When Ron Hurley, the National Planning Manager at Legrand Australia went searching for a software solution to support a major S&OP improvement project, he found Optimity, a product that not only met these goals, but one which would also become an enabler for planning improvements within the organisation.
“I tell everyone, Optimity, sells itself. It is extremely easy to use, with a graphical user interface that lets you see very quickly where the problems in the supply chain lie. One of the real selling points to me was the ability to customise the views to suit our business. One of the key selection criteria was the ability to support us going forward. In Optimity, we found a solution that actually will drive S&OP improvement. It will give us the power to apply supply chain optimization techniques more thoroughly to ensure that S&OP is continuously supporting short and long term business objectives.“
Ron Hurley, National Planning Manager, Legrand Australia
With a presence in more than 70 countries and a global workforce exceeding 35,000 people, Legrand is a world specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Legrand is the world leader in the manufacture and sale of switches and socket outlets as well as cable management products.
In 2007, Legrand signed an agreement to acquire 100% of an iconic Australian business, HPM. Established for over 60 years, HPM was integral to the development of the electrics industry in Australia.
After merging with Legrand, it was essential that the Australian organisation’s systems could be supported by the global business, so the time was right for Legrand Australia to embark on a project that would extend the capabilities of its existing Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). The resulting solution needed to function well for the different market and demand challenges presented by supplying into the Commercial, Trade and Retail markets.
Ron Hurley, who led the selection process says that he was searching for a solution which would give visibility into the supply chain and simply identify the change impact effect across all supply chain areas – “When there is an unexpected shortfall in supply you need to be able to identify it and react quickly, to ensure you can meet the demands of the customers”.
He was particularly focused on finding a product which supported a high level of efficiency – “with relatively low staff ratios, and a large product base we needed to find a planning solution that was easy to use, and that would easily identify problems so we could direct our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible”
In addition, the planning solution required by Legrand Australia needed to interface seamlessly with the underlying ERP system,. As Mr Hurley pointed out, “we did not want to be maintaining two systems so it was key that the solution interfaced tightly with the existing ERP, and had the appearance of being part of the same system”
Another key requirement of our selection criteria was a solution that could support the expected growth of the business and grow with the business.
The supply chain optimization software application, Optimity, was recommended to Mr Hurley by ERP consultants who were assisting in the selection process. Optimity ticked all the boxes. When asked what he likes about Optimity, Mr Hurley responds “I tell everyone, Optimity sells itself. It is extremely easy to use, with a graphical user interface that lets you see very quickly where the problems in the supply chain lie. One of the real selling points to me was the ability to customise the views to suit our business. You can also run scenarios to see what the effects of any change in Demand, Distribution, Manufacturing or Purchasing will mean both in the day-to-day operational level and the long term strategic level.” He says it ‘enables’ planners, “It gives planners the power to make effective planning decisions quickly and easily.” He also says he found the Optimity consultants to be expertly knowledgeable in their product as well as the business of planning, saying that they demonstrated exceptional commitment and customer focus.
Enabling Future S&OP Improvements
Mr Hurley is positive about the support that Optimity will provide into the future. “One of the key selection criteria for the new software was its ability to support us going forward. In Optimity, we found a solution that actually will drive S&OP improvement. It will give us the power to apply supply chain optimization techniques more thoroughly to ensure that S&OP planning is continuously supporting short and long term business objectives”