Munchies and motorcycles: A fireside chat at Infor Velocity World Tour

photo of three men on stage at Infor Velocity Tour

Intersnack and Triumph Motorcycles talk sweetening their ERP systems to drive innovation at the Infor Velocity World Tour fireside chat.

What do a snack company and a motorcycle company have in common? Other than what sounds like my kind of road trip.

It’s what virtually every business, small or large, faces in our modernized digital world – both companies are set out on an innovation journey. Innovation starts with upgrading ERP systems and Intersnack Group and Triumph Motorcycles happen to have something else in common, being they’re both on this journey with Infor.

Infor is a relatively smaller player in the ERP market, dwarfed by SAP and other vendors. However, it has been gaining traction in recent years with niche industries, such as, in this instance, CPG and automotive, where Infor’s personalized expertise and tailored solutions give it a competitive advantage with SMEs fighting to stay competitive in an AI-crazed sector.

The company’s Velocity World Tour 2024 brought together attendees from all kinds of industries to discuss common ERP challenges and how working with Infor on their innovation journeys has helped them eat away at modern challenges and drive into innovation success (get it? Eat and drive).

Infor CTO Soma Somasundaram and Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson onstage at the Infor Velocity Tour 2024Among many notable speakers, including Infor’s CEO Kevin Samuelson and CTO Soma Somasundaram, the Infor Velocity World Tour event hosted a ‘fireside chat’ with Intersnack Group and Triumph Motorcycles to get a deeper look into the ERP challenges of such differing industries and how similar their goals can be.

Intersnack’s ERP crunch time

Let’s walk back a bit and dive into Intersnack Group’s ERP journey with Infor.

Intersnack Group is a leading European manufacturer of savory snacks and has long been committed to upholding the highest standards of quality and safety in its products. However, a few short years ago, it was faced with disparate ERP systems complicating operations. Its journey towards digital transformation needed guidance and a personalized solution.

Christoph Laufen, Head of Center of Excellence at Intersnack, at the Infor Velocity TourChristoph Laufen, head of CoE at Intersnack Group, said of his company’s much-needed system transformation: “It’s the most important topic because it goes hand in hand with product safety and quality.”

Intersnack’s digital transformation began with a vision to streamline operations and enhance product quality across its diverse portfolio of brands. Tasked with replacing 17 disparate ERP systems, Infor became the partner of choice in 2020, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions specific to the food and beverage industry.

As Laufen elaborated at the fireside chat: “Having good processes in place, well-trained people executing these processes and then selecting and picking the most suitable software to support this,” became the cornerstone of Intersnack’s transformation approach. With Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage at its core, Intersnack then embarked on a journey to harmonize its global processes, from procurement to supply chain management.

The deployment of Infor solutions not only facilitated compliance management but also empowered Intersnack to drive growth and expansion in a rapidly evolving market – just as GenAI began to take center stage. With a digital transformation team at H&L Digital and AI capabilities via Infor Coleman, Infor took deployment to the next stage, providing Intersnack with a framework to drive automation and then AI.

At the Infor Velocity World Tour event, Laufen was passionate about the importance of data integration as it pertains to upcoming innovations like AI: “Utilizing data from various systems into one is instrumental in unlocking valuable insights.”

With one seamless data system, Laufen suggests that: “GenAI can help us learn how to set the machine to the best possible parameters.”

To provide further context, it’s important to note that the food and beverage industry is a highly competitive beast, with stringent regulations governing product safety and quality. By streamlining processes and centralizing data with Infor’s ERP solutions, Intersnack says it was able to not only ensure compliance but also gain a competitive edge in the market.

Additionally, with a diverse portfolio of brands and a global presence, standardizing processes with Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage enabled Intersnack to achieve greater operational efficiency and agility, positioning the company for success in the years to come.

Triumph Motorcycles’ open road to Infor

Triumph Motorcycles is an iconic British motorcycle manufacturer with a legacy spanning over a century. The company faced its own set of challenges in modernizing its operations. James Davies, director of global business systems at Triumph, agreed with Intersnack Group on the need for agility when adapting to changing business landscapes, urging users: “Don’t be stubborn. Don’t be afraid to tear things up and start again and restructure your whole approach to the project.”

James Davies, Director - Global Business Systems & PMO at Triumph Motorcycles, at the Infor Velocity Tour 2024Triumph’s legacy of innovation and craftsmanship meant they were looking for a bold ERP transformation aimed at revitalizing their brand. Faced with the challenge of navigating a rather complex web of systems, Triumph sought a partner capable of delivering end-to-end solutions tailored to the unique needs of the motorcycle industry.

You guessed it – they chose Infor.

Infor offered a suite of solutions designed to optimize manufacturing processes and streamline supply chain operations for the automotive group. Triumph Motorcycles ended up with approximately 160 to 170 different systems that were serving various purposes within the business. Its goal was to simplify its landscape to end up with a core end-to-end system that supports most of the operational work for the business. Similarly to Intersnack Group, the motorcycle company was looking for one platform to rule them all. This is why they were brought together at the Infor Velocity World Tour.

Davies said: “The aim really was [to have] a centralized data warehouse or data repository to remove misunderstanding [and] to speed things up.”

The phased rollout of Infor LN and PTC Windchill empowered Triumph Motorcycles to achieve agility and efficiency across its global operations, from shop floor scheduling to boardroom strategies. Real-time data insights and improved visibility enabled the company to enhance product ordering and better communication with customers.

“Data comes in many different forms, be that objective, subjective, real-time, retrospective and it can be very difficult to sift through all that and not get lost in the noise.” Davies continued: “Ultimately if you invest that time early on, it’s much, much easier to use that time and time again for different possibilities.”

What’s next for snack bars and handle bars?

For Intersnack Group, the future lies in further harnessing the potential of AI and data analytics to enhance product quality and drive market expansion. Laufen said: “People eat our products. Obviously, that’s the most important thing. We’re focused on what’s at the end of the rainbow [and] that’s to simplify people’s lives.”

Similarly, Triumph Motorcycles is set to embark on the next phase of its ERP journey, leveraging Infor’s cutting-edge technologies to streamline manufacturing processes, enhance customer experiences and drive global growth.

With a clear focus on data-driven decision-making, Triumph Motorcycles aims to cement its position as a trailblazer in the motorcycle industry and Davies thinks AI is going to get them there. He said: “AI is here to stay, [it’s] the next industrial revolution, without a doubt. It’s an opportunity to refresh your business model. What I find interesting about the emergence of AI is that it is a disruptive technology, or more accurately – a group of disruptive technologies.

“I think the next few years are going to be incredibly interesting for the motorcycle industry.”

Whether providing us with a little munchies relief or setting us out on the open road, businesses in every industry are aware that the future is inevitable. Integral operations, from supply chain to safety initiatives, are going to be enhanced with innovative ERP solutions – AI is not coming. Instead, AI is already here.

Events like the Infor Velocity World Tour provide invaluable opportunities for knowledge exchange and through this fireside chat it shows that industries that seemingly have nothing in common are actually set on the same challenges and the same goals.

Innovation is not merely about adopting new technologies – but rather it is about embracing a mindset of innovation and collaboration. That’s what Infor was trying to say by bringing together Intersnack Group and Triumph Motorcycles for a fireside chat at Infor Velocity World Tour 2024.

So pick up a quick snack at the transformation station before you set out on the innovation highway, users.