Stannah looks to enterprise cloud software to lift IT systems

Stairlift and lift manufacturer Stannah Group said it has made a “significant investment” in a new cloud-based enterprise software roll-out to modernise its IT systems to prepare for the company’s future growth.

Stannah is one of the UK’s leading engineering companies, and remains an independent, family-owned and run business, which has sold over 700,000 stairlifts worldwide. It now operates in more than 40 countries, and has subsidiaries in 12 countries, including France, Italy and the US.

The company will be rolling out IFS Cloud for enterprise resource planning (ERP), field service management (FSM), planning and scheduling optimisation (PSO), and enterprise asset management (EAM).

The implementation of IFS Cloud will enable Stannah to replace an existing legacy system and 67 edge systems with the new enterprise offering, which will provide real-time visibility across company departments.

Stannah said that, for the first time, all of its employees across 13 countries will be aligned on a “modern and cohesive solution” that consolidates all of Stannah’s operational functions from manufacturing to field service management. When fully rolled out, the new system will support over 2,500 users.

Nick Stannah, joint CEO of Stannah Home Accessibility, said this is a major project for Stannah, and a keystone of a new IT strategy to modernise the Stannah Group’s whole IT estate.

“Our legacy systems have served us well, but we have grown considerably over the past decade and plan to build on that,” he said. “We have a lot of technical debt in many legacy systems, and infrastructure that is not joined up and no longer fit for purpose,” he told Computer Weekly.

Stannah said the group also has a lot of international businesses running separate systems and needs to move to a globally integrated enterprise-wide IT platform that can better support its business growth plans.

“Our new IT strategy aims to ensure that IT is an enabler for the Group to achieve its future business objectives,” he said. “Moving to cloud services, and modernising our whole infrastructure, enables us to achieve this, providing scalability, flexibility and security for our growing business.”

Stannah said the company had selected IFS as its cloud ERP provider after a “very thorough” selection process during 2023. “IFS’s evergreen cloud solution means we can keep modernising our platform as technology evolves,” he said, adding that IFS is a strong fit for Stannah because it can provide the range of functionality the company requires, “providing very capable solutions for our manufacturing and field service operations”.

The company is at the very start of this project, and is currently at the planning stage. “This will be a considerable undertaking,” he said.

It has created a team of dedicated people from across the business to see the project through, and will be working through audits of current systems to assess business needs and processes before working on training every member of staff on the system.

Phase one of the roll-out is likely to go live around January 2026, when Stannah will deploy it across its manufacturing plants as well as all of its UK and France trading businesses. Phase two will see the roll-out of the system across all of the company’s other international businesses over the following two years.

Improving user experience

Among the broader business benefits Stannah aims to get will be standardised business processes that will deliver significant efficiency improvements across the business. The project will also lead to improved user experience for employees using the business systems, and improved service experience for customers.

It should also offer real-time business reporting and integrated data to improve business decisions, and improved planning and scheduling operations across Stannah’s manufacturing and field services.

As the project only kicked off in January, Stannah said it’s still early days. “A key focus is not only developing the solution, but also communicating our strategy and plans to everyone in the business to prepare our people for the changes the system will bring,” he said. “This will be a huge change for our people, and we need to ensure we provide the necessary change management, training and support for everyone to succeed.”

The move to the cloud-based system will drive efficiencies and productivity for Stannah by enabling it to run a wide range of operational functions on a single platform with a single data model, the companies said. Initially, these will include customer relationship management, sales, planning, supply chain, manufacturing, human capital management, finance, asset and field service management.

“By streamlining business processes, the new system will allow for more responsiveness in the service offered to customers, thereby driving enhanced productivity and efficiencies including first-time fix rates, route planning and more,” said Stannah.

IFS said its AI-driven PSO engine will also streamline Stannah’s field service operations, helping to implement cost-saving route planning and solve complex scheduling issues. Using EAM and PSO in tandem will ensure Stannah can optimise asset uptime and maintenance time, IFS said. The firm will also use the IFS Success Services to support customers from adoption and engagement to software support. Stannah has also invested in IFS Implementation Services, offered by IFS to its clients to assist them in implementing its software.

Cloud adoption by enterprises continues to grow at a rapid rate. According to tech analyst Gartner, cloud computing is in the process of shifting from being a technology disruptor to a necessity. The analyst recently predicted that by 2028, modernisation efforts will culminate in 70% of workloads running in a cloud environment, up from 25% in 2023. It said that this year, worldwide user spending on public cloud services is expected to reach $679bn – and is likely to exceed $1tn in 2027.

By 111 Tech

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