Enterprise Architecture Case Study: Merger & Acquisitions with Haworth

Posted by Lesa Moné on April 19, 2018


This article explains how global company Haworth accelerated global growth with a modern enterprise architecture management tool for business & IT. 

Haworth logo

  • Industry: Office furniture
  • Headquarters: Holland, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: €1.8 bn
  • Acceleration of critical finance projects
  • High-quality IT inventory
  • Global collaboration platform for business and IT
  • Improved agility by allowing quicker access to information
  • Easier roadmap planning

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The challenge

Haworth operates in 126 countries, serves 650 dealers and has one vision: to create beautiful, effective and adaptable workspaces. Haworth’s office concepts combine modern design principles and latest science to sustainable workspace solutions. The company has experienced tremendous growth over the last years.

There were two main drivers for searching for an enterprise architecture management tool. Primarily, their workspace product transformed from furniture into integrated technology solutions that support collaboration in a digital world. Secondly, they acquired a portfolio of brands in Europe and Asia. Digital transformation and inorganic growth have increased the demand of business towards corporate IT.Social Media LeanIX Youtube

High-profile business projects frequently suffered from lacking transparency in IT. The required effort to collect information manually was inefficient and inaccurate and therefore impacted project timelines and budgets negatively. Challenges were especially very pressing in finance, as improper consolidation after mergers had negative effects on daily operations as well as on external stakeholders.

The solution: A modern Enterprise Architecture management platform 

The Global Information Applications team around Gerald Winkler faced the challenge that the business side demanded easy access to information about the IT landscape, which was scattered in lots of Microsoft Office files across all regions and entities. The existing self-built solutions were inflexible and lacked possibilities to collaborate. Attempts with complex and heavy-weight expert tools had failed entirely in the past. Therefore, Haworth opted for the light-weight LeanIX approach as an intelligent platform to manage applications:

 “As this initiative was mainly a pull by the business, we needed a solution that was helpful for business users. All users were able to work in LeanIX after a thirty-minute onboarding session without any problems.” Social Media LeanIX EA Twitter

Immediate business value

After a decade of global acquisitions, the integration of finance applications was a major imperative for Haworth. Variations in standards, tools, and procedures have a negative impact on external stakeholders, as well as on daily operations. To enable further global growth, the challenges needed solving. As a baseline, the finance project managers requested an overview of financial applications by finance capability and affected internal and external groups. To support this request, the team around Gerald started a pilot project in LeanIX to provide intelligent visualizations of the required information.

Haworth started with aligning company-wide business capabilities for the finance function. This approach brought an immense advantage: business capabilities can be agreed on regardless of the entities or complex supporting processes. Based on the business capability model, related applications and user groups were captured in LeanIX fact sheets. As a result, the different projects had easy access to interactive reports that easily answered questions like: which application is used in Italy for billing and which external partners are connected? After completion of the as-is analysis, the project teams were able to create clear roadmaps in LeanIX on how to transform the IT landscape to the desired target state.


Gerald Winkler, Director of Global Information Applications (Haworth)


“We needed a solution that was helpful for business users. All users were able to work in LeanIX after a thirty-minute on-boarding session without any problems.”

- Gerald Winkler, Director of Global Information Applications (Haworth)



With a successful initial start in the finance function, Haworth decided to roll out LeanIX further by functional domains. As the marketing and sales function plays a crucial role in further sustaining the high growth rates, they were selected to join LeanIX next. As Haworth’s products and processes have started to become more digital over the last years, the product and marketing teams are becoming more dependent on technology. LeanIX provides teams easy access to information in a dynamic environment.


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The success

Transparency in the complex finance IT landscape was established very quickly, and several urgent projects critical for Haworth’s global growth could be accelerated. For the first time, the business side has access to an easy-to-use and intelligent information platform concerning the IT landscape. Further functions, including marketing & sales, look to benefit from this wealth of information.IT Cost Savings - A Guide to Application Rationalization