“We want to offer sophisticated services and products. The Microsoft Dynamics NAV tools has our employees’ backs. Potentials are recognized and utilized more quickly.”
Lorenz Linner, Managing Director Linner GmbH Werkzeugfabrik
What began in 1978 in a garage with four employees has continuously developed into a successful family business with currently 140 employees: Linner GmbH, which is based in the Bavarian city of Wolnzach, specializes in the production and the servicing of high-precision cutting tools as well as in the production of precision components. The subsidiary Linner-Elektronik AG completes the portfolio with the development and construction of electronic assemblies and test benches. The changes in the company began when the next generation took over the management: Linner is on the way to an overall digital transformation with the combination of three components: a new value structure, digital enterprise analysis, and the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
The Linner Group is the first point of contact where cutting tools, precision components, mechatronic assemblies or electronic measuring and testing equipment are concerned. The Upper Bavarian family-owned company has been an expert in the metalworking and machining industry for over 40 years - and now in its second generation. “When my sister Katharina, my brother Ludwig and I took over the management of the companies, two key factors quickly emerged,” said Lorenz Linner. “We wanted to change the corporate culture. Moreover, our technology was not up to the standard it should be.” Thus far, the companies had a rather patriarchal structure and the siblings sought a new value structure with co-operative coexistence and flat hierarchies. In addition, they wanted to automate and digitize more processes in the company. “Our highly individualized ERP system simply could not be updated,” continued Lorenz Linner. “And we saw tremendous potential in automating and digitizing processes in repetitive work such as when creating orders.”
The break-up of the old structures brought with it fears and sometimes even resistance among the employees, out of concern that they were no longer needed or that they could not operate the new software correctly. “That is why we encourage conversation with our employees. This way, we can counteract any doubts quickly and receive very direct feedback from the departments,” said Lorenz Linner. “Successful digitization can only work if, in addition to the corporate culture, the mindset for the importance of data changes.” Linner got professional support from COSMO CONSULT. The international provider of IT solutions and services for the digitization of companies has been a Microsoft partner for many years.
First a relentless analysis was done, externally and from an objective point of view. Andreas Traut, Manager Customer Care at COSMO CONSULT, describes the process: “A change of perspective is an essential factor in making meaningful changes or adjustments. With our digitalization check, we identify a qualitative status quo involving the entire industry. And we take that as the impetus for a comprehensive digital consultation.” The product range, processes, suppliers, communication strategies and competences were examined, for example. Subsequently, a digital roadmap serves as a guide for practical implementation. “We are currently consistently completing the tasks at Linner. That’s not something that can be done from one day to the next, because the whole thing has to run simultaneous to the normal daily operation,” says Andreas Traut, who is enthusiastic about his partnership and respectful cooperation with Linner.
Microsoft delivers the necessary technology with its Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. The customizable solution for enterprise resource planning excels with ease of use, cost efficiency, and flexible architecture. Parts of the value-added processes at Linner have been digitized and are now automatically running in the background. Supply chains, manufacturing, and operations are easy to track. The digital possibilities in contact maintenance, service offers, reports, analyses, and forecasts facilitate project management. They also form the basis for the development of new, intelligent products at Linner in the long term.
This reference report is also available on the Microsoft Customer Portal.