McDonald's Toy Manufacturer Overhauls Supply Chain Platform with NetSuite

Marketing and manufacturing firm Marketing Store is replacing numerous legacy financial and supply chain applications spread across the globe with a Netsuite platform, aiming to provide a single view of its data for the first time.

US-based firm Marketing Store has some unique challenges: as well as providing marketing services to clients across ten countries, it is responsible for the production of hundreds of millions of toys each year for McDonalds Happy Meals.

However, the company has struggled to collate information across its operations in the past, making it difficult to access detailed financial and supplier information. To remedy this it began a global project to replace legacy financial systems with Netsuite’s software as service tools, going live in Europe with the new platform which will be extended globally next year.

“[We currently have a] classic hotchpotch - a variety of different systems in different locations, none of them were talked to each other and a lot of them out of date. The ablity to produce basic information like a list of the number of clients we have and who they are, or how many employees we have got, is just not there,” said Peter Cox, Marketing Store’s global SVP, business process improvement.

“When we roll out globally there is this huge benefit of having one single point of truth of data. This means we can understand our business better, and don’t have to go to different systems to get data.”

The project will also see the company replace legacy supply chain platforms at its Hong Kong base, where it deals with Vietnamese and Chinese manufacturing partners. This will help “protect against risk” and “manage global projects more profitably”, he said.

PeopleSoft ‘too expensive, too inflexible’
Alongside a number of other financials and supply chain platforms used globally, Marketing Store has used Oracle’s PeopleSoft, predominantly at its Chicago headquarters and in Hong Kong. However it decided against partnering with the company for its global overhaul due to cost and difficulties upgrading.

“We had already invested in it a lot and it wasn’t working, so the cost of bringing it up to current day version would have been prohibitively expensive, and it would have taken an extensive period of time to get it up to date and all you are doing is keeping up with the next version,” said Cox.

Using a cloud system meant it didn’t have to pay for infrastructure, a ‘huge’ cost, he said. “The other is the servers, the support of those servers, the network costs that it might incur as well. You add those together and you are talking a significant cost, which compared to a cloud based solution is zero. It makes a very potent financial argument.”

Going forward, Cox said that the cloud platform will help its global expansion plans. 

“The great advantage as a global company is that as we move into other countries and markets, and as we associate and work with different manufacturers, it is very easy to integrate them into the NetSuite environment. Being able to talk to our suppliers and then share data is very valuable.”

(Source: Computer World UK)