EAI Down Under

Australian steel company turns to enterprise application integration platform to streamline processes

Tempe, AZ  September 18, 2002  Australian metals company Smorgon Steel Group has deployed an enterprise application integration platform from webMethods in an effort to streamline business processes and reduce information technology (IT) costs by integrating enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across its manufacturing facilities.

Vertically aligned from scrap collection to steel manufacture and distribution, Smorgon is Australia's most integrated steel company, producing, marketing and distributing a broad range of steel and steel products for Australian and global markets.

With several production facilities running disparate ERP systems and business processes, integration and the accuracy of information across ERP systems is critical for Smorgon's operational effectiveness.

Prior to deploying the webMethods integration platform, Smorgon's IT group, Smorgon Business Services, was manually coding interfaces between each of these isolated business systems. While the integration efforts focused on connecting systems and enabling message flow, they did not incorporate any reusability into the components written for each specific business process. Typically these integration initiatives were limited in scope and had trouble supporting the 24-by-7 operational requirements of the business.

webMethods has provided Smorgon Steel with an integration backbone that has enabled the company to significantly reduce costs by allowing the IT staff to address business process improvements as a part of integration tasks.

"webMethods has provided a solid integration foundation for enabling Smorgon Steel to continue business improvement programs," said Doug George, general manager of shared services at Smorgon.

By leveraging the integration platform's business process modeling capabilities to streamline design and deployment, Smorgon has deployed five new applications within six months, including two at the Laverton Steel Mill QC & Rolling Mills facilities, and three new Smorgon Business Services applications.

"Compared to our previous approach of writing point-to-point interfaces between systems, the webMethods integration platform has provided Smorgon Steel with considerable savings," said Edward Steinberg, applications services manager for the business services unit. "By leveraging the webMethods integration platform to centralize our integration efforts, we have delivered greater business value and return on IT resources."