Since 1914, Brady Corporation has been an innovator. What started as a small sign painting business has grown into a publicly traded company with a presence in 70 countries around the world. Brady’s products can be found everywhere you look — from social-distancing floor circles, fire extinguisher labels, and wayfinding signs to proprietary lockout tagout devices and labels that identify every wire on an airplane from cockpit to tail. Brady products can even be found on the wrists of newborn babies and concert goers.
For over a century, Brady has developed a vast array of products to identify and protect people, places, and products. Its culture has facilitated its growth from a local promotional products company into a global leader in safety and identification solutions.
VP of IT, Matt Vandenbush, said, “Our culture is one of exceptional performance and accountability, infused with a spirit of innovation that drives us to solve customer problems and improve operations with equal commitment.”
For the IT team, Brady’s powerful culture translates into a commitment to advance how the business meets customer needs. Said Vandenbush, ”We are constantly finding ways to optimize all areas of the business. At the same time, we are always looking for opportunities to deliver the same capabilities more efficiently.”
One element that is always under the microscope is application support. Brady had long utilized SAP as its backbone. IT Manager, Pete Jungbluth, has been with the company for 20 years and is currently responsible for the company’s IT infrastructure and operations. Together, he and Vandenbush direct the technical capabilities that empower business success for the global manufacturer. “We have had SAP implemented for over 20 years,” Jungbluth said. “During this time, we’ve repeatedly customized SAP to support our rapidly evolving business model and to facilitate individual process and regional developments.”
Brady’s extensive SAP customizations are supported with a consistent approach. According to Jungbluth, Brady’s goal has always been to create a simple and stable environment that maximizes user productivity.
Vandenbush said, “As a business, we put our resources into growing sales, developing new products, and innovation. If a system is serving a need, there is little appetite to invest in moving to a new platform just for the sake of it.”
Based on the experience of a company that had been acquired by Brady, the pair knew of the significant savings possible from leveraging third-party support for SAP. “We were paying a premium price for SAP support and what we were getting seemed limited. We realized we could optimize costs and receive more focused support from a third party,” Jungbluth said.
The term “switchover” strikes fear into even the most seasoned IT professional, but for Vandenbush and Jungbluth, the right service provider, coupled with intelligent planning, made for a smooth transition.
“We had three months of solid planning. SAP support was to end on December 31st and between Christmas and New Year’s Day the migration happened. On January 1st, we had a problem-free hand-over,” Jungbluth said.
Once the transition was finalized, responsiveness instantly improved. ”Now if there is an issue, instead of waiting 24 to 48 hours to hear from SAP, we get an immediate response,” said Jungbluth.
Third-party support for SAP has made it possible for Brady’s operations team to be leaner than is typical of similar-sized companies. “Rimini Street enables us to be very efficient with our resourcing investments,” said Vandenbush. “On top of this, it can be challenging to retain staff to support an aging legacy system. Increasingly, available talent prefers to work on the latest releases and cutting-edge technologies.”
Rimini Street also has delivered hundreds of updates to keep Brady compliant with evolving tax, legal, and regulatory mandates. This task alone requires special attention to detail and up-to-date knowledge of prevailing requirements — a burdensome chore for any IT team — but Rimini Street has it covered.
Brady works to outperform the competition and expects its partners to do the same. “We looked at several [other providers] in the field and chose Rimini Street because it offered exactly what we needed — a reliable, expert extension of our team that would keep a critical business system up and running at a compelling price point,” Vandenbush said. “We switched for the reason most companies do — the promise of big cost savings and improved support — and the experience has been really positive so far.”
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