Through the Pandemic, Infor Customers Just Keep Innovating

United States – September 15, 2020, 10:00 AM

With COVID-19 surging, how could a children’s hospital get a trajectory projection of its personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to help keep it from running short? During a statewide lockdown, how could a county keep issuing essential land management permits without face-to-face document reviews with applicants? Infor customers found ways.

While the pandemic is disrupting organizations worldwide, many are turning to digital technologies to help reinvent processes and go-to-market strategies. Infor customers are rising to unprecedented challenges, and innovating with Infor solutions to create new opportunities.

To showcase some of the impressive go-forward problem-solving customers are doing even during economic turmoil, Infor created a hopefully-one-time-only award category in this year’s Customer Excellence Awards presented during Inforum 2020: The digital experience. The winners of the “Innovation in the Time of COVID-19” Award are Children’s Health in Dallas, and Frederick County government in Maryland. The innovations of four other customers also deserved attention and so received Honorable Mentions: Quidel Corp., KeHE Distributors LLC, Community Bank System Inc., and Aqualux Products Ltd.

“We are honored that so many of our customers are using Infor products to help deliver exceptional service in this very challenging time,” said Infor Chief Customer Officer Nancy Mattenberger during the online announcement. “We are thrilled to be part of your journey, especially in the face of such monumental challenges.”

Here’s how these 6 customers have turned challenges into opportunities:

Children's Health using Infor Birst, Infor Healthcare supply chain

COVID-19 stressed the global supply chain, especially for personal protective equipment (PPE) for Children’s Health in Dallas. As the ability to replenish gloves, masks, gowns and other critical supplies became increasingly difficult, time-consuming and expensive, the Children’s Health supply chain team was able to produce a more detailed view into critical supply inventories and use rates to inform how protocols might need to be adjusted to preserve PPE.

Infor helped Children’s Health create a custom PPE dashboard using Infor Birst, a business intelligence and analytics platform. With the PPE dashboard, Children’s Health now has a robust toolset to help view critical items in multiple time categories, individually across all of its hospital campuses and at the system level, to help provide visibility into PPE supplies. The Infor Birst dashboard helps the supply chain team decide which products to procure immediately and which it can order later.

Frederick County Division of Planning and Permitting using Infor Public Sector Mobile

Processing over 20,000 permit applications and conducting over 70,000 inspections per year, Frederick County’s Division of Planning and Permitting service center sees up to 100 customers a day, to submit paper applications and plans. Some paper plans fill up to 100 pages and require six copies. County Executive Jan Gardner believed they could help boost performance, streamline workflows and provide a simple, more cost-effective alternative for customers by shifting to an all-electronic platform. In December 2019, just a few months before the pandemic hit, the division launched its new Infor Public Sector land management software, with an online portal, and went paperless.

“When we released our Rhythm for Civics portal, customers immediately began signing up with the excitement that they could now submit their applications electronically, pay application fees and upload plans all from the comfort—and safety—of their own computer,” said Gary Hessong, deputy director of planning and permitting.

Now, in the midst of pandemic lockdowns, the division has been able to continue normal business operations, processing and reviewing permit and planning applications remotely and performing virtual inspections, all while allowing for social distancing to help keep the community, customers and staff safe.

“We have maintained full business continuity in an environment where many others have stopped, or are running at a fraction of capacity,” Hessong said. “Staff has processed over 8,000 permit applications, completed over 21,000 reviews and performed nearly 25,000 inspections. The implementation of our new software has played an essential role in sustaining local business activity and has given us a competitive edge. When looking for new locations, businesses are seeking jurisdictions that are able to process their permits and plans.”

Quidel Corp. using Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise

Quidel is a leading California-based global diagnostic healthcare manufacturer. It had been running on Infor LN on-premises for 10+ years, but when the company went into hyper-acquisition mode and acquired three lines of business that opened up many international product distribution lines in Europe, South Asia and China, it was time to migrate to the cloud. Quidel partnered with Infor to create a software-as-a-service (SaaS) global blueprint with Infor CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise to assist in these markets and not miss a beat. It went live in less than 12 months with its Order to Cash operations, including integrations to its third-party logistics and warehousing partners in Europe and China. Within 24 months, it had upgraded all Order to Cash operations worldwide.

With the arrival of COVID in January, Quidel quickly adapted an existing line of testing diagnostics to also test for COVID. It has large commitments to buy for testing in nursing homes and other high-volume applications. So Quidel also consolidated its global inventory, shipping, and Order to Cash into CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise, and positioned a global template to incorporate applicable global lines of business, including new acquisitions.

Now Quidel can keep up with its surging global increase in demand for COVID testing.

Aqualux Products Ltd. using Infor CloudSuite Industrial and Infor Factory Track

Aqualux Products Limited in Birmingham, West Midlands, is one of the United Kingdom's leading suppliers of complete showering solutions. After Aqualux was sold to Intrinsic Equity in November2019, it had just six months to get up and running on an independent ERP solution. It selected Infor CloudSuite Industrial (CSI) multitenant and chose Infor partner Saibsolutions Ltd. to lead the implementation.

In addition to custom electronic data interchange (EDI) integrations, all mission critical, Aqualux required development of a rule-based, ship-via automation functionality, an extension of the CSI shipping module.

Deployment began in January, but on March 23, the UK went into full lockdown, which continued through to May. However, CSI development and deployment continued at full pace with 100% remote work on the CSI multitenant-cloud platform. The entire cut-over migration planning and execution were delivered remotely. CSI went live on May 19, in time to meet the six-month deadline.

On the go-live day, only the required warehouse personnel were physically on the ground to conduct pick, pack and shipping activities. Since the go-live, Aqualux business has continued to run smoothly ramping up operations as UK retailers open stores and consumers return to in-person shopping. While sales plummeted in April to virtually zero, going live in May helped position Aqualux to benefit strongly from the recovery. In June, Aqualux recovered over 70% of its pre-COVID monthly run rate.

“We needed a fast solution for what is normally a complicated and long process, the world threw every possible barrier at the team, yet they still achieved a rapid and remote deployment,” David Baldry, managing director of Aqualux, said. “A truly international team effort, and, frankly, an unbelievable achievement in the world of 2020.”

KeHE Distributors using Infor Talent Science

KeHE Distributors LLC, a national distributor of specialty and organic foods based in Naperville, Illinois, had tremendous turnover in its distribution centers. After years of making subjective hiring decisions, KeHE sought an assessment tool that would not only provide a data-driven solution to augment its selection process, but one that could leverage that data through onboarding and career development as well.

KeHE selected Infor Talent Science and kicked off implementation on Feb 19. A month later, the global pandemic arrived. While many businesses slowed dramatically or even stopped, KeHE's business volume increased due to its categorization as an essential business. Continuing with the implementation required determination, commitment and belief in the value that Talent Science could provide over time: help with reduced turnover, enhanced quality of hire, better performance, and assistance with a more efficient and streamlined hiring, onboarding and coaching processes.

On June 1, KeHE rolled out the new candidate assessment tool that integrated with its applicant tracking system, including the creation of 7 custom performance profiles and 5 industry standard profiles, spanning 3 major divisions and requiring training of several hundred managers.

“We were able to get from kick-off to go-live in 14 weeks, despite a global pandemic,” said Vito Fiore, senior director of talent acquisition.

Community Bank System Inc. using Infor HCM with Infor Go

Community Bank System Inc. and its subsidiaries in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont needed a way to keep employees informed during the COVID outbreak. When the pandemic struck, about 1/3 of the workforce shifted quickly to work from home.

“We needed a way to give HR portal access to all our employees, in office and remote, and keep them informed of policy and procedure changes during this pandemic,” said Lorie Semmel, CBSI director of HCM systems. “To provide access to our My HR employee home pages portal, we rolled out Infor Go in just a couple of days, so employees could do the basics such as view their paystubs, benefit information, etc. virtually anytime anywhere.”

The team created a dedicated COVID page on My HR with FAQs, inspiration, training, links to 100 related documents, and weekly updates from the CEO. The page is part of the bank’s official pandemic response.

“We also worked with a team from Infor to enable our Total Rewards program to be accessible on our home pages. It took some time to make this work, since this had never been done before,” Semmel said. “We felt this was a great time to roll this out to employees during these troubled times to demonstrate how valuable they are to us as an organization. Everything is live and working wonderfully.”

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