"We wanted a complete solution that would bring all our offices together in one central system, cover our needs and still allow us room for further growth."
Markus Salzwimmer, IT project manager at Lottmann Fensterbänke GmbH
Lottmann Fensterbänke GmbH develops and produces window sills from cast marble and sells them by its own branches in Austria and Germany as well as by external partners in Eastern Europe. The product family includes window sills of the umbrella brands helopal and Fenorm, swimming pool surrounds, wall coverings as well as wall and step tiles. The internationally growing family business based in Reichraming (Upper Austria) produces over one million linear metres of window sills every year, employs 85 people and generated sales of 16 million euros in 2015. Long-term IT partner COSMO CONSULT meets all company requirements with Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile.
The dynamically growing company strategically invested in a state-of-the-art IT solution to minimize dependencies and replace isolated solutions. A modern solution from a single source that integrated ERP and CRM systems. "We wanted a complete solution that brings all our branches together in a central system, covers our needs and still leaves us room for further growth," explains Markus Salzwimmer, IT project manager at Lottmann Fensterbänke GmbH.
In the selection process, Microsoft Dynamics AX turned out to be the best overall ERP solution and COSMO CONSULT as a long-term IT partner. With Microsoft Dynamics AX, COSMO CONSULT now flexibly covers all ERP requirements of the company.
The biggest challenges were the mapping of the warehouse management and the introduction of scanner picking. COSMO CONSULT convinced with competence, Industry knowledge, experience and a balanced cost-benefit ratio. The chemistry was also right. "We cultivate win-win relationships based on partnership with values such as handshake quality and long-term cooperation, according to the motto: 'What weighs, that's it'," describes Markus Salzwimmer.
The Lottmann warehouse is a heavyweight: on average, over 12 tonnes of marble are cast every day into around 300 m² of window slabs, at peak times in two-shift operation up to 500 m². Extensive classifications were necessary to map the entire flow of materials and goods. Together with the COSMO CONSULT specialists, a barcode scheme was developed that reflects the internal company logic and defines each article. The result is a 13-digit article number that provides information about variable sizes. Using the example of helopal window panels, these are: colour, thickness, structure, width and type of window sill. This unambiguous assignability enables the tracking of every article and every stock movement.
In order to provide an accurate view of the warehouse, picking is carried out using radio scanners. Each warehouse employee receives his picking lists on a mobile hand scanner, which can be operated intuitively. The employee only needs to scan the barcodes of the articles removed and the pallet concerned. The mobile scanners are connected online to the system and bookings are made in real time. Inventory data is also automatically updated. The scanner picking provides a high data quality, possible sources of error are greatly reduced.
"In the past, it could happen that the wrong article was removed. Because the debit is now already made during scanning in the warehouse, this can no longer happen," says the project manager happily. This fact simplifies and accelerates the entire order processing.
The current status of picking can be tracked continuously - and the path of the product can also be traced back later. This is a decisive quality criterion today! If quality management detects a defective batch, the serial number can be used to immediately determine which pallet is affected and where it is currently located.
Microsoft Dynamics AX not only controls the movement of goods at the production sites, but also the flow of goods and information between the branches, even in different countries.
This is made possible by the so-called intercompany function. "Everything is connected in our system. Our sales staff, e.g. in Vienna, simply enter their order and automatically create an order in the plant in Upper Austria. This is much faster and more error-free, because orders are no longer faxed back and forth as they used to be," says Markus Salzwimmer, describing order processing between the locations..
"The most important thing for us is that the processing is direct and uncomplicated, but with increased data accuracy at the same time," says the project manager. The new ERP solution also makes work noticeably easier for the employees. Previously, someone had to go from the office to the warehouse to check whether an item was in stock. Now you can see at a click how high the stock is.
Sales benefits from synergy effects resulting from the combined use of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM. While the office staff exclusively
AX, the field service uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile on iPads. The field staff need access to the right information at all times - no matter where they are and whether they have a data connection or not. Via iPad, all relevant data of the CRM system is available offline and can be retrieved, updated or added. As soon as an online connection is available, the data is updated. Both office and field staff access the same data master (customers, contacts, orders, invoices), which is synchronized bidirectionally between the two systems.
Jumping back and forth between the systems to get relevant information is now a thing of the past. This makes working much easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
Reporting provides statistics, evaluations and trend analyses. Production uses stock reports and trend calculations, marketing uses customer-relevant lists, etc. Primarily static reports are generated, but Business Intelligence is also operated with dynamic pivot tables. This is where the company intends to further develop its technology in the future. It is also planned to handle all processes electronically, from receipt of the order to automatic booking, and to integrate suppliers as well.
This is a reference of COSMO CONSULT SI GmbH, 4407 Steyr-Gleink in Austria (formerly FWI Information Technology GmbH).