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24 June 2020

Designplan Lighting Plans for the Future

Provider of LED Solutions Drives Growth with Inforlogic and Infor CloudSuite Industrial.

About Designplan Lighting

Designplan Lighting provides robust LED lighting solutions, known as luminaires, for large infrastructure projects across the globe. Employing over 140 staff and with a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Surrey, Designplan’s made-to-order solutions span a diverse spectrum of applications including rail and metro stations, social housing complexes, custodial environments, secure healthcare facilities and urban areas.

With sales across 20 countries worldwide, Designplan solutions are robust and durable, engineered to stand the test of time. The business provides its ever-growing client base with bespoke high-performance lighting solutions that are sustainable, energy efficient and designed to last, underpinned by an unwavering commitment to service excellence.

Supporting Growth

A long-term user of Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine), Designplan originally implemented the ERP solution back in 2005. With an eye on future plans and a desire to have agile, flexible systems in place to support the business’s growth strategy, Designplan made the decision to upgrade to a more current version of Infor CloudSuite Industrial through Infor partner and business software consultancy Inforlogic.

As Richard Sawyer, IT manager at Designplan, explains: “We’d heavily customised the solution over the years in-line with the specific business requirements we’ve had. While this had worked well for us up until now, we were finding it increasingly difficult to make the necessary updates to support our business as it grows. We decided to upgrade not only to get back to a less-customised, more standardised version of the software to act as a launchpad for our future plans, but to take advantage of some of the new functionality on offer, too.”

The Right Partner

Having worked with Inforlogic in the past, the Designplan team didn’t hesitate to revisit the partnership for the new implementation. As Richard explains: “Inforlogic consultants are experienced and knowledgeable, bringing a fresh view of our business and outlining how we can best make use of our chosen solution. They understand best practice but also appreciate how things work on a day-to-day basis, offering practical, realistic advice to ensure a successful implementation.

“It was very much a two-way partnership, with our project manager working closely with the entire team at Inforlogic for the duration of the implementation. The team really got to grips with our business, understanding the specific challenges we face and looking for solutions wherever possible. Inforlogic’s experience and knowledge made sure the upgrade was delivered on budget and on time, far quicker and easier than if we’d undertaken it on our own.”

Attention to Detail

As a make-to-order manufacturer, it’s crucial that Designplan has total visibility across the entire product lifecycle. Infor CloudSuite Industrial provides an accurate, timely view of exactly where products are in the manufacturing process, as well as providing an up-to-date commercial view of when products will be available for customers.

Richard continues: “We now have the ability for all departments and business functions to have direct access to key business data, providing a precise view of where we are at any one time with regards to particular customer orders as well as overall business performance and departmental efficiency. The new system helps to inform our continuous improvement strategy, with the capability to monitor performance against clearly defined KPIs identifying areas where we can make significant improvements.”

This is particularly relevant when it comes to lead time improvements, with the solution facilitating a reduction in our average lead time over all products by 27%.

Supporting Designplan’s continuous improvement strategy, the upgrade has given the business the opportunity to reassess working practices and procedures across the business. As Richard explains: “It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things a certain way as that’s how they’ve always been done, especially if you’ve made modifications to your systems to support these particular ways of working. By stripping out all the modifications and customisations, we’ve been able to take full advantage of Infor CloudSuite Industrial with its best practice functionality, optimising operations and securing real efficiency savings for the business.”

The Future

As per the original plan, Designplan is now confident it has the best platform in place to support both its future growth plans and its desire to use technology across the business to develop and grow the organisation. As Richard explains: “This was always very much about optimising the core system that lies at the very heart of our business, streamlining processes and securing real business efficiencies to get the business in the best possible shape to move forward.

“We have a few specific plans for the short-to-medium term with regards to new technology applications across different parts of the business, but, ultimately, in the longer term, we’d like to move to the cloud, using a SaaS model. Although we’re not quite ready yet, this new implementation lays the groundwork for this major shift when the time’s right.”

Richard concludes: “The whole project has been an extremely positive experience, not only in terms of the outcomes we’ve achieved but how straightforward it was to get here. The Inforlogic team were a huge asset to this project, with their professionalism, advice and commitment to customer care ensuring everything went smoothly and most importantly on schedule from day one. We’re confident we have the right ERP system in place to support our future plans and look forward to the continued success of our business.”

For more information about Inforlogic or how we can help to prepare your business for growth, get in touch or call us on 01606 720499.

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