February 2007 - IAS Turkey - Tekstil ve Konfeksiyonda Gorunum
Ahmet Oturgan, Sales and Marketting Manager of IAS Yazilim, answered our questions regarding to the benefits of ERP to the companies.
Tekstil ve Konfeksiyonda Gorunum: Please briefly describe IAS, starting with its establishment.
We are a software company founded in 1989 in Germany. We produce enterprise software that enables companies to optimize and accelerate their business processes, and we provide consulting and training services.
Our headquarters are located in Istanbul, Turkey (since 1994). We have offices in Germany, Italy, and Izmir, Turkey, and we have plans to open an office in Spain in the near future. We have a staff of more than 120 people, most of whom have degrees in industrial or software engineering.
More than 150 IAS customers located throughout the world actively use CANIAS ERP, our flagship product, with the majority of these customers being located in Germany, France and Italy. We are recognized as a technologically pioneering company thanks to CANIAS ERP, our software product that is fully Internet-enabled, platform-independent, and highly flexible, and as a result, we have made major headway in Europe. In summary, IAS, with its seminal technology, is the leading ERP vendor and ERP technology exporter in Turkey.
T.K.G.: Please describe the products and services you offer to your customers, and the benefits your customers realize from them.
CANIAS ERP, our flagship product, is an advanced enterprise resource planning software system which is integrated and platform-independent, and which enables companies to monitor all of their business processes. It is an advanced system, as it not only encompasses all of the features that would be expected of a standard ERP system, but also includes added functionality that you won't come across in a typical ERP system, a property of the system that becomes apparent once the individual modules are explored in detail.
CANIAS ERP contains functionality that is essential to any ERP system: Materials, Customer and Supplier Management, Product Trees, Routes, Sales, Purchasing, Inventory, MRP, Production, Finance and Cost Management, and HR Management modules are provided, in the form of advanced implementations. In addition to this powerful foundation, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Advanced Scheduling, Document Management, OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), and SMS Management features are provided as well, features that are not frequently encountered in standard ERP systems.
Along with such advanced functionality, CANIAS ERP also provides its customers with significant technological benefits. CANIAS ERP is one of the first ERP products in the world that was created to be fully operational over the Internet, including all its modules and features. You may access CANIAS ERP from any Java-enabled browser, without the need for third-party software, or investment in additional network products. CANIAS ERP is a platform-independent system. Thanks to its Java infrastructure, you are free to use the operating system of your choice, whether on the application server or on any of the end-user clients. It runs on Linux, Windows XP, and AIX. You also have plenty of options in the choice of the database back-end: CANIAS ERP supports Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Sybase and Oracle.
Another important technological advantage of CANIAS ERP is its unique development environment TROIA, which itself is also platform-independent and Internet-enabled. Thanks to TROIA, users have the ability to access the source code for all screens, reports and other system software, and customize them based on their own requirements. Furthermore, they can do all of this over the Internet, any time, from any location.
We have reference customers in most sectors, including textile production. We do provide specialized customizations based on specific needs of our customers. As such, it proves a distinct advantage to our customers for our software development organization to be located here in Turkey.
T.K.G.: Who are your reference customers? Do you have specific services targeted for the textile and apparel sectors?
Yunsa, Penti, and Meyteks are our primary reference customers in the textile business. Additionally, some of our other customers in Turkey include Bakioglu Holding, Alp Havacilik, Rotopak Matbaacilik, Inka Yapi Baglanti Elemanlari, BPO Plastik Omnium, Istanbul Fren, Atay Holding, Norm Civata, Cimtas, a subsidiary of Enka Holding, Elit Çikolata, Boyner Bireysel Urunler BACK UP, B Plas, Akkardan, Timpeks Mobilya, Dogus Vana, and Ok Kardesler. Our larger international customers are located in Germany, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, as well as in China and Taiwan. In 2006, approximately 3,500 new users started utilizing CANIAS ERP for their business processes.
We recognize that the textile business presents characteristic requirements unlike other sectors. CANIAS ERP contains features targeted for the textile sector that truly stand out. For example, the configuration management (variant) feature of CANIAS ERP eliminates the need for separate stock key definitions for a product model with varying color, size and label combinations. Using a single stock key, you can perform purchasing, production and sales activities, and still track inventory levels per various combinations. This exceptional feature makes it very convenient to track and manage similar products with minor differences that are manufactured through identical production steps, a situation frequently encountered in the textile, leather, footwear and furniture industries. Additionally, the flexible infrastructure possessed by CANIAS ERP further helps us in meeting the challanges posed by the requirements of the textile sector.
T.K.G.: Please comment on how the textile and apparel sectors consider the use of ERP systems in their respective industries.
We can express that the textile industry is still reluctant in its use of ERP software. Most textile firms attempt to run their operations with custom solutions that have been developed in-house or by outside software development firms. Textile companies usually employ disparate software suites for each of their various departments: a different software solution for production, for finance, and so forth. Yet other departments, such as sales and purchasing, lack the use of a software system specialized for their requirements, and a chaotic environment reigns where information and data are not under control. Textile and apparel industries feel that their production processes are too complex, leading them to be cautious about the feasibility of ERP systems. At IAS, we interpret such attitutes as preconceptions that will be eliminated in time through successful ERP implementations. Our realization of such successful ERP implementations as those at Penti, activities at Yunsa, is an indication that there are firms in the textile business that appreciate the value of ERP and that utilize it.
T.K.G.: Please provide information on your after-sales services and the training you provide.
For our CANIAS ERP product, we provide consulting and training services to our customers. In addition to the consulting services we provide to our active customers, we also arrange for seminars we call "ERP from A to Z" where we target the decision makers in companies looking at deploying ERP solutions, and educate them on the evaluation criteria necessary for ERP system selection. We also have a number of additional training programs, including "Maintenance Management from A to Z", "Capacity Planning and Optimization from A to Z", and "Introduction to Software Development Using CANIAS ERP TROIA". Additionally, we are active in a number of joint projects where we collaborate with universities. We install our products at these universities and provide training sessions.
T.K.G.: What are the reasons your customers choose you over others?
There are a number of reasons why they choose us. Since 1989, we have been steadily improving our products. We were founded in Germany, where we competed against hundreds of software firms in the European market, persevered, and have achieved substantial successes. Our technology is superior compared to our competitors. We owe it to our unrivalled technology to be able to succeed in selling software in the European market. And as I also mentioned earlier, it proves a distinct advantage to our Turkish customers for our software development organization to be located here in Turkey.
T.K.G.: What are your thoughts on the future of the software industry in Turkey, and what are your goals for the year 2007?
With specific consideration for our market segment in Turkey, I believe we will see a major upsurge in the number of firms investing in, or planning to invest in, ERP software systems. There were plenty indications of this in 2005 and 2006. The stable economical outlook and the increasing competition have incited a flurry of activity in our market segment. As IAS, we have seen growth rates of 70% for 2005 and 60% for 2006. Our goal for 2007 is to sustain our growth trend, improve our effectiveness in Europe by opening additional offices in new countries, and release version 603 our flagship product which will truly widen the gap between CANIAS ERP and its competitors with respect to technology and features.