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When Swiss tool manufacturer HEULE established a wholly owned subsidiary in Germany, it had the
opportunity to restructure their IT processes with a focus on the future. Thanks to cloud-based Microsoft
Dynamics 365 Business Central and Konica Minolta, the company has two trusted partners to help it focus
on core business.
HEULE Germany is a subsidiary of HEULE, the Swiss manufacturing company specialising in high-precision, multi-functional drilling tools and specialist tools, which, so to say, has been founed on a greenfield site in Wangen in the Allgäu. Even in the early stages of the business, a reliable and expandable cloud-based ERP system was required for various tasks, especially when it came to handling jobs. Christos Mistridis, Sales Director at HEULE Germany, who is responsible for setting up the system, explains the framework which existed during the selection process. "We were looking for a modern and flexible solution that provides optimum support, allowing the company to grow organically as we intend. The ERP system used by our Swiss parent company is already quite old — it's now reaching its limits, and will be replaced in the near future. Using the same system was not an option for us."
For this reason, the German subsidiary kept in mind that the system they chose may also be used at the parent company and in other subsidiaries. Another requirement of the ERP system was the ability to connect a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, as this is a medium-term goal for the company. To aid the selection process, Mistridis consulted two employees from HEULE Germany, who already had experience with ERP systems in small and medium-sized companies. They suggested Microsoft Dynamics NAV as well as another solution.
Mistridis came across Konica Minolta and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central while searching online for vendors that provided Microsoft Dynamics NAV as a cloud variant. As the project manager, two aspects really impressed him during the initial contact and initial phase: "On a personal level—which often plays a decisive role—I had a good feeling that this was the right choice, as soon as the sales expert from Konica Minolta contacted me. I also liked the proposal — it was very detailed and project plan and a corresponding timetable, just the way I had imagined."
Mistridis and his two colleagues then used the 30-day free trial version of the software, using sample data to work through the standard sales process at HEULE, including elements such as handling jobs, ordering from Switzerland, stock levels and sales levels. After the few outstanding questions resolved during a remote meeting, HEULE Germany opted for the proposal from Konica Minolta.
This secure system is fully stored and managed in the cloud, and, as a multi-client solution, can be tailored to specific requirements. This flexibility meant that discount fields are now only displayed when required, and the fields have been expanded to accommodate HEULE part numbers as they are longer than the standard fields.
Before work could begin, almost 70,000 product and master data entries from the parent company had to be integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. "Integrating this data into the new system was of great importance to me — and the process was seamless thanks to the Rapid Start export tool," says Mistridis. The project manager and his colleagues have used the video-on-demand platform Learn4NAV to acquire a wealth of basic knowledge on how to use the program. To help ensure others could also use the system proficiently, Konica Minolta conducted a workshop with HEULE Germany employees at their site. For Mistridis, the workshop and its follow-up were further proof of professionalism of Konica Minolta: "Throughout the project, I always felt that I was working with professionals. I always knew that what we had discussed would really be taken on board and implemented. For example, a detailed 15-page workshop report clearly defined the next steps and the corresponding responsibilities."
HEULE Germany is now benefiting from the numerous advantages of the cloud-based solution during its daily operations. The team around Christos Mistridis is impressed by the simple system, the first-class search function and it's excellent overview. As an extra benefit, field service employees can log in from anywhere and have the information they need at their fingertips, irrespective of their location. Mistridis is convinced that Konica Minolta was the right choice of partner, and hopes that the partnership between the two companies can continue to grow — in Germany and beyond.
»Throughout the project, I always felt that I was working with professionals. I always knew that what we had discussed would really be taken on board and implemented.«
Sales Director, HEULE, Germany
Use of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud solution provided by Konica Minolta