Global leader in the life sciences sector benefits from dedicated support team for IFS Applications with near 70% reduction in job tickets.
A market leader in the life sciences sector, serving customers in healthcare, applied markets (including food, agbio and the environment), research and government, LGC Group has a truly global reach, with multiple offices and laboratory sites spread throughout the world. At the heart of its operations lies IFS Applications, spanning various business functions and locations across the globe.
“We use IFS Apps as our core ERP system,” explains Steve Hart, ERP support manager at LGC. “We have around 3,000 users across the organisation. Half of those we regard as ‘light’ users, so making use of functionality such as HR self-service capabilities, with the other 1,500 representing users of the core IFS modules, including finance, manufacturing and distribution.”
LGC relied on an in-house IT team to support its IFS system but, as the business grew and as the priorities of the in-house team were directed elsewhere, LGC took the decision to look for a support partner to complement existing internal capabilities and capacity.
As Steve continues: “Business growth through acquisitions means a lot more project work for our internal IT teams, who work very hard to seamlessly integrate new parts of the business. This has resulted in them having less time to dedicate to system support issues, something that became particularly evident when we upgraded to IFS Apps 9, which took up a lot of our time. Our support teams traditionally deal with around 250 calls a month but, due to competing pressures, we’d ended up with a backlog of over 450 calls. So, we made the decision to look for the right partner to take on some support responsibilities to free-up our in-house teams to focus on more strategic project work.”
The right partner
Following a review of the support options available to the business, two years ago, LGC took the decision to work with Anthesis, the UK channel partner for IFS.
Steve explains: “Not only was the offering from Anthesis competitively priced, but it was unique in that it offered 24-hour support. As a global business, this round-the-clock support is invaluable, enabling our teams to know their job tickets will be handled quickly and effectively regardless of where in the world they’re based. We also liked the fact that the IFS skills of Anthesis extend beyond support, giving us the option to make use of more of their IFS-specific capabilities further down the line, such as help with implementations and database support.”
Following an initial pilot based on Anthesis providing 1,000 hours of support per month, LGC and Anthesis undertook a thorough review of the approach to ensure it was delivering optimum levels of value for LGC.
As Steve continues: “We switched from having a set number of hours of support each month delivered by various members of the Anthesis team to having a dedicated team of Anthesis IFS experts. This proved to be far more effective and soon saw a reduction in job tickets from 450 to 150. While we still have our own internal teams in place for business-level support issues, technical and functional support tickets and requests all go to the Anthesis offshore support team to resolve.”
This additional line of support has allowed LGC’s in-house ERP team to focus more attention on vital project work, without having to worry about neglecting systems issues. The Anthesis team receives and processes service requests and coordinates resolutions, making full use of LGC’s in-house case tracking system to keep a thorough record of the status of requests and job tickets. At present, the job tickets are split 50 / 50 between Anthesis and the internal support team but this is something LGC is looking to change as the relationship between the two partners develops.
Steve explains: “This is very much an evolving relationship. As the dedicated Anthesis team gets to know the LGC business better, there’s no reason that it can’t handle some more of the business-level queries and issues that our in-house team currently deals with. The same with the support tickets that currently go back to IFS. As our relationship develops, this could be something that Anthesis takes on as well.”
The team at Anthesis is now a trusted part of the LGC organisation, a valuable extension of the internal IT support team.
Steve concludes: “The Anthesis offshore support team has delivered exactly what we wanted it to, reducing the amount of outstanding job tickets considerably while freeing-up the internal teams to focus on crucial project work. I’m sure this marks the start of long and successful relationship where we can leverage the experience and expertise of Anthesis to deliver considerable value to our IFS solution, ensuring we make optimal use of the extensive capabilities the system can provide.”