Infor Announces 2020 Customer Excellence Award Winners

Customers awards 2020 Press release   Header 

United States-September 15, 2020, 02:00 PM

Leading organizations recognized for exceptional use of cloud technology

NEW YORK — Sept. 15, 2020 Infor today announced the winners of the 2020 Infor Customer Excellence Awards. These annual awards recognize customers that drive innovation and showcase exceptional business results. A panel of Infor solution and industry experts evaluated each applicant on scope and depth of performance improvement, quantifiable business benefits, customer focus and satisfaction, and technology use and innovation. Award winners and finalists from around the world were recognized at the first-ever digital Inforum, Sept 15-16.

"The business environment has changed significantly this year, and these awards give us a formal platform to commend customers that have had to develop entirely new protocols, adapt and evolve to continue to make critical business decisions amidst so much fluidity," said Kevin Samuelson, Infor chief executive officer. "Infor is committed to helping its customers leverage industry-specific cloud technology to better analyze, manage and protect their increasing amounts of data more effectively. We are thrilled to experience their passion for our solutions and commitment to drive bottom-line results to better serve their internal stakeholders, partners and customers."

The winners of the 2020 Infor Customer Excellence Awards are:


Chief Information Officer of the Year

  • Zack Chisholm, CIO, Bega Cheese Limited (APAC)
  • Vicki Partridge, Head of ICT, ERF Electrical (EMEA)
  • Sarma Malladi, CIO, SWM International (North America)

Cloud Architect of the Year

  • Sandesh Shetty, Chief Technology Officer, Koch Business Solutions, LP (North America)

Cloud Innovator of the Year

  • Patricia Wissar, Vice President of Technology, Ransa (LATAM)


Consumer Industries

  • Big Lots (North America)
  • Nutreco (EMEA)
  • Watami Co., Ltd. (APAC)


  • EMCO Corporation (North America)

Energy and Resources

  • Optima Energy Systems (EMEA)


  • CHRISTUS Health System (North America)


  • Greystar (North America)
  • Kempinski Hotels (EMEA)
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (APAC)


  • Carrier (North America)
  • Michelin (EMEA)
  • Larsen & Toubro Limited (APAC)

Public Sector

  • Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (North America)


  • SunStream Business Services (North America)
  • DB Schenker (APAC & EMEA)
  • Kuehne + Nagel (EMEA)

Here are details on each winner:


Chief Information Officer of the Year – Zack Chisholm, Chief Information Officer, Bega Cheese Limited (APAC)

Bega has a vision to become known as "The Great Australian Food Company" and knows that technology plays a critical role in keeping the company agile as the business grows. Led by Zack Chisholm, Bega has been working to transform the technology landscape to support the business growth and to lay the foundations to better compete on a global stage. To do this, Bega knows it needs to be able to implement change quickly and stay on the most current versions of relevant systems. For this reason, Chisholm has spearheaded the implementation of the Infor Testing as a Service (TaaS) solution, allowing Bega to realize benefits from the latest technological while working to minimize risk. Bega recognizes to release change quickly it needs a robust and effective way to test across the system, especially integrations and extensions. After implementing Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, the company has been able to further optimize a range of processes across the supply chain, finance and operations. By using TaaS, Bega has achieved more certainty with its results by helping to minimize disruptions to production.

Chief Information Officer of the Year – Vicki Partridge, Head of ICT, ERF Electrical (EMEA)

Vicki Partridge, Head of ICT at ERF Electrical, a leading UK electrical wholesaler supplying electrical products, services and solutions, has been the key driver in leading the business through a digital transformation. Moving an entire company from a legacy system is a large task, but the migration to Infor CloudSuite Distribution was very successful and did not materially disrupt business or day-to-day operations. Planning of the project started in February 2019, and it went live in early December 2019, on time and under budget. The net result has been the delivery of an integrated platform in the cloud, with an improvement to key business processes particularly managing customer interactions. All departments across the organization were involved in the project, which is one reason why it was completed successfully. According to Vicki’s colleagues, she played a crucial role in the project and was the driver for its success. Without her passion, knowledge, focus and discipline, the project would not have been such an enormous achievement.

Chief Information Officer of the Year – Sarma Malladi, Chief Information Officer, SWM International (North America)

SWM International is a leading global provider of highly engineered papers, films, nets, and non-wovens for a variety of applications and industries. Sarma Malladi, the chief information officer at SWM, was the driving force behind the company’s cloud transformation to pare down multiple ERPs and move to a single version of the "truth." Malladi notes that, "SWM selected Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise for multi-site functionality, scalability, and standardization of practices. With its implementation, we are better positioned to improve productivity, optimize inventory, and reduce acquisition integration time. We expect our work here to enable us to accelerate our digital transformation pursuits at SWM for increased value building."

Cloud Architect of the Year – Sandesh Shetty, Chief Technology Officer, Koch Business Solutions, LP (North America)

The size and international footprint of Koch Business Solutions, LP (KBS) presented unique challenges in implementing our HCM and Birst solutions. Sandesh Shetty and his team leaned into these challenges and partnered with Infor to find innovative ways to improve. The result? A better product and user experience for all customers using HCM and Birst enabling real time access for improved enterprise insights and decision making. Together we implemented better monitoring systems, increasing the number of alerts in subsystems; redesigned subfunctions to help streamline infrastructure to help make processes run more smoothly; and made the systems more multithreaded to help optimize our use of our processing resources to deliver a faster, more stable environment. Shetty and his team partnered closely with Infor throughout the testing process. During this period, maintenance windows for HCM dropped about 30% and multi-tenant outages dropped by 50%. Shetty set aggressive goals for the project. Birst-on-demand speed increased by 500% and helped drive a reduction in stuck spaces (a 95% improvement between January and June 2020). According to the team, Shetty always came across as a true partner with great listening skills and constructive feedback, always focused on finding the mutually beneficial solutions for the Koch implementation and other Infor clients with these scalable developments. His deep know-how and expertise in the areas of technology, engineering and cloud helped the project mitigate issues early, enabling a successful go-live.

Cloud Innovator of the Year – Patricia Wissar, Vice President of Technology, Ransa (LATAM)

Patricia Wissar, vice president of technology at Ransa, led the company through a digital transformation to turn the logistics into the competitive advantage of its customers with agile and adaptable solutions, while remaining a leading logistics operator in Latin America (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador). The company needed to become more digital, agile, and data-driven, with hopes to increase visibility and tracking, strengthen core technological capabilities with a simplified IT architecture that is open, 100 percent cloud, and allows real-time data processing. After a rigorous evaluation process, which included the evaluation of other leading warehouse management system platforms, Ransa selected Infor because of its extremely powerful and solid architecture, real-time data processing capabilities, and user-friendly platform. Infor’s partner in the region, Cerca Technologies, aided in the implementation. Throughout the implementation process, Ransa, achieved its goal—and forged a path for others to follow, despite the challenges of the global pandemic. Since implementation of the system in one of its customers that is dedicated to the industry of consumer goods in Ecuador, the team reported increased productivity of picking by more than 55 percent, reception productivity by more than 50 percent, inventory accuracy by 6 percent, and improved delivery fill rate by 0.5 percent. This included improved inventory visibility, improvements in customer satisfaction, better decision making, automation of key processes (receiving and put away, consolidation, replenishment, wave management and picking tasks, inventory accuracy). With another customer, the company has reported increased productivity by 20 percent, sped time to market by 38 minutes, operational agility and speed by 20 percent, and improved visibility.


Consumer Industries — Big Lots (North America), Nutreco (EMEA) and Watami Co., Ltd. (APAC)

Big Lots, a leading American retail company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with over 1,400 stores in 47 states, selected Infor Talent Science to help reduce turnover in its sales associate positions and to help make the interviewing processes for store managers more thorough and impactful. Using Infor’s assessment, Big Lots conducted a pilot in 200 stores before rolling out across 1,400+ stores in 2018. The company tailored the sales associate profile to help better predict and retain high-performing employees. Through the use of Infor Talent Science, Big Lots has reduced turnover in its sales associate positions, while maintaining a positive ROI as a result of using the assessment.

Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aqua feed, selected Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage to support its Unite4Cloud project, focused on preparing for the digital future using standard Infor software with no modifications. In June, Nutreco went live on Infor M3 version 13.4 in the cloud for 106 operating companies and 3,000 users. This was a foundational move to upgrade from an on-premise version (10.1) to the latest release. Now the joint Nutreco and Infor team can concentrate on getting to the ultimate goal of a multi-tenant platform by early 2022. This structure is designed to enable Nutreco to provide a standard, current solution to all of its applicable operations — periodically updated with the latest functionality and technology. Essentially multi-tenant will be the environment for the Nutreco future.

As Watami Co. Ltd., a Japan-based holding company that operates several restaurant chains, including Watami and T.G.I. Friday, continued to grow, it needed to eliminate inefficient legacy system issues that could not keep up with its changing business model. The company turned to a full suite of Infor enterprise solutions to help increase transparency and traceability, and to help create a more data-driven culture. Using the Infor Agile Deployment Method and Infor Implementation Accelerator, the business transformation project, dubbed COSMOS (Global Corporate Strategy Monitoring System), went live on schedule and on budget. Since deployment, the company has completed its production management initiative, implementing key organization reforms. For example, it established target bases and further integrated and established operations and systems. It improved dashboards and reporting, and better managed customers, consumers and purchasing, with the ability to better grasp and analyze purchasing behavior. Watami has used the data to cultivate important customers and promote sales to acquire new customers, leading to increased customer lifetime value (LTV). Consumer-grade dashboards give teams prompt access to view the number of products made for each center, compared to the budget, and to more easily compare productivity by center and by product. Users can see the manufacturing cost and compare the theory with the actual results. Watami can now digitize inventory management of raw materials/products at food delivery factories, virtually eliminating the need for weekly ordering work from a catering factory purchaser. Handwritten traceability information is no longer required, and the large amount of paper printed at each factory has been reduced to nearly zero. With the COSMOS manufacturing/supply chain project, Watami achieved a cost savings of 33,600,000 yen in 2019 ($313,136.88 USD), and it predicts a total cost savings of 312,700,000 yen (~$3 million USD) in 2020.

Distribution— EMCO Corporation (EMEA)

EMCO Corporation is a leading plumbing and waterworks wholesaler in Canada and is a leading distributor of HVAC and industrial products. EMCO was the first Infor multi-tenant cloud customer to "go live" in North America with Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise (based on the Infor M3 ERP system). EMCO has leveraged Infor solutions – including the Infor Learning Management System (LMS) and Infor Birst analytics – to scale its business and support its expansion plans through a franchise strategy. The Infor M3 platform became the technology centerpiece of EMCO’s "Project Win" business transformation. Its strong corporate culture, aligned values and transparent communications have helped the company embrace change management and drive systematic change. By moving to a multi-tenant cloud environment, EMCO has been able to remove 4,000 modifications and extensions from its legacy ERP system and upgrade to new functionality on a monthly basis. Previously, the company was staying on the same software release for 3 to 4 years before upgrading. In addition, with Infor’s Learning Management System, the company improved the completion rates for its mandatory health & safety training by 6 percent between 2018 and 2019.

Energy and Resources — Optima Energy Systems (EMEA)

Optima Energy Systems develops and supports advanced software for managing and analyzing energy data for some of the most significant energy users and consultants in the United Kingdom. Its software is used to manage energy data for 11,000 organizations and 170,000 sites. Optima Visualizer, developed using Infor Birst analytics, delivers a unique set of capabilities relevant to the energy management software marketplace. Visualizer allows Optima customers to build their own dashboards and reports while supporting faster data discovery. With Infor, Optima has been able to transform inefficient and highly manual reporting, build an infrastructure for customer self-service reporting, migrate from a desktop product to a modern web-based user interface, and drive customer growth and adoption. Since deployment of Birst, the team has produced a 30 percent reduction in report development overhead, 50 percent increase in customer adoption, and significant energy and cost savings for customers. And being on Infor’s multi-tenant cloud architecture significantly speeds the process of onboarding new customers.

Healthcare — CHRISTUS Health System (North America)

CHRISTUS Health System an international not-for-profit health system comprised of more than 600 services and facilities, including more than 60 hospitals, hundreds of clinics and outpatient centers and dozens of other health ministries and ventures, underwent a digital transformation and migration to an Infor cloud- based ERP system to help streamline its 19 ledger systems, 16 supply management systems, and a host of bolted-on applications. The organization selected Infor CloudSuite Financials to develop a single source of technological "truth" that is designed to be intuitive, agile, mobile and scalable. Since go-live, the organization has improved the flow of purchase orders and reduced buyer interventions. CHRISTUS Health has used the improved reporting tools to help buyers reduce research time and expedite orders. Infor applications designed specifically for healthcare have also helped improve visibility of supplies across the organization, which has been especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help ensure adequate supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line associates. The team now has organization-wide visibility into invoices, and a clear audit trail and approval history — helping to provide essential, actionable information to manage vendors, associates and auditors. Having all CHRISTUS Health on one platform has supported its organizational goal of becoming a high-functioning, relatively paperless environment. Savings through system consolidation and support, alone, are projected to be more than $5 million annually. In addition, improving contract compliance and standardization in the supply areas is expected to generate significant savings. Reducing organizational costs to support key business activities was critical, as each dollar saved goes to extending the healing ministry at CHRISTUS Health. In the near future, CHRISTUS plans to go live with Infor Global Human Resources (GHR), Infor Workforce Management (WFM), and Infor Payroll — bringing its core business applications under one integrated cloud solution.

Hospitality — Greystar (North America), Kempinski Hotels (EMEA), Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (APAC)

Greystar, a global rental housing industry leader that delivers various services to residents, property owners, and investors, understands responsiveness in property management can be the difference between a successful operating community and a poorly performing one. Greystar’s commitment to responsiveness and overall customer satisfaction led the company to work with Infor to develop its unique Greystar Analytics Mobile database, providing access to a myriad of data sources on-the-go and empowering on-site professionals to leverage relevant multi-family property information in the U.S. With help from the Infor Birst analytics team, Greystar’s Business Intelligence team rolled out mobile access across the enterprise. The true value of this on-the-go access was not fully realized until the COVID-19 outbreak. With the major disruption to businesses as a result of the pandemic, Greystar was faced with decisions that had to be made in near real time to help minimize the impact on its communities. Mobile access has enabled its professionals to perform on-the-ground analysis to address everything from educating community members on the regional impact, to the financial uncertainty the pandemic has brought with it. Since roll-out, the team touts unparalleled levels of access. Professionals can pull up operational statistics in the field to help them make informed decisions from virtually anywhere, at any time. This access directly impacts market reputation and bottom-line results — whether from a happy resident who has decided to renew a lease or a cost savings from a decision made on the fly.

Kempinski Hotels is using Infor Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) as a comprehensive solution with flexile integration capabilities to better understand risk, performance, and the impact of decisions at the property, regional and group level and to support business continuity through solid but adapting business planning. Opting to create more fluid business plans for 2021, Kempinski Hotels is fully utilizing Infor capabilities to create and implement multiple revenue scenarios in parallel, which allows the company to stay flexible and ready for a slower or faster recovery. This innovative "Road to Recovery" model—where the difference between the various revenue scenarios is the speed of recovery—analyzes multiple (base, worst, best case) scenarios based on market segmentation as well as country of residence. These varying strategies can be used to help facilitate the recovery of the various segments, or can be aimed at replacing certain target markets with others, which are predicted to have a faster recovery. The concept has been disseminated throughout the hotels, via webinars and trainings, to alert teams to the changes and to help support fast adoption. This scenario-based budgeting project brought together the business development and revenue management teams, as well as the finance and analytics teams, more than ever before.

Technology plays a key role at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) and streamlining systems across its 33 properties worldwide was the next step in becoming more agile for its future business needs. Hong Kong-based MOHG which has been awarded Infor’s ‘Top customer in hospitality,’ decided to migrate all its applicable operations onto the Infor Hospitality Management Solution (HMS) to provide a consistent global platform and a base for integrations to other key systems. Since implementation, Mandarin has accurately captured detailed guest preferences and used that information to enhance guest experiences and personalize offers. In addition, the system provides a platform designed to help effectively and efficiently support growth. This includes the ability to enter new geographies with the flexibility to help support unique property operations, regional/country business requirements, and data privacy requirement, all with minimal corporate support. In addition, MOHG has enhanced the pace and reduced the cost to convert acquired properties to new system standards, enabling new properties to more quickly leverage the benefits of the MOHG systems. Looking ahead, MOHG has enabled future innovation, including lower-cost experimentation so that it can more swiftly support new business concepts and processes. Across the network, there are enhanced payment processes, support for emerging payment methods and reduced cybersecurity risk. The Infor solution also supports the evolution of the group’s guest engagement and recognition program "Fans of M.O." With Infor, MOHG has reduced administrative burdens and can more easily focus on delivering core business value and guest satisfaction. Infor HMS has not only been tailored to MOHG’s specific property standards, it is also designed to be agile and scalable to support MOHG as it continues to grow globally.

Manufacturing — Carrier (North America), Michelin (EMEA), and Larsen & Toubro Limited (APAC)

Carrier wanted to create a central platform for applicable international transportation to help eliminate visibility issues associated with its logistics and supply chain operations. This could help the Florida-based maker and distributor of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems know precisely where freight was at all times and virtually remove manual processes, and the data errors and inconsistency that come with manual entry. It could also boost spend visibility, address compliance issues with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) for international bookings, and help reduce costs associated with service. Implementing the Infor Nexus digital supply chain network truly modernized Carrier’s business operations. The Infor Nexus network provided a single platform for all applicable international transportation booking (air & ocean), track and trace capabilities, regardless of the mode or the provider, spend reporting in a unique format, accessible on a daily basis, and routing guide compliance. Since go-live in July (phase 1), Carrier has eliminated traceable compliance issues with its 3PLs, significantly reduced costs on air freight utilization, and improved productivity on ocean freight with faster transit times. Carrier has gone from reactive to proactive with the new data available to its business leaders.

Michelin had a simple goal in mind – to make doing business easier by transforming its relationships and transactions with customers. The answer: move to the cloud. With Infor, the world’s second-largest tire manufacturer started its cloud journey by moving from an on-premise, home-made solution to a full software as a service (SaaS) solution. Infor CloudSuite Automotive has helped the organization enrich its experience with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and improve day-to-day tasks for employees by doing away with low-value-added tasks. The solution has also made data more reliable and accessible and boosted efficiency of operations through more simplified processes. The move to the cloud has helped Michelin meet key business objectives and requirements, developing connectivity across operations like never before, and it can remain agile and modern with easy solution updates.

One of the Larsen and Toubro Limited defense business’s facilities dedicated to precision manufacturing and systems integration had a long drawn manual process for measuring the overall operational efficiency (OOE). OOE is a key indicator of availability, performance and quality of shop floor resources. In the absence of a proper system, this data had to be manually retrieved and compiled from ERP LN and manual records. Alongside Infor, the Indian engineering, construction, and manufacturing conglomerate began its digital evolution to create a more connected factory by integrating Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and ERP LN. Key elements to the project included an overhauled web user interface from the shop floor that feeds into the ERP system in near real time, virtually eliminating false data reporting, improving quality assurance reporting, and keeping a close watch on machine run times and utilization. Hours booked are aligned and validated with machine uptime, production order/operation details and the staff rostered on the machine. Since go-live, the organization has improved cost and delivery timelines, recognized a 3-5 percent savings in manual efforts, systematically monitored the actual performance of the machines, generated advanced alerts on key metrics, with the ability to quickly review long-term data analysis to generate productivity reports.

Public Sector — Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (North America)

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) in California wanted to improve its payroll process and was selected as a beta customer for the next-generation Infor Global HR Payroll system. Having recently implemented Infor CloudSuite Financials and Supply Management, the organization was ready to continue its cloud journey and further redeploy IT staff to more strategic projects, help improve employee productivity, and redesign elements of the general ledger. The project team had a clear goal of going live on the first pay period in January 2020, including working alongside Infor to incorporate design changes and enhancements in the payroll project plan. Since deployment, the payroll project has enabled EVMWD to achieve a 50-60 percent improvement in payroll processing time, and exceptional compliance with labor law and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements. It has eliminated 70 percent of payroll interfaces and automated payroll functions for management to approve employee timecards, time-off and leave requests, which come with significant time savings. The reconciliation from Infor GHR Payroll to Infor CloudSuite Financials is enhanced by both products being on the same platform, and there have been no disruptions to payroll processing since COVID-19 work-from-home requirements took effect. With this solution, employees can review pay stubs, W4 and taxes from their browsers or within the Infor Go application. The Infor Go app supports timely supervisor approval for all human resources processes.

Services – SunStream Business Services (North America), DB Schenker (APAC & EMEA), and Kuehne + Nagel (EMEA)

A primary strategy at SunStream Business Services (SunStream) is to seek innovative solutions and reduce the technical workload of maintaining older systems. SunStream selected Infor CloudSuite Financials as part of its overall cloud strategy to grow and better service its customers through digital transformation. Working alongside Infor Consulting Services, SunStream went live in July, providing new tools and services to its 11 independent Farm Credit Associations and AgriBank. Users now have a more modern, user-friendly, robust solution that offers centralized and more streamlined reporting and processing, an integrated general ledger, easy access to accounts payable and asset management data, comprehensive financial analysis capabilities, and an intuitive system interface.

A leading global logistics provider DB Schenker (Schenker) supports industry and trade in the global exchange of goods through land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. With Infor, the company is creating a modern, next-generation warehouse management system that is designed to help increase warehouse productivity by moving away from manual processes, one that can help serve customers with shorter lead times and high throughput compared to non-integrated facilities. At the same time, Schenker is paving its way towards a fully-digital, next-generation supply chain network using the Infor Nexus commerce network as its logistics backbone. The solution has enabled Schenker to gain stronger data management capabilities for increased supply chain insights, helping it create differentiated value for its customers, including enhanced shipment visibility and predictive ETA notifications.

Infor and Kuehne+Nagel are working together to leverage people, processes and technology to create modernized supply chains. With over 80,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is one of the world's leading logistics companies. Its strong market position lies in Sea Logistics, Air Logistics, Road Logistics and Contract Logistics. To help support and accelerate growth in International Supply Chain business, Infor Nexus was selected as the partner for Kuehne+Nagel’s dual-platform strategy to provide multiple options to help meet customers’ expanding global supply chain visibility requirements and to help support business complexity. The partnership growth and positive momentum driving business results has proven to be a success story. Furthermore, Kuehne+Nagel was the first logistics service provider (LSP) to deploy the Infor Network Transportation Management (NTM) Optimizer and the first LSP to deploy the Infor Factory Management module.



For more information:
Christina Ledger

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