When Peter Kryger a few years ago started as Manager of DGS Nordic IT Service Desk at the William Demant Group, there were around 7,000 employees worldwide across the group’s businesses, such as Oticon and Sennheiser Communications. Today there are around 12,000 worldwide. Due to the impressive growth, the objective is that all supporting functions such as IT should have as global and centralized an approach as possible.
“In the past couple of years, we have had a centralized process around client orders in large parts of Europe and South Africa, but as we have grown widely in the rest of the world and continue to do so, we wanted to centralize this part for the more than 30 countries, we operate in,” says Peter Kryger.
Previously, William Demant had local business partners in each region. The setup performed poorly in meeting the agreed standards, though, and the overview of licenses was complex. Following a tender process for a global sourcing solution of clients, William Demant decided to cooperate with Atea, and Lenovo was chosen as manufacturer and sounding board. William Demant however, is not tied to one manufacturer, if the group wishes to change.
“There are a number of obvious advantages by having a large-scale operation, for example, we can obtain much better prices, because we now have 12,000 units to negotiate with. Furthermore, we ensure that standards are maintained across all regions. I can download reports that show what will be delivered and ordered. It provides a significantly better overview, and it is important in relation to the subsequent support.”
Forecast and buffer storage is key
A key issue for Peter Kryger and his team was that the PC delivery time had to be cut down to an absolute minimum. The longer an office has to wait for their PCs, the higher the risk for lost or not optimum work. In other words, it is business critical.
“In order to obtain the fast delivery on a maximum of three days to one of the more than 30 countries we operate in today, we have started to work with forecasting for the different regions. On the basis of the region’s forecast reports, Atea updates the Danish buffer storage, so the demanded PCs always are on the shelves. It has required some training for those responsible in the regions, but I think that it already runs pretty well,” Peter Kryger says.
More specifically, Peter Kryger selected an employee to be responsible for each region, who then produces a forecast every three months. The region manager also orders the products directly through Atea’s webshop. At Atea trained Danish forwarding agents handle and ensure that they are delivered to the proper destinations on time.
Before the new PCs reach the final destinations, they have been added to the local domain, theft labeled adjusted the region, and then an image has been rolled out.
“In many places around the world we don’t have IT staff. Therefore, it is of great advantage to have the PCs delivered with the image on, so it basically is plug-and-play. The PCs just have to be lifted out of the box and charged - it saves us a lot of time,” Peter Kryger says.
The new delivery model also helps to support the ongoing growth which the William Demant Group undergoes. When new businesses are acquired, it is easy and fast to implement the group’s own standards in all parts of the acquired companies and connect the new companies to the group’s internal systems.
“If we couldn’t implement our standards to the PCs as fast as we do now, it would be a hindrance to our development. In the acquisition processes, we need to handle things quickly, and we don’t have enough resources internally to do so. Here it is a great help to have the flexibility through the sourcing model,” Peter Kryger says.
The William Demant Group has just acquired the retail chain Audika in France with more than 400 stores. It is part of the group’s strategy to strengthen its position in the individual countries.
“When we acquire new retail chains or companies we always consider whether they should be part of our IT system. In the case of the French chain, which we have acquired, they previously used Dell PCs. Here, we chose to include them in our model, where we have 10-12 permanent Lenovo products they can choose from. This makes it easier to provide support when they run with the same standards as the rest of the group,” Peter Kryger concludes.
In addition to the dialogue with Atea Peter Kryger and his team also have an ongoing dialogue with Lenovo. For example, Peter Kryger is planning directly with Lenovo, which devices that should be connected to the system: “It was important for us in our choice that we could have the direct dialogue with the PC supplier, and it works really well.”