Successful implementation of standard Dynamics 365 one step at a time

Geveko Markings has found a way to succeed in what looked like a Gordian knot of acquisitions, divestments, legacy systems, organizational changes and much activity in daily operations. The target, to unite all facilities on one platform in a standard Microsoft Dynamics 365, is now within reach.

Facts about Geveko Markings

Geveko Markings produces and delivers marking materials for road marking, lines, and horizontal decorations. The company has six factories in Europe and one in the United States, and sales channels in more than 75 countries all over the world. Marking products from Geveko Markings are used in more that 80 countries worldwide.

    Seven production units and three different ERP solutions, including a Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 that has seen better days, call for something new

    Seven production units and three different ERP solutions, including a Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 that has seen better days, call for something new. Key figures are multiple and uneven, and Geveko Markings has a strong focus on minimizing and streamlining KPIs across the business. It has decided to unite all facilities on a standard Microsoft Dynamics 365.

    With such a clear target, you just start from one end, right? However, it is not that simple. Torben Andersen, Head of IT at Geveko Markings, still remembers how challenged and exhausted everyone in the organization was when they implemented the existing AX. This has heightened his awareness to the fact that the road to a goal is just as important as the goal itself. In cooperation with Daxiomatic, the project steering committee laid out a plan for the best way ahead.

    Torben Andersen

    - Head of IT

First Scotland, then England and then…

Instead of one big project, the company goes step by step and starts off with a little “satellite.” The factory in Scotland is the first stop on the journey, and there are obvious and immediate wins by initially implementing Dynamics 365 at this location, since they come from an Excel-based access solution. In addition, Geveko Markings gathers valuable experience with Dynamics 365 as well as the implications of choosing standard.

“We break the project into snackable chunks and gain insights along the way. Instead of investing all resources in a lengthy and complex implementation in Denmark, there is more value to be had in multiple, smaller implementations and the related lessons,” Torben Andersen from Geveko Markings explains. “On top of that we can be more confident when implementing in Denmark and the benefits of choosing standard will be clearer to both the project team as well as the team on Langeland who will by far be the ones to experience most changes.”

Laser sharp focus

Going standard is not just a decision. Going standard is a cultural change. Another way of thinking. Instead of considering how you make the system fit your existing processes, the organization must adjust to the standard processes, which is not always easy.

On the contrary, it may lead to considerable resistance which requires a project manager that has the clout to dismiss “good ideas” over and over again and show desire for adjustments. It has been important for Geveko Markings that Daxiomatic’s consultant assigned for the task knew all modules in detail and managed to cut through powerfully and with credibility.

“It was crucial to us that consultants from Daxiomatic were very knowledgeable and experienced. Each time we wandered off in a wrong direction, they challenged us and held us to our commitment to go standard,” Torben Andersen explains. “Due to that, Daxiomatic’s estimates were kept to the letter, and we finished on time and within budget. Besides, we now know that we can implement a solution with no adjustments.”

Direct line to super users

When reaching the implementation in Denmark, Geveko Markings expects a high level of readiness due to the considerable amount of experience with Dynamics 365 within the project group, and thanks to the ongoing involvement of the team on Langeland.

“Today we have an organization of super users on Langeland,” Torben Andersen adds. “Whenever we have very specific questions we reach out and ask them. Not only do they have valuable knowledge that helps us in the process, but I also trust that involving them and gathering experiences from the other implementations will make the Danish implementation smoother.”

In addition, the experience from implementing Dynamics 365 at the smaller “satellites” fairly quickly, this also offers an increased readiness, so that when Geveko Markings makes acquisitions in the future, it has the agility to rapidly implement Dynamics 365.

Geveko Markings is going through tremendous change, and as part of a ONE COMPANY strategy it wants to streamline its processes and reporting across production units by aligning KPIs. It has decided to implement standard Dynamics 365 but has a general concern as to the workload and effort required and how this will impact the company in general.
Instead of starting with one large project, a step-by-step approach that will provide in-house knowledge and experience has been decided. At the factory in Scotland, an outdated database solution is replaced with a standard Dynamics 365, that supports the company’s processes within Finance, Procurement, Logistics, Manufacturing, Inventory Management with hand scanners and Time & Attendance.
Within four months the factory in Scotland uses Dynamics 365, and management now has access to key figures that it lacked before. In addition, the project has given a thorough understanding of what it means to switch to standard Dynamics 365. South England is next on the route to one united solution. The goal will be met when the factory in Denmark also uses Dynamics 365.