BAE streamlines defence contractor budgeting

BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions (SFS) is overhauling its enterprise resource planning (ERP) IT environment, investing in excess of 600,000 in new financial software and services.

The new technology will be used to provide enhanced reporting, budgeting, forecasting and planning for the defence contractor, which supports naval activities including the design and build of surface fleet vessels through to in-service support, upgrade and disposal.

The new finance system from specialist provider, CODA replaces aging ERP software from Oracle and will provide project-based financial analysis capabilities to complement the planning, materials and quality management functionality of new manufacturing application, MARS from Danish company Logimatic.

John Stewart, BAE financial systems manager, said: "Integration was the key to selection as it was vital the new finance system could integrate with our new specialist software called MARS."

He explained that the organisation was looking for a finance system that could provide detailed project analysis in addition to financial reporting, to complement core flexible and customisable software.

On the replacement of its Oracle system, Stewart said: "We believe it offers value for money over a financial module that is part of an ERP suite." He also said the company plans "to be up and running on the system by April 2008".

The announcement comes a year after BAE Systems SFS underwent a systems evaluation period where, during this time, CODA implemented a test environment for its software.

In addition to the Financials from CODA, the company has purchased additional licenses from the vendor for reporting and invoice matching, as well as Cognos planning and business intelligence software.

The systems will now be used as part of BAE Systems SFS' design and build activity, where it is currently building six T45 Class Destroyers and two Aircraft Carriers, among other key export contracts.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.