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Vertical Aerospace successfully completes Rootstock Cloud ERP implementation amid COVID-19 shutdowns

It's long been assumed that implementing an ERP is a lengthy and arduous process. Rootstock Software, a leading provider of ERP solutions, recently worked with Vertical Aerospace, to dispel this myth, completing implementation of Rootstock's Cloud ERP in just three and a half months – and amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"Vertical Aerospace is a leading electric aircraft company, and we are thrilled to be able to work with a company of its caliber," said Pat Garrehy, CEO of Rootstock Software. "Vertical Aerospace is pioneering a new stage of aviation and building technology to revolutionize how people fly. The company has achieved so much since its inception, harnessing the pace and agility from Formula 1. And now, using our ERP, it has expanded the power of the cloud to all areas of its business, extending its collaborative work environment during the COVID-19 shutdown."

Steven Baxter, head of programmes at Vertical Aerospace, is responsible for the supply chain, program management, logistics and build. He joined the company in March 2019. "I immediately saw a need for an ERP. At the time, the company didn't have one and was using Excel to track orders, but this wouldn't provide a comprehensive view of what was going on in the company. Being in aerospace, we also needed full traceability of our products and components."

Vertical Aerospace embarked on a six-month analysis of ERP solutions. "We didn't want an older system that had been around for a while. We wanted a newer, more innovative solution. During our investigation, we came across Rootstock. Its ERP was exactly what we wanted – modern and dynamic. It met our requirements and was a one-stop shop, capable of handling production, purchasing and finance – all from one cloud rather than multiple platforms," added Baxter.

Vertical Aerospace decided Rootstock Cloud ERP was the way forward, as the system was intuitive and easy to use. "'Clicks not code' was another strong selling point. As business users, we can perform system and platform configuration ourselves rather than relying on a large IT team. And with our goal to sell aircraft worldwide, the potential to leverage and integrate with other applications was another prospective benefit," said Baxter.

The goal was to 'go live' in April. That's when the company would start to release its aircraft components. Its team wanted to have the ERP with full traceability in place at the beginning of this project. Implementation started in January. The team held a two-day workshop, involving stakeholders across the business to outline requirements. By the end of January, they had a roadmap. By February, they built the system, and in March, they started testing. Then COVID-19 hit, and a lockdown ensued.

"An on-premise implementation would have stalled. All of our team members were working remotely and spread throughout the UK, but because we were implementing a cloud-based system, we were able to successfully complete testing and training remotely. With Rootstock's team supporting and advising us each step of the way, we went live in just three and a half months – and during a worldwide pandemic," said Baxter.

"It was Rootstock's modern, cloud platform and usability that made it simple and easy to implement," Baxter added. "We also believe in Rootstock's ability to grow with our company as it supports and facilitates our need for agility – whether it's complying with industry regulations, dynamically dealing with aircraft designs, or seamlessly extending capabilities through other applications. Rootstock gives us opportunities on a broader scale," Baxter concluded.

Now that Vertical Aerospace has gone live, it has complete visibility into its entire product structure – including supply chain and purchasing, inventory and delivery, costs and operations. As a start-up, it doesn't have customers yet, but it's making significant strides to bring its aircraft to the market. As it prepares for sales, the new ERP will provide a competitive advantage in terms of serving prospective customers and ramping up operations.

Press release issued by Rootstock Software on May 26, 2020


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Rootstock Software CIM Software
Vertical Aerospace Ltd Airframer


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