Andrew Bennett

CEO, Vallen Asia

Supernova Award Category: 
Tech Optimization and Modernization
The Organization: 

Vallen Asia, with presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and China, is part of the Sonepar Group — one of the world's leading international service companies. Vallen Asia leverages the global strength of the Sonepar Group to extend its international reach to local clients. With an extensive range of industrial MRO product offerings and digital business tools to meet industry demands. Currently, Vallen Asia continues to expand and adapt to changes in the market, reinforcing its position as the market leader.

The Problem: 

Vallen Asia has been pioneering an integrated supply model in Asia, and the requirements to support this model are rigorous - such as being very system-driven, automated processes and requiring a robust technology platform to deliver on the promise for our customers.  

Several years ago, Vallen hit a ceiling with the ability to grow, as we were getting a lot of good market opportunities but unable to deliver on the promise. Several customers took a long time to implement and there was a long digestion period for that as well, so what we needed was a much more scalable, agile platform to capitalize on those market opportunities and better support our customers.  

We were using Infor M3, but it was on-premise and heavily customized, and was reliant on a system managed by our Australia business.  We upgraded to the Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise multi-tenant platform so we could enable scalability, fast growth, and to be able to capitalize on the opportunities with our customers that were available in the market.  In addition, we wanted to do it in a cost-effective way, so we were looking to lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and drive productivity by upgrading to the cloud. 

The Solution: 

One of the things that attracted us to Infor was the philosophy for industry verticals, ours being Distribution. That was a great fit in terms of us looking at an end-to-end solution that we could invest in properly and was really focused on our vertical.  

Infor CloudSuite Distribution is a robust solution, but we need to extend beyond that, and that’s why Infor’s technology platform, Infor OS, is critical when it comes to servicing our customers and being able to continue to be adaptable and flexible as we go to market. 

The platform that we've built over the last couple of years with Infor has been critical to our value proposition, how we go to market, how we really bring benefit to our customers in automating the supply chain for indirect materials and making sure that's optimal, ever-changing, and adaptable moving forward, to make sure we stay ahead of the pack and really bring benefit to our customers. 

The Results: 

With multi-tenant Infor CloudSuite, we have gained benefits in TCO, growth, and productivity.  We are continuing to extend the platform with Infor OS to bring more value to our customers and engage new ones.    

For example, with integrated Infor Birst analytics, we've been able to get much better information across the business, and also to our customers to improve decision making.  We set up a digital hub or extranet portal for customers so valuable supply chain data available is in a self-service manner, helping us deliver more value to our customers.  

Another example is Infor ION integration services for connecting with third-party systems such as our vending machines and other automated storage solutions at customer sites.  We've got over 100 vending machines deployed around customer sites in Asia, so having that technology integrated with CloudSuite has given a great end-to-end customer experience and allowed us to be very flexible in how we take that solution to market. 

It's also important for automating what we want to do inside our business as well. With ION, we have automated several workflows so we can go much more paperless and productive within our business.   Using Infor Birst analytics in the finance department, most reporting and analytics is now automated, saving our large finance team hours every month. Being able to have the sophistication has increased productivity and made our finance team's lives a lot more pleasurable.  


With multi-tenant CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise, Vallen Asia has gained the following results: 

  • 30% lower TCO compared to the on-premises shared service with Australia 
  • 20% annual growth mostly attributed to being able to now take advantage of market opportunities 
  • 15% productivity gain in our warehouse  
  • 20% productivity gain for the finance team in doing the month-end close 


The Technology: 

Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise, Infor OS, Infor Birst 

Disruptive Factor: 

A significant benefit of moving to the cloud with Infor is the ability to rapidly deploy to other markets.  Today, we are in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and China, and regional customers with regional programs.  We are exploring going into the Philippines and Vietnam. We can do this because we are multi-tenant so if there is an internet connection, we can be up and running in the other country, supporting those customers within a very short period. Having the ability to leverage the platform in this way, where we can quickly move to other markets around Asia, where we want to grow and support our customers has really been a game-changer. 

Shining Moment: 

When we were evaluating the whole solution going to the cloud cyber security was a nice to have, we didn't realize how big a factor it would be, it's been a significant accidental benefit. We've seen several of our competitors and other companies in the market who have really been impacted by cyber security, whereas we're fully confident with the platform we have behind us, with the partnership, with AWS and Infor, that we're well insulated from that. That certainly helps us rest well at night.

About Vallen Asia

Founded in 2005, Vallen Asia started its journey through servicing Seagate’s global program. Today, Vallen is a leading provider of Integrated Supply Chain Solutions and MRO Industrial Distribution across Asia. Through its dedication to design, build, and operate best-in-class solutions, Vallen help businesses to optimize their ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ for the Indirect Material Supply Chain.