A Swedish enterprise resource planning system and company from Sweden called Monitor ERP System has rapidly gained customers and foothold in Southeast-Asia. ScandAsia highlights this story from late 2014, which describes the background and the start of rolling out their business system also in this region.
The tried-and-tested and very mature business process management software has a history that speaks volumes: over 40 years of development dating back to the days prior to the existence of the personal computer!
Following on a successful introduction on the Chinese market Monitor ERP System Southeast Asia has fast expanded its customer base within manufacturing in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia under the management of Mr Daniel Häggmark, targeting both Nordic and non-Nordic customers.
A lot of development of this particular ERP system has happened since its launch over three decades ago, and further back in time when its owner had started drawing up formulas for measuring production effectiveness within Sweden. By launching a new version yearly, Monitor continued improving its comprehensive system based on customer’s hands-on experience and needs and have expanded its operations (with own management or via partners) in Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Brazil, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
“Why we are so popular is because we are entirely niche, with one product, Monitor, and our focus on small to medium-sized companies, and only within manufacturing. Now the system has 30 years of history, and we have grown based on the needs of our customers, so we have a pretty complete product,” Daniel begins.
Today, Monitor, with its focus on manufacturing resource planning has established itself as a leading supplier of ERP systems in this market segment, used by more than 2,400 companies and translated into 13 languages.
Malaysia in particular, with its expansive manufacturing sector, is now a core target, where Monitor is making inroads in Penang as its initial focus.
“We found Penang a good place to start in Malaysia since there are many manufacturing companies there. We have already got customers in Kuala Lumpur as well but our main focus is still in Penang where we also have our local office” Daniel explains their initial focus.
In nearby Ipoh Monitor also has a great referral in the Swedish client Bromma (Malaysia) that has been using its ERP system for ten years, in the production of spreaders used in ports worldwide.
“So far it’s been a very smooth ride in the fast lane, obtaining new clients with ease. We cannot take anything for granted but so far it’s looking good. The response we are getting here is overwhelming and we already gained good references that are very satisfied, so they spread the word in their respective network.”
“We have worked like that in Sweden from day one, with satisfied customers. We will try to build a real foothold in Malaysia first and then continue our expansion, since we have also received a customer in Indonesia, through references here.”
“The local systems on the market is not as strong as our product, I feel. And the biggest ERP systems used by all large corporations don’t work for smaller companies here – it gets too expensive and complex. We feel the market here is very big for our product; there are loads of manufacturing companies within the SME sector.”
Monitor’s focus has always been to have a standard system that should work for no matter what you produce, be it cars, furniture, electronics – whatever. So it should be easy to install, and start up.
“That’s why we are so popular; you buy the system and all is there that you need more or less. No need for customization. Since we have focused on the manufacturing business for 40 years we know the requirements.”
Since it is standard, fast and easy to learn, it becomes more inexpensive in terms of implementation and maintenance cost.
The only challenge Monitor had in entering Malaysia was the need for certain customisation to the local market.
“The basic flow in all manufacturing companies is more or less the same no matter if it is in Sweden, Russia, Malaysia or China. But there are always some local standards and requirements that we need to adapt to. By now we have a fully-fledged system fine-tuned for Malaysia and Singapore.”
“Another challenge we face is that companies are not used to use an ERP System so the implementation takes a bit longer than back in Sweden.”
“Before using Monitor, we had difficulties in controlling output and input of production. After starting to use it, we were able to grasp the situation of our stock precisely and also have more control in production to not overbuild,” the Malaysian customer Prestige Dynamics Industries describes their case.
“Monitor shows sensitivity to different requirements from different countries. Their consultants always bring solutions to our needs and at times introduce us to new functions or propose a better solution, showing a great interest in improving their clients system in regards to what they can offer,” says its testimonial.
“The highest benefit our customers gets using Monitor concerns the whole material flow: companies get total control of the whole chain, from what and when you need to purchase materials, to what/when something should be manufactured. This leads to much better on-time delivery reliance. Everything is also integrated with the accounting, which saves time,” adds Daniel.
“If they don’t have a system today the spend thousands of man hours on reporting in excel in order for the management to have an overview of the operation. With Monitor one can extract all such reporting directly from the system.”
Manufacturers that successfully expand their operation, growing into larger corporations can also keep on using Monitor.
“Some of the customers with over 1000 employees worldwide use the system for their operation on a global scale.”