Which ERP system do software developers actually choose for themselves? Kendox AG has recognised the signs of the times and is placing its bets on a cloud solution from SAP.
Virtually every company knows them: the depths of individual email and document storage. Kendox AG provides the remedy. With its headquarters in Oberriet (canton of Saint Gall), the IT company from the Rhine Valley develops standard software solutions for the organised management of documents as well as office automation and thus has its finger firmly on the pulse. The software developer’s customer base and workforce are growing steadily.
With around 70 employees and almost 1000 customers it was time for a new business software. The SME introduced the cloud based ERP system SAP Business ByDesign and since the go-live date has benefited from integrated, transparent processes.
In addition to data security and intelligent functionalities the cloud solution meant the company gained more streamlined procedures, simplified project management and a reduction in resources.
Kendox AG is in the business of digitalisation. The company, which comes from Oberriet in the Saint Gall canton of Switzerland, develops software solutions for the company-wide and audit-compliant management of documents and in connection with this automation solutions. Countless customers from the most diverse sectors are automating their office and administration processes with Kendox systems.
CEO and majority shareholder Manfred Terzer founded the company in 2004. “The new generation thinks digital” he said. “We want to support our customers with processes and technologies to organise their business information. In particular electronic documents or emails are often lost in the depths of filing structures.”
Meanwhile Kendox has around 70 employees at the three locations in Switzerland, Germany and Austria and serves close to 1000 customers. And growing. According to Terzer, “In 2020, increasingly due to the Corona pandemic as well as the continuously changing forms of work, many companies recognised that you don’t only need an efficient ERP system but rather also digitalised administration processes in order to maintain the required level of performance.”
Digital processes are the main business of Kendox AG. Since the customer base has grown quickly over the last few years, in 2020, the Rhine valley company also took a closer look at its own processes. “We were operating with a small ERP system which was unable to absorb our fast growth. We were lacking up-to-date information and as a company operating on an international level, we could not afford to be behind on information. What was missing, was the availability of a standardised, central base for all business processes independent of location.
Each department had its demands from the new ERP system. The accounting department of the German subsidiary, for example, had to date been managed externally by a tax consulting firm. For CFO Stefanie Neumeister Peter this was a hurdle in daily business. “In each case I had to ask the tax consultant for a certain invoice which was incredibly time consuming overall.
We therefore needed a system which can provide all the central figures of all three companies in real time and in this way automatically and quickly generate the most important reports, such as the monthly statement.”
Digitalising business processes
In addition to financial accounting and personnel management, the new ERP system was expected to optimise sales, order and contract administration and billing as well as project management and time recording. Doris Knorr manages the administration and on her part wanted a system which, aside from the flexible administration and automated billing of wide-ranging customer contracts – such as software maintenance or cloud subscriptions – would above all display project based work with standard processes which could be operated intuitively. “What has already been charged? What still needs to be charged internally? A project tool should make common project processes clearly visible for all those involved and also banish the Excel underworld.”
The introduction of ERP went beyond the process level. Kendox has fully prepared its own solutions for the cloud and sales are shifting more and more to this segment.
Within the framework of this transition the company therefore also wanted to strengthen cloud thinking in its internal processes. Cloud software, for example, promotes the transition of work organisation towards home office by providing safe communication channels and document storage. Kendox wants to develop further in this direction in its own business environment.
“We currently provide on-prem and cloud solutions but are dramatically and increasingly becoming a cloud provider” says Manfred Terzer. “It was therefore clear that we wanted to introduce a cloud based ERP system. Only one cloud solution fits in with our dynamic international growth strategy.”
Kendox finally decided on the SAP Business ByDesign software. This ERP solution is particularly suitable for SMEs with at least 20 system users. It can be obtained on a subscription basis so that one can pay on a monthly basis per user. In addition to the usual standard processes this cloud solution offers further service functions which are based on machine learning (ML). ML algorithms automate routine tasks such as invoice production and can also be developed for company specific purposes. In this way an algorithm participates in decision making.
It improves prognoses by delivering instant analyses from real-time data and increases process efficiency since standard processes are transacted automatically in the background.
Benefits of a cloud solution
Kendox CEO Manfred Terzer placed his bets on cloud solution by conviction. “Cloud based ERP solutions demonstrate a strong dynamic and we can assume that sooner or later the cloud operating model will become the dominating operating model, also for ERP systems.” At Kendox, the SAP Business ByDesign now forms the basis for the systematic connection to all applications used in the company such as, for example, customer or marketing portals or the support ticketing system.
Cloud implementation partner
Kendox was supported in its transition to the new ERP system by SAP partner and cloud specialist all4cloud Schweiz AG. The implementation partner with locations in Switzerland and Germany, is one of the most successful SAP Business ByDesign experts. Kendox feels it is in the best hands. “We would never have been able to implement the project without all4cloud” says Doris Knorr. “We will also appreciate their reliable and competent support in the future, especially during annual accounts or steps towards further digitalisation” says Doris Knorr.
The system went live on 1 January 2021. Without interruptions, without bugs. What is the first conclusion? Manfred Terzer is very satisfied. “SAP Business ByDesign has proved itself an indispensable basis for our future plans. We will be doubling our company size and turnover in the next three years and will become stronger on the international market. If we establish new subsidiaries or merge with other companies, which I can well imagine, we need complete professionalism. Our new ERP system will grow with us and intercept our future growth” says the CEO. The system already proved itself after six months and is the perfect solution for companies with project based processes, particularly also due to the automated billing of cloud rents.
New resource planning
Doris Knorr remembers that previously Kendox had a functioning application for recording projects and services, however, billing was dealt with manually. “To produce invoices we had to extract individual PDF files from the projects and send them by email. Back then three of us needed up to three days for this. Now I can produce invoices with one click alone while my colleagues are on holiday” says the administration manager. “One administration clerk had just left us by the go-live date, for other reasons, and we were surprised that we are able to handle the additional work without any problems thanks to the system.”
More efficient financial accounting
According to CFO Stefanie Neumeister Peter, the external tax consultant will also no longer be required. “Nowadays, the accounting of all three companies is conducted uniformly in the SAP system. In addition, the bank movements at all locations in the DACH region can now be imported via an interface and for the most part booked automatically. Thus bank postings are always correct. This significantly simplifies the delegation of subtasks in the field of liquidity management and thus human resources can be more efficiently distributed. And: The document archiving system InfoShare for SAP Business ByDesign, developed by Kendox itself, could easily be linked to the new ERP system thanks to its standard integration – which is the case for many Kendox customers.
Pretty much every company knows them: the depths of individual mail and document repositories. Kendox AG provides a solution to this problem. The Rheintal-based IT company with headquarters in Oberriet (SG) develops standard software solutions for structured document management as well as office automation and thus hits the nerve of the time.
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Henrik Hausen & Wolfgang Kröner - CEOs all4cloud