With our current set-up, we can easily increase our revenue by several hundred million Danish kroner.Jan Normann Andersen
CEO at Normann Copenhagen
Normann in the "digital world-class"
Normann Copenhagen has been on an impressive journey since its establishment in 1999 and now has a revenue of several hundred million Danish kroner, exports goods to 80 countries and has a product portfolio which has won more than 80 design awards.
In the last three years, Normann Copenhagen has also been on a digital journey in close collaboration with NORRIQ. All vital processes have been digitised and streamlined. In the short term, the digital transformation has resulted in numerous tangible gains and benefits. At the same time, Normann Copenhagen has moved up into what one could call the ‘international digital class’ and is geared to engage in fierce competition with other global players.
“With our current set-up, we can easily increase our revenue by several hundred million Danish kroner,” says Jan Normann Andersen, CEO and founder of the company together with Poul Madsen.
A clamour for digital transformation everywhere
We are meeting Jan Normann Andersen, Head of Digital Janus Kohl Andersen and CFO Morten Toft in the 1,700-square-metre showroom in Østerbrogade 70 in Copenhagen – for a chat about the company’s digital transformation, what set it in motion and what it has meant.
During the first 17 years of the company’s history, a highly customised C5 constituted the lynchpin of the system. Almost coincidentally, however, it became necessary in a number of areas to have a system that could support a wider range of processes than the old C5 would be able to do in any way.
“There was a clamour for digital transformation everywhere,” says Janus Kohl Andersen.
“The whole business had new requirements, and one of our objectives was to improve our stock management efficiency,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
“We also realised that we had to have a much shorter response time in relation to our customers. Just a few years ago, a response time of 48 to 72 hours was acceptable. If we wanted to be number one, we would have to be able to respond right away. We could also see that successful international companies were at a completely different level than us digitally,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
A contributory factor in initiating the digital transformation was that furniture was generating a greater part of the revenue.
“We were producing much more to order. This meant new requirements at all levels,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
Complexity made simple with NORRIQ’s product configurator
Normann Copenhagen’s design furniture can be composed completely in accordance with the customer’s wishes. For example, you can choose type of wood, colour and fabric type for a chair. Based on the product configurator in Dynamics NAV, everything is automated from ordering in the webshop to generation of purchase order and receipt in warehouse.
“The solution allows us to handle great complexity,” says Janus Kohl Andersen.
He further explains that customers can now themselves generate a price list with the content that is relevant to them. At the same time, the highly labour-intensive updating of the all-inclusive price list has become a thing of the past.
Normann Copenhagen also wants to simplify and streamline the work processes in relation to subsuppliers.
“We have three large subsuppliers with which we will integrate our system – again to achieve time savings and quicker flow in the logistics chain and to avoid manual entry errors,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
B-to-B sales are moved to webshop
So far, the webshop has only supported sales to private customers. But here, at the beginning of a new decade, Normann Copenhagen is ready to take a big step in relation to receipt of orders from business customers.
“By placing the ordering process with the customers, we achieve greater transparency in our product range and better customer service as well as greater efficiency. Today we have a veritable army of employees waiting to receive orders. These employees can now instead use their time to provide service to our customers and create value in the form of extra sales,” says Jan Normann Andersen and adds:
“The clear ambition is to sell more products, and, with the B-to-B webshop, we will, as if by magic, have better access to our customers.”
He adds that when all communication with customers is now gathered in the system, it will be possible to measure wholesale performance.
“We will be able to see our customers’ search history and work to create more sales based on this knowledge.”
“With the NORRIQ Online Warehouse Management solution, we have reduced our goods receipt processing time by up to 50 per cent because we can book all the pallets at once.”
Warehouse Manager at Normann Copenhagen
BI Solution creates important transparency
Insight into your own business is key to a company like Normann Copenhagen, which has great ambitions for development and growth. And this morning, Jan Normann Andersen started his working day by checking the situation at the warehouse in Nakskov – on his mobile phone.
This is made possible by NORRIQ’s BI Accelerator, which extracts a number of key figures from Dynamics NAV in standard reports for purchasing, sales, budget and stock inventory. The reports are visualised on clear screenshots using Power BI.
“The BI solution is one of the greatest advantages of our digital transformation,” says Morten Toft.
He says that sales representatives and agents also use the solution and have access to see all data of relevance to them.
Precisely the transparency that the BI solution creates is crucial for Jan Normann Andersen:
“We’ve gone from reports being used in meeting contexts to BI having become a working tool on our mobile phones. For 18 years, our company was not particularly transparent, and we believed that some things should be kept secret from the employees. That is a ridiculous notion,” he says.
He mentions that the sales managers now use the figures right down to product level and can delve into why Normann Copenhagen can sell 5,000 lamps of one type in Norway and only 400 of the same type in Sweden.
We have 50 employees on the BI solution, which is about five times the ‘norm’ in a comparable company!
Up to 50% of time saved on stock management
Three years ago, Normann Copenhagen’s heavy growth was becoming a quite serious challenge for the warehouse colleagues in Nakskov. The then 15 employees each walked 15-20 kilometres a day to pick products from the shelves for consignments, and only they knew where to find things.
Today, the main warehouse of 7,500 square metres really shows the effect of the digital transformation on the basis of NORRIQ’s Online Warehouse Management (OWM) system.
“We have 100 per cent control of the warehouse and thus also a basis for more precise purchases. Inventories are made continuously by means of barcode terminals, allowing us to make immediate adjustments,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
We meet Warehouse Manager Peter Walbjørn, Deputy Manager Tim Shala and warehouse employee Theis Ilsø in Nakskov. They have all been deeply involved in the implementation of OWM – and they are enthusiastic.
Not least, it has become much easier and quicker to receive products.
Reduced order picking time significantly
“With the new system, we have reduced our goods receipt processing time by up to 50 per cent because we can book all the pallets at once,” says Peter Walbjørn.
We have also reduced our order picking time by 25-30 per cent, because the solution guides the warehouse employee through the warehouse on an optimal route, and the items with the largest volume are stocked closest to the packing area.
“My assessment is that all work processes are faster,” says Tim Shala.
After the implementation of the solution, it has been possible to cut staffing by two employees through natural wastage.
Collaboration with NORRIQ above all expectations
The digital transformation of Normann Copenhagen has taken place in close collaboration between the company and NORRIQ, and there is great satisfaction with the entire process and NORRIQ’s consultants:
“Our collaboration has been excellent and, if you look at the complexity of the system, it’s been above all expectations. NORRIQ has acted as a sounding board for us, and any ‘bumps in the road’ have been handled highly professionally,” says Jan Normann Andersen.
“NORRIQ is good at listening, and they must be praised for relocating resources and competences when needed.”
Facts about Normann Copenhagen
- A Danish design company with a mission to create original and innovative products in a simple and contemporary design that can ‘stand the test of time’.
- Has received more than 80 design awards.
- Established in 1999 by Jan Normann Andersen and Poul Madsen.
- The collection consists of an ever-expanding range of furniture, lamps, textiles and accessories for the home.
- The products are designed in Copenhagen and produced in Europe and Asia. They are sold in more than 80 countries.
- Has 100 employees representing more than 20 different nationalities.