This article first appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of The Record.
Emile Egger is a family-owned business founded in 1947 by manufacturing pioneer Emile Egger in Cressier, Switzerland. Following the financial crisis of 2009, the management team realised it would require a system that offers visibility into its manufacturing and production costs and enables the company to optimise its supply chain and other business processes.
The company started to explore options with Microsoft, but one of the critical requirements was that the solution be web-based. “A web-based system was really important for us because we have affiliates across the world,” says Raphael Tagliani, chief information officer at Emile Egger. “Being available in the cloud was key for us because it enabled us to start our project at once.”
At the time, Microsoft’s flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) product, Microsoft Dynamics AX, was being re-architected. Microsoft offered Egger an opportunity to participate in its exclusive Technology Adoption Program where the company allows customers to partner in development while implementing prototype systems. The solution, code-named ‘AX7’, was the first cloud-based ERP system built to run natively in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Microsoft invested millions of dollars into the Microsoft Dynamics AX technology and made a strategic decision in 2014 to move the development of Microsoft Dynamics AX into its cloud division to enable a true integration with Microsoft Azure.
When it came time to choose an implementation partner, Egger considered a few candidates but decided on Avanade for its global presence, Microsoft Dynamics AX skill set and industry expertise. “It is vital that your partner understands your business processes,” says Tagliani. “Avanade is able to bring you a field expert for each department.”
The scope of the project included implementation of the new Microsoft Dynamics AX, including procurement, production, project, sales, reporting, finance and warehousing. The system was implemented in phases with go-live dates in three regions – India, Switzerland and Germany. Avanade leveraged its global delivery network to enable the implementation despite the challenge of going live in India with localisation that is not yet officially available. Avanade’s India delivery centre played a crucial role.
“Working with Avanade, we’ve been able to start working together between different departments in the company, and different companies across the world,” says Laurent Tolck, chief financial officer at Emile Egger. “It will definitely improve our processes, even outside the ERP.”
Projected benefits include a 20% increase in productivity in the first six months, greater visibility, time and cost savings, and improved inter-office operations. Emile Egger’s customers will also benefit from accurate information on delivery dates, improved follow-up on order status and optimised customer service.
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