Its quintet of 20-year-old ERP systems couldn’t keep up with the demands of the increasingly important e-commerce channel. And that wasn’t all. Global master data, financials, supply chain, sales and marketing—all of these also needed major overhauls if Libbey was to maintain and expand its market leadership in the face of born-in-the-cloud competitors seemingly better positioned for the future.
“What we needed was far more than just a modern ERP system,” says James Burmeister, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Libbey Inc. “For the global agility we wanted, we would have to digitally transform the company and lift our entire operation into the cloud. After understanding the breadth of our challenge, we knew we needed an equally broad partner. That’s why we chose Microsoft.”
Burmeister and his colleagues selected Microsoft for its extensive three-cloud platform including Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, which provides office productivity, business productivity, and cloud computing. They liked the technologies’ focus on security, business intelligence, and a consistent user experience across office and business apps. In addition, they envisioned relying on the integration of technologies to digitally transform the global business quickly with minimal disruption to the business. Another big plus: the breadth and depth of expertise, strategic guidance, and support that Microsoft Services brought to the table.
“We’re a global company and we wanted a global partner that could be with us, on the ground, anywhere and anytime we wanted their engagement,” says Dave Anderson, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Libbey Inc. “More than that, Microsoft brings the exact industry expertise we need, from how to exploit the data we collect on the shop floor to how to manage our master data in the cloud.”
“We see increased competition and tougher times ahead. With our digital business transformation, Microsoft is helping us not just to survive, but to thrive.”
James Burmeister, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Libbey
Microsoft Services consultants worked with Libbey to plan its multiphased digital business transformation and migration to the cloud. “We were looking at an extensive journey that we’d never taken before,” says Burmeister. “Microsoft Services worked with our executive team to help us understand how to achieve the maximum business value. They helped us plan that journey in the phases that made the most sense for our unique situation.”
Libbey and Microsoft Services implemented phase one, the e-commerce platform, in early 2019, based on the sales-order-to-cash processes in Dynamics 365. Phase two will follow with global ERP and CRM also based on Dynamics 365, and phase three will digitize operations in Azure and implement artificial intelligence and machine learning services.
Part of what the two companies are building together won’t show up on any technology roadmap, but it may be the most important of all: a Center of Excellence (CoE) with strategists, architects, and global program managers from the two companies. The CoE guides ongoing strategy development as well as deployment plans and implementation across the globe. It also provides training and serves as the repository for Libbey’s rapidly growing digital knowledge.