole, and this became the catalyst for streamlining and accelerating Preferred Sands’ day-to-day processes through greater visibility across locations and operations,” said Luke Rains, systems development director, Preferred Sands. “Overall, the project has given us an enterprise-wide perspective on the company, enabling better business decisions that are based on real-time data and information from Infor applications.”

The project also had a large impact on procurement and processes related to the terminal distribution network at Preferred Sands’ third-party owned warehouses. Employees previously had to communicate with warehouse staff via phone or email each time a shipment was sent, delivered or picked up by a customer, then warehouse terminal operators and Preferred Sands employees had to manually enter and update information which frequently led to user errors. Now the company can integrate third-party terminal systems with Infor SyteLine, and automatic notifications are sent each time a shipment changes location or is paid for and picked up, without requiring any entry from the user.

Employees can instantly view real-time information on shipments, orders and inventories across all warehouse locations, and this has significantly reduced the amount of incorrect inventory data and allowed for better decisions regarding product logistics. “Now decision makers have enterprise-wide visibility into the procurement cycle because ION has connected, automated and streamlined the process,” continued Rains.

Within procurement information on the number of outstanding requests, where they are in the process and how much money each request calls for is quickly viewable in an easy-to-read format. This has enabled better overall budget tracking and allocation because once a procurement request is submitted, decision-makers can instantly view its potential impact on the budget before signing off on the request.

“With Infor ION, Preferred Sands is prepared to accommodate future growth with the ability to quickly and easily add new technologies, additional sites or upgrade existing applications,” said Steve Moroski, senior vice president, platform technologies, Infor. “The company is ready to effectively progress and acclimate to complexities that might arise, which will ultimately enable them to remain competitive by evolving to meet fluctuating market demands.”

In the near future, the company plans to deploy ION on mobile devices so that users can receive notifications and perform interactions while on the road or away from their desk.