I recently delivered an Executive Change Masterclass to Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH in Berlin. Burmester is an innovative producer of high-end audio solutions. Here’s an interview with Clemens Janning, the responsible project manager for the ERP implementation project. He explains why they decided for an Executive Change Masterclass and how that helped the organisation to be (more) open for the new world.
As a start Clemens, who is Burmester?
“Burmester Audiosysteme is producer and distributor of audio solutions since 1975. We operate with a team of 85 colleagues on a worldwide scale in the high-end of the market. So that really is the luxury segment.
We deliver and support both resellers and end-customers with superb audio systems. Next to that we deliver our solutions on an OEM basis to car manufacturers like Mercedes, Porsche and Ferrari. Our culture can be described as pretty traditional with a strong focus on and pride for our products. In the IT domain we have improved a lot over the years. But there still is of course a lot of room for improvement.
More details on Burmester – High-end audio components from Germany.
What is your role in the company?
“I am responsible for IT, accounting and controlling. I started this job on an interim basis in July 2021 and switched to a permanent contract in December 2021. My focus is on the improvement of the IT function and the modernization of our internal business processes. The goal is to make our organisation less complex and especially to improve the order-to-cash process.
In previous jobs I was involved in many ERP implementations in different industries, mainly based on Navision and SAP.”
What was the compelling reason to move from Dynamics NAV 2016 to Dynamics 365 Business Central?
“We actually had two reasons to migrate from Dynamics NAV to Business Central. The first one was the fact that our 2016 version went ‘out of support’. But the second reason was more important to us. We wanted to further improve the quality of the IT function, create more engagement throughout the whole organisation and modernise our internal processes and our mindsets.”
Why did you invite Guus to deliver an Executive Change Masterclass?
“Since we didn’t just want to install new software and simply continue as we always did, we were looking for external support to inspire us. And to motivate us to also improve our organisation and our internal DNA.
Holger Lüke, the CEO of our implementation partner Innovate365 suggested to connect with Guus. In our introduction call we immediately felt that he was able to help us. Not only in motivating us regarding ‘the why’ of this project. But also to help and guide us in ‘the how’.
Based on his advice we’ve invited our complete management board, all key-users and also our marketing department for his full-day Masterclass in our office. A group of 18 people in total."
How did you and the team perceive this Masterclass?
“From the first minute of the session, Guus gave us the feeling that we are able to make this project a success together. But he also made very clear to all of us that our attitude, our behavior and the co-operation in our team are crucial factors to achieve this!
The team really enjoyed the content and Guus’ relaxed way of presenting. Although the topic is pretty serious, we also had fun together. Humor always is a great way to discuss difficult topics.
But Guus also created moments of big silence with his sharp observations and probing questions. He gave us real-life examples of successful and problematic projects that helped us better understand our path to success. We also performed a number of valuable exercises which got the whole team involved.”
"Guus helped us to understand that it is crucial to put our customers and resellers in the center of all we do. And not our great audio solutions."
Which topic was the most critical one for your ERP project and for Burmester?
“Today’s customers hate complexity and love simplicity. In every single aspect from marketing via sales and delivery to maintenance and support.
To me, the most important learning is the need to step out of our traditional habits. And to stop doing things the way our fathers and grand-fathers did. In order to continue the successes we’ve booked in the last decades we must update our business processes and modernise our thinking about customers and resellers.
Guus helped us to understand that it is crucial to put them in the center of all we do. And not our great audio solutions.”
"This Masterclass increased our success chances."
How will this Masterclass influence your ERP project going forward, the outcomes and your team?
“Every software implementation is a risky project. But not modernising software and processes is even more risky these days! This Masterclass definitely increased our success chances. The complete team has understood and accepted that this is not an IT project but an organizational project. We have also learned that this project doesn’t belong to IT or Finance. Instead, it is a joint project with responsibility for the whole team.
Guus advised us to ‘brand’ the project and to spend considerable time and effort informing everyone in the organisation. In the meantime we’ve decided to name the project ‘Pacemaker’. And we’ve started sending out newsletters on a regular basis about the progress of the project, the planning and the first wins that we’ve already realized.
Like any organization we have impatient people for whom it can't go fast enough. And others with more of a wait-and-see attitude. I have noticed that also the ones in the latter category have now made substantial steps in their enthusiasm about the project and their contribution.”
"I believe that every organisation planning to
implement a new solution should consider
Guus'Executive Change Masterclass."
What are your overall learnings from this Masterclass? Any recommendations for other companies in a similar position?
“I would have loved to have met Guus earlier in my career! 😊 I remember several difficult projects where his Masterclass, his experience and his examples could have helped enormously to achieve success.
I believe that every organisation planning to implement a new solution should consider such a Masterclass. For us, this 1-day session was perfect. I’d only wish that we would have scheduled this earlier in the process. Ideally even before the start of the implementation.
I would recommend other companies to be serious with the preparation calls and to involve their top management in this process from the very beginning.”
Focus. Improving the IT function and modernizing the internal business processes.
Goal. Making the organisation less complex and improving the order-to-cash process.
November 02, 2022