Company: MicrosoftCustomer: TibnorSubmitted by: Shandwick(SWEDEN) Tibnor wanted to introduce an eCommerce model. This meant streamlining its sales process, improving information delivery to customers and boosting the efficiency of sales visits. It chose a Microsoft® Windows® Powered Pocket PC solution from Know IT to get more accurate data into the hands of sales people and improve productivity.
Tibnor is the leading Nordic wholesaler of steel, stainless metals, construction steel, tools and industrial supplies. A subsidiary of SSAB Svenskt Stål AB, it employs 1,600 people at 40 locations across Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Poland.
Tibnor has a strong customer focus and commitment to quality. It continually develops its services to respond effectively to its customers’ logistics and production systems.
Tibnor wanted to increase the efficiency and productivity of its field sales operations. Selling steel is also a complicated process and pricing orders on paper can be time-consuming. “In a competitive market place, getting the right product to the customer at the right price is essential. We wanted to get better quality data to our sales people so that the product information they supply to customers and the prices they quote are as fast and accurate as possible,” explains Henrik Skogh, Marketing Director for Tibnor.
Tibnor also identified e-business as a major trend which offered significant advantages. “We wanted to take it further than just ordering online through a web site or EDI/XML. We need to integrate new technologies into our business and create naturally efficient processes,” continues Skogh.
Tibnor has chosen to integrate a mobile sales force automation application into its integrated SAP® system.
This will capture every order input stream from the sales force, the call centre and the web site and feed it into Tibnor’s SAP system. The application will be deployed on the Compaq Aero 1550 Pocket PC. To implement this, Tibnor turned to Know IT, a solution provider specialising in developing custom mobile applications for enterprise customers. The application provides the sales people with product and pricing data and a cost calculator, as well as inventory and distribution information. This allows them to quote accurately on prices and delivery whilst still at the customer site.
Know IT’s Pocket PC solution integrates transactions made with other areas of the business such as production and despatch into all Tibnor’s business processes, vastly improving operating efficiency and customer service. Pocket PCs support great interconnectivity with back end systems such as SAP and synchronise easily using Microsoft ActiveSync® 3.1 Information held on the Pocket PC in Microsoft® Pocket Access databases can be transferred simply to corporate databases such as Microsoft SQL Server.”Ease of integration was a major factor in our choice of this platform, and Pocket PC offers the best overall integration with a variety of platforms. We are pulling data from Tibnor’s existing SAP system and Lotus® Domino™ into the Pocket PC, and will shortly migrate this across to Microsoft SQL Server for Windows CE. As all interoperability testing has been successful so far, we have great ambitions for this platform,” says Henrik Wiren-Hagelbeck of Know IT.
Overall, this mobile solution will put more information into the hands of the sales force, enabling them to inform the customer more accurately and manage the sales processes more efficiently. The simplicity of the Pocket PC platform is a major benefit. Thanks to the rich suite of development tools and features available with the Pocket PC, extending corporate systems to the mobile environment requires little re-training for developers. The familiar user interface also means that the sales staff using the devices can get up and running almost immediately.”We see Pocket PC as a great step forward for both our customers and us.
We will also make the solution available to our smaller customers in the future, extending out the benefits gained by an easier ordering system. We expect the Pocket PC will soon be used as an online web browser, enabling customers to order directly through Tibnor’s web site,” concludes Skogh.