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A Template for Successful Global Rollouts

The Bossard Story

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The Bossard Story

With success come growing pains. This is the inescapable challenge that we see companies face time and time again, particularly when you add in the complexity of an expanding global business operation. What defines whether these companies can realize the full potential of their growth, or get stuck in a minefield of integration issues, is their digital strategy.

This was precisely the position in which Bossard found itself after an ambitious, years-long merger & acquisitions process. What started as a small, family-owned hardware store had grown over decades into an international leader in fastener technology, and was now continuing its expansion at the rate of one company every two years. Today, their global footprint encompasses 82 locations in 32 countries, processing over three million unique part numbers.

Bossard was diligent and careful not to disrupt the digital ecosystems of suppliers they acquired, so they could keep their momentum and maintain ownership of their processes. But when Bossard eventually sought to capitalize on their global footprint, they were hindered by siloed systems and a lack of visibility into their global stock.

After attempting other solutions, Bossard realized this problem called for a partnership where they can lead with their vision and leverage external expertise to craft a roadmap and execute the implementation in a timely, effective manner.

In the next pages, we break down how Bossard is employing different technologies and services to turn common business challenges into big wins for their global business operations.

Unlocking the potential of a global footprint with Dynamics 365 (ERP)

The Goal: “Full visibility of global inventory, from one platform.”

This was the goal laid out by Bossard for practical application of their new ERP system. And with good reason. A modernized and globally integrated platform would enable Bossard to service its customers from any business unit, based on availability and the shortest fulfillment lead times. But the road to this vision was mired with challenges.

The Challenges

By 2020, at the height of their acquisitions period, Bossard found themselves managing nine different ERP systems with hundreds of integrations between business units, including a number of SAP and Oracle applications. Besides creating an unsustainable burden for their IT teams, this digital landscape led to lengthy business processes and siloed systems that hindered data transparency throughout the organization. Bossard’s bogged down digital infrastructure was preventing the company from capitalizing on its global footprint, endangering its investments and stunting business growth.

From the beginning, HSO gave us the impression that they wanted to take care of us

Giuseppe Aruanno CIO | Bossard Group

Next Challenge: Gaining Actionable Business Insights

While an integrated ERP built on Dynamics 365 is a powerful tool with massive potential, a challenge remained: How could Bossard turn millions of data points into actionable business insights? In the next segment, read about how Bossard is taking their ERP to the next level with unique tools that turn simple data into game-changing analytics that support decision-making at every level.

Leveraging Data for Business Insights

Unifying data and managing it through a global ERP was only the first step of Bossard’s digital transformation. Dynamics 365 connected the company's global branches under One Bossard, a vision that turbocharged collaboration, shortened feedback loops and encouraged the spread of best practices. With a centralized data strategy, Bossard now had the space to focus on growth and innovation. But to leverage the power of this data, they needed an analytics solution that could be custom tailored to their business goals and needs.

Supporting Business Transformation

Undergoing a digital transformation on a global scale requires a major commitment of resources. Without proper support to manage time, personnel, and training, you could be negating the productivity wins your new platform brings. Bossard recognized this and opted to add external support for various aspects of their digital transformation. To this end, HSO offers a comprehensive suite of Managed Services that will have you covered at any point throughout the lifecycle of your modernization journey.

A Partner to Rely On

Since Bossard was fundamentally restructuring their digital landscape, they were in the perfect position to rethink their service management requirements. The main aspect driving these was the need to continue supporting their legacy systems while they incorporated their new core Dynamics 365 ERP platform. On top of that, they did not yet have the in-house knowledge to tackle issues that could arise with the new platform, especially considering the influx of demand that comes with deploying to 82 locations worldwide.

Bossard’s IT Service Management Lead, Natalya Pinto, puts the value of the partnership into perspective: “Having HSO in place was crucial for the team, because we had a partner to rely on to resolve tickets and at the same time teach us how to handle different issues in the future.” Teams from both companies work very closely, holding weekly meetings to identify service chokepoints and develop in-house expertise at Bossard.

HSO’s Managed Services provide Bossard access to a single point of contact that handles 24/7 support for business applications, as well as predictive monitoring of critical applications. Outsourcing incident management frees up resources for Bossard, reducing the need for training and the burden of system maintenance. Even when everything is running smoothly, Microsoft releases software upgrades on a semi-annual basis for Dynamics 365. HSO can absorb the workload of incorporating these updates while ensuring there are no adverse effects to your architecture downstream.

Having HSO in place was crucial for the team, because we had a partner to rely on to resolve tickets and at the same time teach us how to handle different issues in the future

Natalya Pinto IT Service Management Lead | Bossard

Supporting Further Innovation

Taking on these tasks on your own can disrupt the normal flow of your IT teams, delaying your implementation. As a Microsoft-recognized Azure Expert Managed Service Partner (MSP), HSO has proven success in supporting clients at every stage of their business transformation. Whatever your needs, HSO teams bring a solutions-oriented approach and a deep commitment to ensuring your apps and cloud services are running smoothly, so you can focus on generating value for your customers.

The impact on Bossard has been increased freedom to keep a steady rollout tempo and create room to foster innovation. By taking time consuming, high-volume tasks off their plate, Bossard can focus on driving their business forward with the peace of mind that their digital platform is working effectively and securely. This has reduced their external operational costs and freed up time and capital to accelerate their implementation.

While HSO’s managed services are enabling Bossard to drive innovation by reducing costs and allowing them to more effectively allocate resources, there is an overarching element that is key to the success of their digital transformation. Read on to uncover the final element that made this daunting project a success.

A model partnership for global rollouts

Deep digital transformations like the one Bossard is undergoing are a serious commitment. They require the full weight of your resources, for several years, regardless of what technology you choose. A poorly planned transformation can have catastrophic effects. Harvard Business Review reported that although 89% of large companies globally have started a digital transformation, they’ve only captured 31% of expected revenue lift and seen a mere 25% of expected cost savings.

Bossard was close to going down that uncertain path with a previous IT solution that did not properly mitigate this risk. However, they realized early on that a project of this magnitude requires one very important ingredient: An implementation partner that integrates seamlessly across global operations and shares a strong commitment to realizing their client’s vision.

Transforming Business Operations

HSO was prepared to deliver for Bossard, and CIO Giuseppe Aruanno summarizes the partnership with praise: “We selected HSO because of their collaborative and consistent work ethic and their capability to deliver under pressure. The team on both sides feels we are like a family; there has never been that separation between customer and partner.”

Each and every HSO team member brings more than top-tier technical expertise and business acumen to the table. What sets us apart is our ability to empathize with a customer’s challenges and goals, and to transcend cross-cultural barriers to make that vision a reality.

Ongoing Transformation

Digital transformation is not a one-time project, but an ongoing cycle of adapting to changing business needs and incorporating new technologies that address them. The advantage is that you create a roadmap that incrementally builds on technologies that have the biggest impact. By first implementing solutions that give you immediate wins and a short-term ROI, you can generate revenue to grow your business while you continue investing in your digital infrastructure. It’s a method that is self-sustaining and leaves room for refining the plan along the way.

HSO International worked closely with Bossard to craft this strategy, continually developing and approving configurations for their new Dynamics 365 ERP system. By implementing it in steps, the system was rolled out in lower-risk locations, providing lessons learned that could be applied immediately in the next phases of the rollout. Additionally, Bossard and HSO instituted a change management support structure to gain buy-in from business units, including them in the feedback loop to zero in on business processes that benefit the company globally.

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