Since 2000, management in Nowy Styl Group has been supported by IFS Applications. In 2010, the Group began implementing IFS Applications in its companies in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. At Nowy Styl Group, IFS Applications solutions are currently used by 950 users.
Nowy Styl, part of Nowy Styl Group, was founded in 1992. Its owners, brothers Adam and Jerzy Krzanowski, decided to produce office chairs, a decision that saw Nowy Styl make this niche its own in Poland and Central and Eastern European countries.
One of the key decisions made relatively early was to invest in an ERP system from the very beginning. “When Nowy Styl decided to implement IFS Applications, the company was not so complex that it would be unable to function without an ERP system. It was anticipated, however, that it would develop and that at some stage it would not be effective without an integrated management system. It was a very good decision because, as a result of that decision, business processes at Nowy Styl have been in perfect order from the very beginning,” said Rafał Chwast, Vice-President of the Board, CFO and IT Director at the company.
IFS Applications was implemented in Nowy Styl Group in 2000. It involved Nowy Styl, which distributed customer orders and Fotel Styl, the principal assembly company. First, the distribution and financials components were implemented at Nowy Styl, with distribution and financials components, plus work order management (part of IFS Manufacturing) being implemented in Fotel Styl. Implementation was fast and the solution went live only a few months after the contract was signed.
As the company grew, its activities expanded. Production increased, as did the assortment on offer. The Group purchased additional IFS Applications licenses in 2006, implementing the ERP software in Ukraine, Slovakia and Russia. The number of users grew to 900, and new IFS components were added, including IFS Repetitive Manufacturing and IFS Customer and Supplier Schedules.
IFS applications – a corporate ERP standard
In early 2009, Nowy Styl Group decided to expand its use of IFS Applications to its subsidiaries in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The aim was to increase operating effectiveness and in particular to simplify its supply chain, streamline the customer service process, shorten lead times, and to carry out controlling and accounting functions at corporate level.
“We intend to operate as one business organism regardless of where the companies operate and differences in legislation etc. An integrated, standard ERP solution is a necessary part of the infrastructure. Implementation of IFS Applications in our distribution companies in Western Europe means not only the transfer of high-level information technologies implemented previously in Poland, but also reflects our desire to optimise business processes within the Group,” said Chwast.
The first step towards introducing a corporate ERP standard was the implementation of IFS Applications in Nowy Styl France S.A.S., a distribution subsidiary. Supported by consultants from IFS France, the team of IT specialists at Nowy Styl Group carried out the implementation, drawing on their previous experience of implementing and operating the solution in Poland. The project, covering distribution and financials, was completed on April 1, 2010.
“In this project, Nowy Styl Group was responsible for the entire business logistics and IFS provided us with know-how and the necessary software modifications. IFS France conducted training sessions and introduced our employees in France to IFS Applications,” said Mariusz Sobociński, IT & Business Analyst
Director, Nowy Styl Group.
Currently, all records from registration to order acceptance and dispatch are under controlled by headquarters. Controlling and accounting employees can freely log on to the system in Germany and France to monitor processes on an ongoing basis.
The implementation in Germany is being carried out by the implementation team of Nowy Styl Group on its own. “We are confident that we can implement the project on our own. After our experiences from the implementation in France, we have adopted the principle that key users from German company will participate in the process from the very beginning. They are directly involved in project structures,
they work with us and learn everything from the very beginning,” said Sobociński.
“One of our goals was to be able to communicate in a common language. Before IFS Applications was implemented, it was difficult to gather managerial data, with lots of work required for reporting.
There was a different system in each country. Too much data had to be transferred from one system to another, which was very time-consuming,” said Mariusz Sobociński, IT & Business Analyst Director, Nowy Styl Group.
Immediate synergy gains
After implementing IFS Applications at the French subsidiary, all information about business processes is available on an ongoing basis, which helps minimise the risk of errors during order completion. “We are already seeing the first synergy effects. Having a common platform allows an exchange of know-how; we can mutually transfer experience to new areas. What is important is our subsidiaries can tap into a rich database from which they can draw know-how and ideas. They can benefit from our know-how,” explained Sobociński.
“The major benefit is that business processes that we have in very different areas, such as logistics, financials and accounting, can be optimised and divided among subsidiaries in Poland, Germany and France according to the business logic.
Up until now, this was not fully possible. We have met limitations which forced certain operations to be carried out at the local level in a given company. Currently, all processes are integrated,” said Chwast.