Customer case

Kera Group's journey streamlining Business Units for better reporting and ways of working

Kera Group is a construction products manufacturer headquartered in Orimattila in Southern Finland. The focus lies on various daylight solutions and smoke extraction systems that promote fire safety, like smoke extraction hatches, ceiling skylights, and various home and housing solutions such as transparent roofing, terraces, and terrace glazing. The company is present in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, and Denmark, and each market represents at least one business unit.

Since 2022 Kera Group and Navcite have been working together on implementing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) with global templates to streamline the different business units reporting and ways of working in general. The new ERP system will be Microsoft 365 Business Central.
Kera Group

The project is still underway, but since some business units have already rolled out the new ERP and the new way of working, we took the chance to check in and see how things are going. We talked to Chairman Juha Nieminen about background, expectations, and learnings from the owner's perspective. And we chatted with Business Area Manager Winnie Landrok about the practical experience of the roll-out.

Juha Nieminen, Kera Group Oy

Juha Nieminen, Chairman, Kera Group Oy

What was the trigger for you to start looking for a new ERP?

The different Business Units all had different ways of reporting and different ways of working in general. We wanted to find a common "Kera way of working" to be more efficient and learn from each other.

Why implement Global Templates and standardize processes and ways of working for the business units?

We had challenges with effective reporting but also with communication. Since we sometimes had different names for the same components, it could be challenging to communicate efficiently. The "Kera way of working" is essential for eliminating these unnecessary barriers. Another reason for templates and standardization is to reduce the risk of human errors, better understand each other, and leverage synergetic effects.

Why Business Central?

We had a limited time frame for choosing the best fit for our units, so we set up a study evaluating three different ERPs. There was a small margin for the victory of Business Central, and the main reasons for going with them were high scores for functionality and technology. The fact that Business Central is well-known and widely used is also comforting since it will likely be easier to find good support from consultants.

Why Navcite as a partner?

The decision to bring Navcite into the implementation project came after the decision for ERP. In this case, our external advisor was familiar with Navcite, which was how we got in touch. We liked how Navcite works closely with its customers and has skilled project managers who communicate well. For us, it was a big bonus we were able to communicate in Finnish.

What results do you expect in 1-3 years after the project?

The expectations are high. We want more automated reports, correct information, and consistency in the quality of the reports. We also want to share best practices amongst our business units and leverage synergetic effects by working with the global templates, which we call the Kera way of working.


"We want reduced costs for company inventories, fewer man-hours that go into pulling out reports, and fewer human errors."

Final comments on the ongoing project so far, are we delivering as expected - timings, project management, budget?

We are especially pleased with the project management and steering process from Navcite. The right amount of information, precise documentation, and clear directives on what resources are needed from us is very appreciated. We decided to increase the scope for specific needs, but because of good steering, it was unproblematic.

Winnie Landrok, Manager Optilite (part of Kera Group)

When we started this journey together, did you have any previous experience with Microsoft Business Central on Cloud?

No, not for the cloud version. But our Business Unit (Denmark) had the on-premise version Navision before when we were separate from the other business units. Business Central is a great ERP, but there are so many features, and we are still learning.

Do you experience any differences on a daily basis, working in the cloud?

No, I don’t. I know that if we needed to work remotely, we could do that easier and more securely.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of running on a Global Template?

Before we rolled out, we had many discussions on whether global templates will fit every unit and if it was worth the money. It may be early now to say how it went because we have yet to roll out in all of our business units. But speaking for us and where we are now, we are very satisfied.

We received a new production module, where we can do and see much more. And we received a module for managing jobs, which helps us plan better and be more efficient. This is more affordable because we share the cost with the other units.


"Pulling reports on a global level is so easy now. Excel reports and tedious manual work piecing things together are history."


We also worried before that it would become very time-consuming and slow to make changes when all the markets had to be involved. Our solution has been to set up an internal task force for global ERP change requests.

What do you think about the Accounting and Finance parts of BC? Key strengths and key weaknesses?

There is a lot more automation in payments and supplies. Reconstructing and matching invoices is easier. All in all, we recognize everything from before when we were on the on-premise version, but, off-course, we have to learn some new things. That is why we still have short regular meetings with the consultant at Navcite to ask questions.


"Compared with what we had before, it is different but all in all the same. Less manually though, and the benefits outweigh the trouble of learning new things."

How did the implementation go?

Very well. The consultants were prepared. We had some short meetings before to ensure we were ready and knew what to focus on.

Any comments on the time management for the project?

The schedule was tight but not unrealistic. And it was a success factor for us to do this during our low season.

What do you think are Navcite’s strengths? Areas for improvement?

The strength is definitely that they choose few consultants to work with the customer. It makes it so much easier with the communication. Personal chemistry is also to be considered, and we really connected well with our contact person.

Would you recommend Navcite to any of your peers?

Yes, I would, because they are easy to communicate with. They listen to needs and come up with solutions.

I also appreciated that they were very structured from the beginning and could tell us what they would do and what they needed from us.

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