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Benefits and Insights

Why use IFS Applications?

Key differentiators & advantages of IFS Applications

  • Accessibility: IFS Applications can be deployed through different avenues: SaaS, cloud service models, IFS Managed Cloud or on-premise. With cloud deployment, the program can be accessed at any time and any location as long as there is an internet connection available. 
  • Real-Time Data: The program includes real-time data and visualizations. For example, engineering changes, bottlenecks in the production system and any material shortages can be analyzed as they occur. Barcode scanning is also included to track the movement of products and materials throughout the supply chain. 
  • Revenue Boost: By identifying and reducing bottlenecks, forecasting demand and honing the sales process, revenue can be increased. IFS Applications includes a range of features that can maximize revenue through elements such as reduction in spoilage and increased efficiency. 
  • Increase Productivity: IFS Applications can streamline and automate facets of workflows such as sales, manufacturing and distribution. By reducing the amount of time that employees spend on tasks such as supplier invoicing, which can be automated through this tool, more time is freed up for staff to work on other important tasks. 
  • Legal Compliance: This program helps to ensure company compliance with a range of industry or governmental standards and regulations. For example, IFS Human Capital Management can keep track of and manage employee health and safety measures in accordance with legal requirements. A dedicated maintenance tool is also available to help ensure that the company adheres to rules. 

Industry Expertise

IFS Applications is well-suited for medium and large businesses and is available for deployment both on-site and through the cloud. It is especially beneficial to companies in the following sectors: aerospace, defense, energy, utilities, resources, engineering, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing and service.

Key Features

  • IFS Financials: IFS Applications includes basic accounting tools such as general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and fixed assets. It also contains business planning functionality that uses customer-defined planning models to enable demand-driven planning. The eInvoice tool automates supplier invoicing and enables electronic invoicing. Consolidation can also be conducted across multiple companies and with multiple reporting currencies. 
  • IFS Human Capital Management: This system allows employees to manage their own data as well as perform tasks such as applying for leave and updating time and expense reports. HR personnel can also manage payroll procedures, maintain health and safety information in accordance with government regulations and develop internal training programs through the tool. Recruitment can be done through the program’s connectivity with third-party applicant tracking systems (ATS). 
  • IFS Engineering: This feature includes the ability for continuously updated data related to factors such as design elements, products and facilities to be accessed throughout an organization. Change management capabilities allow users to view, approve and check changes before going ahead with change orders. The commissioning tool also ensures that facility components are designed, tested, etc. in accordance with operational requirements through the use of punch lists and mechanical completion packages. 
  • IFS Projects: IFS Applications includes project management, risk management, project reporting and project budgeting features. Specific functionality consists of the ability to process project cost transactions, create projects using WBS, develop project schedules and develop forecasts using multiple versions of project estimates, reviews, budgets, etc. Estimate to Complete (ETC) and Estimate at Complete (EAC) principles are supported and spreading rules are available. 
  • IFS Manufacturing: This tool can calculate capacity requirements, conduct Master Scheduling for finished goods, manage the production to order process and enable employees to report production information quickly. Project-based, discrete, repetitive and batch process manufacturing are also supported through the system. Visualization of the production plan is included and enables users to identify bottlenecks and material shortages. 
  • IFS Supply Chain: IFS Applications offers demand forecasting, supply chain planning, inventory replenishment, sales order management, procurement, rental management, warehouse management and shipment management features. The inventory function is connected to the demand forecasting tool and includes different planning strategies such as economic order quantity and service level-driven safety stocks. Item traceability is also supported through barcode functionality, which provides real-time stock information. 
  • IFS Sales & Service: This feature controls the customer lifecycle from the time a lead comes in to the time that a product reaches its final destination. It assists with transportation by allowing users to visualize driving routes. It also supports service quote and contract management. Sales efforts can be streamlined through the sales configurator, which includes a product advisor that uses a series of questions to define requirements and recommend products. 
  • IFS Maintenance: IFS Applications enables users to evaluate potential improvements in equipment performance, communicate with subcontractors through a collaboration portal, develop leaner MRO operations and manage preventive maintenance schedules. It also makes regulatory compliance for vehicle fleets easier and manages tasks such as fault reporting, preparation, execution and final reporting for maintenance-related matters. 
  • IFS Business Enablers: This solution includes role-based portals and personalized access to ensure that employees, customers and suppliers view the most relevant information and that no one has access to privileged information that they should not be able to review. The solution contains real-time data and allows for the connection of internal and external programs through web services. Add-ins and add-ons can be implemented to customize the solution through RESTful oData APIs from IFS Applications. 


Limitations

IFS has its strengths and benefits, but it also has some limitations to consider. Many of these pitfalls have to do with the usability of the system. Here are some of the weaknesses to keep in mind about the program before making a final decision:

  •  Complex implementation process 
  •  The solution isn’t user-friendly 
  •  Doesn’t support automatic barcode scanning of inventory, so it has to be done manually 
  •  Users require rigorous training to learn the navigation process 


IFS Applications Suite Support

IFS Applications offers platinum and gold support tiers that users can select from based on their company’s needs. These packages vary in factors such as scope and response time. Training opportunities are also available for this program.

mail_outlineEmail: Users can open support tickets online through the portal. There is also an online contact form on IFS Applications’ “Contact Us” page where customers can ask for assistance.
phonePhone: Customers can call IFS with any questions they may have. Phone numbers vary by country, but companies in the United States can use the following number: 888-437-4968.
schoolTraining: IFS Applications offers courses both online and in-person for users to learn more about the system. IFS Academy contains classes suited for consultants, developers and technicians. Users also have access to OpenIFS, which is an online community where customers, partners and IFS employees can connect and ask questions.
local_offerTickets: Gold and platinum support package holders can create and keep track of cases through the support portal at any time. Assistance for Severity 1 issues is available 24/7 through both packages.

Cost of Ownership for IFS Applications

License/Subscription Cost On-premise:
  • Based on perpetual license-based model: license fee includes an upfront fee to own the software plus IP for a fixed term and implementation/installation, maintenance, system upkeep, customization and third-party integration
  • 10% to 15% is the typical rate of perpetual or renewal licensing for ERP systems
Cloud-based/SaaS:
  • Based on recurring subscription-based model: per user, per month
For both types of deployment, costs vary based on the number of named user licenses the organization requires, the level of access users require, the number of applications, the size and type of organization and the level of customization required
Maintenance Cost On-premise:
  • Cost is over and above the license fee
  • Requires ongoing maintenance plus ongoing upgrade support
  • Users have to enter into a maintenance agreement for annual support and maintenance, the cost of which is in the range of 10% to 20% of the original license fee
Cloud-based/SaaS:
  • Not included in the subscription cost
  • Additional cost for ongoing maintenance and upgrades
For both types of deployment:
  • Cost varies depending on the number of users
  • Upgrade fees are charged for new releases, which is essential for the ERP system to be fully functional
  • Additional cost if new additions to hardware and software are made to ensure that upgrades run seamlessly
  • Provides a wide range of support and maintenance services
  • Users can opt for varying levels of full or basic maintenance
  • Services are provided 24/7 from support centers located around the world
  • The IFS Maintenance and Support plan includes free access to new versions and product enhancements
  • Provides ongoing support for smooth adoption of the new ERP system and technology, plus global backup on demand
Installation/Implementation Cost For both types of deployment, the cost is over and above the upfront/subscription cost
  • Cost varies based on number of users, system architecture, implementation scope and complexity, company size, industry, additional applications, add-ons and third-party integrations
  • Third-party integrations involve a consultation cost
  • Includes human resources costs during the implementation phase, as users may need to spend additional time understanding the system and companies may need to add temporary workers to replace users working on the ERP project
  • Cost varies depending on who’s providing the implementation service: vendor, in-house or outsourced/third-party
  • Provides professional services for the implementation of its product through IFS Partners Network to medium and large enterprise customers
Customization Cost For both types of deployment, cost varies depending on the applications and modules added, such as self-service, recruitment, employee development and certification, training management and expense management
Data Migration Cost/Change Management/Upfront Switching Cost For both types of deployment, cost varies depending on which legacy system is used (older, proprietary system vs. disparate systems), amount of business and historical data to be migrated to the new ERP system and the intensity of data migration to the new system
  • Additional licenses can be purchased separately for the Database Management System of ERP
  • Cost of these licenses aren’t included in the implementation cost
Recurring/Renewal Costs For both types of deployment, the standard license renewal fees are 10% to 15% of the software cost


On-premise:
  • Annual recurring fees are paid over and above the upfront cost for annual renewal, upgrades, ongoing support and maintenance, customization, third-party integration and training
Cloud-based/SaaS:
  • Renewal cost is included in the subscription and is based on the number of users, add-on user licenses, ongoing support and maintenance, customization, third-party integration and training
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