A smooth transition in a tech-advanced world

A smooth transition in a tech-advanced world

As a leading supplier of lighting systems for medical technology in a highly competitive industry, Swiss manufacturer, Derungs Licht, faced a challenge in 2020: the increasingly fast pace of the market required the company to constantly adapt to the evolving competitive situation. This continuous business-model churn exposed the inefficiency of internal processes. Instead of focusing exclusively on the core business, a lot of time was spent on manual workflows and complex coordination regarding server availability and updates with Derungs’ parent company. The modernisation of the digital infrastructure is now intended to remedy the situation. Andreas Schenkenbach, Derungs Licht CEO, tells us more.

Derungs Licht has been an expert in lighting solutions for medicine and care for over 80 years. The lighting manufacturer is best characterised by constant innovation, Swiss quality standards, good design and the durability and sustainability of its products. Due to constant development of the business model, the ongoing digitalisation trend and dependence on its parent company – especially regarding its IT infrastructure – the company’s internal processes were reaching their limits. The amount of work in preparing quotations and processing invoices kept increasing and the manual processes generated a high wastepaper load. “Until a few months ago, we were still doing many tasks manually and on paper,” said Andreas Schenkenbach, Derungs Licht CEO. “A lot of time was lost and we could no longer meet our own demands.”

It was time to update the internal processes. A new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system would meet the technological standards of today. “The question we asked ourselves at the beginning was where do we want to be in three to five years with our IT and our business systems,” said Schenkenbach. “We didn’t just look at the status quo, but also at what other options the cloud could offer us.”

Moving to the Infor cloud

Derungs Licht had been a satisfied Infor customer on Movex since 2006 and now moved to M3 in March 2021. “The move to the cloud was only logical for us,” said Schenkenbach. “Although we were a current Infor customer on-premises, the decision to choose Infor was not clear from the beginning. We wanted a solution that not only met our current requirements but could also grow with us – and we found that with Infor.”

Nevertheless, changing an IT system always requires careful consideration: “COVID was, of course, a factor in the decision-making,” Schenkenbach said. “We were initially concerned about whether the changeover, as well as the training sessions, could actually take place in a pandemic-appropriate setting without affecting quality.”

Thanks to online workshops and support from the Infor team, Derungs Licht’s staff quickly learned the new system and are still working closely with the Infor team to take full advantage of all the features and tools. “It went better than we initially expected and that was mainly due to the great team that looked after us. Even though this is software, it’s still about people working together.”

One of the goals of implementing a new system was to reduce paper consumption and take the first step towards a paperless office. In addition, the digitalisation of quotation and invoicing processes should improve workflows, which automatically increases efficiency. The cloud solution also offers the advantage that master data can be archived and regulatory requirements and changes can be implemented quickly. Infor M3 is a flexible solution that delivers a platform with industry-specific functionality and flexible deployment options. It is highly scalable, rapidly adapts to business growth and enables companies to respond to industry trends.

“We want to focus on our core business,” said Schenkenbach, as one of his reasons for moving to the cloud. “We do need software for this, but just as a service that is used by us and not as another construction site in the company.”

This was different before the switch to Infor M3 as Movex was being maintained through connection to the parent company. That meant it was not possible to act quickly and efficiently in the event of problems, new business needs or short-term actions. By switching to the cloud, the company no longer needs its own IT landscape; it benefits from Infor’s SaaS approach which allows the company to react more quickly to external disruptions and new requirements and strategies through increased flexibility. And cybersecurity is no longer an issue for Schenkenbach and his team, as the responsibility for this lies with Infor and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Operational improvements

Infor M3 went live at Derungs Licht on March 22, 2021. After only a short time, the organisation felt improvements in its day-to-day operations. “Switching from on-premises to the cloud did involve some costs, but it allows us to increase efficiency by about 50% in the accounting area, for example,” said Schenkenbach. Until a few months ago, for example, invoices were printed out, pre-assigned and then given to the accounting department, where they then had to be assigned in the system. Now, the purchasing department can do the account assignment directly in the system and the accounting department only releases the invoice. Since invoices in the three-digit range pass through this loop every week, the time saved is enormous.

Schenkenbach has never regretted moving to the Infor cloud. “Even though there are always a few stumbling blocks with such a large project, we were confident at all times that we would get it right. This was mainly due to our very competent contact persons at Infor who supported us on our way to the cloud in a very committed manner and enabled us to get off to a smooth start in a new, more technologically advanced world.”

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