Erwin Lötscher, Huber Kunststoff AG
Huber Kunststoff AG operates its tool manufacturing ERP software in the Azure Cloud – with Swisscom as cloud service provider. This enables the company to work faster and gives it the room it needs to grow
In its production hall, Huber Kunststoff AG’s 30 injection moulding machines churn out one item after another: plastic components for safety helmets, medical devices, bathroom fittings, shutter mechanisms and much more. Hot plastic is fired at up to 2500 bars into steel injection moulds, which contain a negative impression of the components. The plastic is then rapidly cooled with water before the finished products are packed into containers. Meanwhile, the injection moulds, developed and designed to produce components tailored to customers’ requirements, are built in a different hall.
Motivated for the journey to the cloud
Erwin Lötscher is the company’s deputy CEO and IT manager. Along with CEO and owner, Reto Huber, he knows that the future of IT is in the cloud. “The complexity of IT and data volumes are constantly increasing,” says Erwin Lötscher. “We are not IT experts and we’re too small to have our own IT department. The server in our basement is not a viable solution for the future, not least for sustainability and security reasons. Our ultimate goal is to only operate workstations on site.” The first stage of the company’s journey to the cloud concerned its tool manufacturing ERP software. Erwin Lötscher sought advice from local IT company Inconet GmbH, a Swisscom partner. Dynamic Computing Services, a Swisscom cloud solution, was chosen. However, everyone involved, including the software provider, had underestimated how resource-intensive operating the ERP software was. “The ERP software was extremely sluggish, which was rather irritating because it slowed our processes down,” recalls Erwin Lötscher.
Ready for the next step
Once the software manufacturer had demonstrated in a live session that its product worked perfectly on an Azure platform, Inconet GmbH and Swisscom quickly changed gear. Two weeks later, Huber’s tool manufacturing ERP software was moved to the Azure Cloud. “It has been working perfectly ever since and is providing the high performance and easy access we wanted,” says a satisfied Erwin Lötscher. “I often work from home. I can get started more quickly at home than in the office, where Microsoft Azure from Swisscom “I can work faster at home than in the office.” Huber Kunststoff AG operates its tool manufacturing ERP software in the Azure Cloud – with Swisscom as cloud service provider. This enables the company to work faster and gives it the room it needs to grow. I access our server.” This has its benefits, since all customer orders are processed via the ERP software, including offers, timings, order amendments, AVOR, etc. The faster speeds have enabled the company to considerably shorten its response times. Perseverance finally paid off and the cloud project is now serving as the basis for other, more complex initiatives. Reto Huber explains: “In the next few months, we also want to move the component production ERP software to the Azure Cloud. It will be a bit like open-heart surgery, but our experiences so far give us optimism.”
On the move with greater security and flexibility
Sensitive data such as production know-how will also be processed in the Azure Cloud in the future. Is Erwin Lötscher worried about protecting confidential company secrets? “The Swisscom data center has the best possible accreditations. Compared with an in-house solution, the cloud is more secure: power cuts don’t cause any damage and we don’t need to worry about backups, updates or firewalls – Swisscom does it all for us.” Reto Huber has identified some other ways in which the company benefits from using the cloud: “We are growing fast every year. It is quick and easy to increase the cloud’s capacity, even temporarily. Gone are the days when our servers filled up too quickly! Cloud prices are based on actual usage, and are easy to budget for. And whereas setting up access for a home office used to take more than half a day, all we need to do now is send the login data to our employees.”
Huber Kunststoff AG
The Gossau-based family business employees around 40 people. It produces highly detailed moulded parts and components using sustainable, durable injection moulds. Huber designs the moulds itself – sometimes in partnership with the customer – and makes them in its own tool manufacturing hall.
“We don’t need to worry about backups, updates or firewalls.”
Erwin Lötscher (left) and Reto Huber,
Huber Kunststoff AG