At one time Dell Computers had 11 factories - each operating with a unique IT system. This led to high operating costs, complex infrastructure demands, and added difficulties in handling any changes. There was also a higher level of unreliability due to the slower and less effective manner in which all of these factories, with their different systems, could communicate.
As Dell’s build-to-order processes began to realize less variation, the company saw an opportunity to simplify not only their manufacturing operations, but their IT infrastructure as well. Dell evaluated a number of solutions from a range of providers, but chose Dynamics AX because of its ability to compartmentalize the entire company, yet remain scalable in deploying on a factory by factory basis. This allowed for simplified, individual roll outs of the platform as opposed to one large, all-encompassing implementation.
Dell states that combining these systems under the Dynamics AX platform saved them $50 million annually in IT costs; eliminated 2,700 physical servers; and allowed them to decommission 75 different applications. Additional benefits have included shorter product development timeframes due to increased process standardization. By getting everyone to do things the same way, Dell can make changes more quickly, improving agility and reliability throughout their global enterprise.
mcaConnect’s functional and domain expertise played crucial roles throughout implementation. Perhaps the greatest benefit to Dell was working with people who understood the uniqueness of their production and delivery processes. This allowed mcaConnect to clearly communicate with business teams in setting up Dynamics AX more quickly and without a great deal of customization. In working with mcaConnect, Microsoft placed their largest customer in the hands of a trusted partner that they knew would be the best fit for Dell’s transition from 11 unique systems to a single, more agile platform.