"Becker’s has developed from a traditional company to a global player active on five continents. It creates new demands on our IT systems, and together with Microsoft we are taking a holistic approach with global IT and a common business system for the entire company," said Monica Rudin, global IT manager at Becker’s Group.
Becker’s produces industrial paints for Coil Coatings (coil coating color), Industrial Coatings and Consumer Design Finishes (CDF), and is the number one supplier of paint for coil coating in Europe. Industrial Coating is the product area that manufactures color for industries, including agricultural machinery, trains, plastic parts for cars and trucks. CDF supplies color segments in consumer electronics such as computers, cell phones, tablets, and espresso machines. Notably Beckers sells the color used for color coating of Microsoft Surface series.
Growth creates new demands
In recent years Becker’s has established themselves in several emerging markets, such as Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia, Turkey and the Middle East. The expansion puts new demands on Beckers as the company has not had a unified business system. There’s been various solutions across markets, with solutions such as Sage X3, IFS as well as local solutions which made it difficult to scale up and adapt the business to the new global conditions. Neither IT-infrastructure nor IT support has been globally coordinated, which is now going to change with the new Microsoft Dynamics AX system in place.
"We do this to grow further. Previously, we’ve not been able to support new markets effectively - because shared servers, networks and systems did not exist," says Monica Rudin.
"When I started at Becker’s my goal was to get this project running together with suitable partners. And now, just in time for our 150 years anniversary, we’re starting from scratch together with Microsoft," says Monica Rudin.
At the moment Becker’s is a midst of several projects and they’ve initiated the process of setting up a global IT structure, in which Microsoft is the supplier of business software. But Microsoft not only helps with the implementation of the ERP system, Microsoft also plays a supporting role in the continuing work, including work with Active Directory, as well as contribution to Becker’s visions for the future.
Work on the new business system is mainly done from Sweden where 10 people from Becker's and about as many from Microsoft work together in a common space set up for the project, according to Monica Rudin who is responsible for the project. Some of the work will also be done offshore by a team working in India.
"With this project we make sure that we get increased security, transparency, and a platform for a smoother cooperation and exchange of information between our various markets," says Monica Rudin.
“Becker’s are introducing a common IT system for the development of the company's global processes. Microsoft Dynamics AX is used as a base for Becker's continued global expansion. Becker's employees will work more effectively in a common system. This means more time for customer focus, product and environmental considerations which are Becker's guiding principles", say Niklas Johansson, Director of Microsoft Services in Sweden.
Founded: 1865 by chemist Carl Wilhelm Becker in Stockholm, Sweden.
Owner: Lindéngruppen owns 100 % of Beckers Group.
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany.
Number of employees: 1800
Turnover: about SEK 7.2 billion ($720 million USD)
Market: 1961 expanded Becker outside Scandinavia, a trend that continued during the 1970-80's. In 1990, Becker continued to grow through joint ventures and acquisitions in Asia, Africa and North America. Becker has in recent years continued to grow and has started new factories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and an office in Russia.