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Jernia, in partnership with Columbus Norway, undertook a project to replace its old ERP system with Infor CloudSuite (IA Distribution), a standardized solution designed specifically for the retail industry. This ambitious effort was made possible through a strong partnership that ensured the transition to the cloud happened on time, within budget, and with a strong focus on quality.

This transition from the traditional on-premises system to a cloud-based one now equips Jernia to continuously improve its operations using a modern ERP platform. They've built a solid foundation for introducing new and efficient services.


About Jernia:

Jernia was established in Norway in 1951 as a purchasing cooperative to offer household goods. Today, Jernia AS is a holding, marketing, and distribution company for:

  • Household items and kitchen equipment
  • Hardware, tools, paint, and grills
  • Interior furnishings

Jernia Logo


Together with Columbus Norway, Jernia replaced its old ERP system with Infor CloudSuite, an industry-specific solution for retail. This transition to the cloud was a crucial component of Jernia's organization-wide digitalization strategy. The excellent collaboration between the two teams ensured that the project was not only on time and on budget but also of high quality.


"Throughout the delivery process, we efficiently tackled challenges, particularly during the go-live phase. It's quite remarkable since not many ERP projects are successfully delivered on time, within budget, and with minimal downtime," said Stian Nybro, Business Systems & Project Manager at Jernia.

Transforming business in line with future requirements

The business quickly realized the importance of updating its IT solutions to adapt to the new requirements of the industry. "For us, it's crucial to have a modern and reliable ERP platform that meets our future requirements," explains Sondre Eftedal, Chief Technology Officer at Jernia.


The ERP migration entailed adopting Infor Cloudsuite IA Distribution, which is a standardized solution tailored for the retail industry. This move from traditional in-house systems to cloud-based solutions enables Jernia to improve its modern ERP platform continuously and introduce more efficient services.


"At the same time, we were very focused on making sure the project matched our business goals at Jernia," Eftedal adds. "This project is vital for enhancing our capacity to grow and revitalize our business. It also forms the basis for the competitiveness needed to deliver the best service to our customers. Another key aspect was to continue developing our omnichannel approach, which is already one of the best in the country. Infor CloudSuite perfectly fulfills our strict criteria for uptime, scalability, and security."


The project began last year, and the solution went live at the start of the new fiscal year as planned.

Embracing the new technology

"We had several objectives to tackle through this cloud migration," Nybro points out. He emphasizes that ERP systems are complex and upgrading on-premises solutions is challenging and extensive. "This often results in massive projects every time a change is needed," he adds.


Jernia aimed to minimize the operational risk of managing the data power and software required for the business on its own. 


"We were especially focused on having a stable system with minimal downtime and access to frequent upgrades. This was something we couldn't achieve with the old system, and we wanted to embrace the new technology Infor is developing," Nybro explains.


"Jernia intends to be at the forefront of the continuous digitalization race the industry is experiencing now."

Anchoring the project in the organization

How did Jernia prepare the organization for the project?


"We collected a lot of knowledge from our internal process owners," Nybro explains. "We have split the different divisions of the platform into internal process areas - each having dedicated process owners responsible for finance, logistics, and sales. Establishing this process owner organization was vital, as it guaranteed that the project would attain the desired benefits. This also entailed significant responsibility to the process owners," says Nybro.


Jernia allocated budgets that allowed people to dedicate more time to the project since the process owners already had full-time positions, and it was a time-consuming project.


"It was a lot of work for everyone involved. If there's one thing we've learned, it's the importance of being proactive, especially when it comes to providing early training for newcomers. It can be an advantage for the organization," adds Nybro. "The biggest risk we faced during the project was related to these key individuals. We didn't have many backups, so it was essential to keep workload and absence under control."


Significant parts of the project were related to how Jernia-specific methods and processes would be incorporated into the technical solutions.

Maximizing the use of standard functionality

Significant parts of the project were related to how Jernia-specific methods and processes would be incorporated into the technical solutions.


"Our goal was to create a solution where most processes relied on standard functionality. We achieved this with less than 5% requiring customizations. Columbus provided valuable input on how to address and implement these changes in our system," states Nybro.


Change can be challenging, and people often prefer to handle their work situation the way they're familiar with it. However, the teams worked well together and saw new opportunities and solutions.


"Columbus helped us encourage people to think differently and see the possibilities that new technology offers. This worked well, and we didn't encounter any internal resistance in the organization. We maintained a positive attitude throughout the project. It was a 'go-getter' attitude all the way to the finish line," says Nybro.

Continued development in the cloud

Jernia has successfully mitigated operational risks, as Nybro confirms: "The risks have been officially addressed and resolved. We've transitioned to a new platform with the latest technology, so everything is ready."


To meet the implementation deadline for the cloud migration, some aspects of the effects and result measurements were put on hold.


"It's natural that we trim down some of the benefits just to get the project over the finish line. After go-live, we immediately started a new project called 'Benefits,'" says Nybro.


"In this project, we will go through all our process areas in collaboration with Columbus to extract the benefits of cloud migration. This project will end in an ongoing process where we continuously look for new areas where the new technology should be applied, especially ensuring that the workflow processes in the system reflect the actual workflow for everyone working in the system," he says.


This represents a long-term process in which Jernia will continue to work with Columbus as one team.


"We wanted to get started quickly and had high ambitions for the project. Along the way, we encountered challenges, and it's important to keep the engine running. In hindsight, under calmer circumstances, we will be able to review all processes to see if there are further benefits to be gained."

A shared work culture

Columbus and Jernia have collaborated for a year on the ERP transformation, building upon a preliminary project in which they examined all the processes. Jernia received a high-level solution sketch to guide them.


Throughout the past year, project managers from Columbus, Sopra Steria, and Jernia conducted daily stand-up morning meetings. These meetings involved discussing daily objectives and maintaining close oversight through the project management system, Jira.


"This worked well. Additionally, it proved to be important for the project's success to conduct weekly meetings in a process owner forum, which included all the process owners. During these meetings, we addressed any challenges they were facing, identified where they were encountering difficulties, and determined what was necessary to make progress. We also organized several in-person meetings where we used post-it notes on boards, which gave us a good flow of collaboration and overview," Nybro explains.


Columbus Project Manager Morten Dobloug supports this. " 'On time and on target' could have been the headline for this project. We had minimal downtime, and there was a record pick rate from the warehouse in January after the first go-live," Dobloug says.


"We had an open and honest dialogue with the customer from the beginning. There was a strong 'we-mentality' throughout the project. When problems arose, we didn't point fingers at anyone, but we addressed and solved them as a team. We particularly focused on the project's culture and how we handled tasks," he adds.


"Jernia is very competent; they have been using Infor's solutions for a long time and, in some areas, they even knew more than us. This is both good and bad, and I think we managed to use it quite sensibly. We found that we could learn from how they wanted to work, and our expertise was balanced out. We saved time on explaining how standard Infor CloudSuite functions and could spend more time on advanced functionality," says Dobloug.


Nybro agrees, saying, "It was essential for us at the beginning of the project that we aimed for a team effort, with a focus on continued collaboration with Columbus for future solution management. I think we did that well; we were open from both sides from the start. We addressed challenges and resolved them continuously."

Exploring new possibilities

In the future, Jernia will continue with the "Benefits" project and conduct further workshops with Columbus.


"The task involves several aspects: first, there was the backlog list after go-live, which had some remaining cases that we're starting to resolve. Second, we focus on teaching everyone how to use the system, see the opportunities it offers, and integrate it into our processes."


"Have you achieved most of what you wanted?"


"Yes, we have, even though there is much more we want to explore that we haven't uncovered yet. This is where we currently stand. Fortunately, we are receiving great assistance from Columbus in identifying and implementing potential improvements and benefits."

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