27. April 2017 ǀ Munich Ismaning
VBH: "We want to offer a better service as quickly as possible"
Introduction of SAP Hybris Service Cloud at subsidiary esco
VBH Holding GmbH is an international wholesaler with around 2,500 employees and more than 30 subsidiaries. The company, based in Kortal-Münchingen near Stuttgart, sells all kinds of building hardware and is the largest trading group with this specialization in the world. maihiro oversaw the introduction of SAP Hybris Sales Cloud and is currently working on introducing SAP Hybris Sales Cloud for VBH’s subsidiary esco, a metal construction system supplier.
We spoke to Oliver Maisch, CIO of the parent company VBH Holding, about the introduction of SAP Hybris Sales Cloud at the subsidiary esco.
Mr. Maisch, the SAP Hybris Sales Cloud project at esco will directly connect the parent company VBH to the Sales Cloud collaboration with maihiro. Why did VBH choose maihiro?
Oliver Maisch: For our first Sales Cloud project, we worked with a different service provider. Unfortunately, it turned out that they did not really have enough consulting and project know-how – especially with regard to Cloud for Customers. maihiro was one of the companies SAP recommended to us, and it was then able to win us over during the selection process – precisely with regard to the project methodology that had been missing previously. Also with the Cloud for Customerexperiencewe needed. What customer would like for the service provider to first develop its know-how during the project?
With the VBH subsidiary esco, SAP Hybris Service Cloud will also work with a third-party ERP system. How important is that for you? Are there other subsidiaries that use Navision / Dynamics?
The largest headquarters in Germany that has 700 employees has been running a SAP ERP for several years now, but many of our 30 subsidiaries, especially those in other countries, use Navision, which is now called Microsoft Dynamics. We first integrated Navision during the Sales Cloud project, not only for esco, but also for VBH GB. In addition, we created a staging area here at our head office we can use to consolidate all the Navision companies. From there, there is an interface to SAP PI, i.e. the SAP Process Integration software package, and thus also to Cloud for Customer. This allows us to optimally connect any company abroad using Navision to Cloud for Customer. The focus of the cloud service is that all the customers are already in the system, which is exchanged and modified bidirectionally. We are also in the process of integrating the offers from the various systems.
The first implementation stage for the Service Cloud project at esco should go into production this summer. Why so quickly?
We want to work with the system as quickly as possible. The idea is to acquire experience with the standard functions. Of course, we started by analyzing the cloud service with regard to user stories and adapted it to our needs on that basis. However, initially, there will be no further developments. We didn’t want to begin by implementing a whole host of wishful functions that we cannot be sure we actually need. That is why we are quickly taking the system live. Then we will see what all works well with the standard functions and we will also be able to distinguish where exactly it is worth developing something special.
esco wants to use the new system to improve how it manages its maintenance services – is that also part of a new strategy to open up other sources of revenue in addition to sales?
Current analyses and studies by consulting firms have shown us that we cannot only supply our customers with fitting systems, but that we can also support them very well by providing complementary services. This is what we want to do now, and a system like SAP Service Cloud will help us do just that. Starting with the sales functions, but also with the service elements, as the ticket system allows all services to be optimally managed. In addition, we can optimally integrate third-party systems through automated email messages, for instance. All in all, Service Cloud allows us to plan resources for installation throughout Germany. This also creates synergies if you can control that the nearest service provider is always working on a construction site.
So those are the advantages for the company. What about the advantages for the on-site technicians?
The main advantage, of course, is that they have everything at their fingertips out in the field. That is why SAP’s Cloud System was so important to us. All times can be entered on-site via a mobile device. Service providers can integrate modern media: take photos on site and create built-in videos. In addition, there is more transparency for everyone, since all the job descriptions and media are centrally documented. The same goes for the customers. For instance, monthly reports can be compiled directly at the construction site, digitally signed, and immediately sent by email.
Do you plan to extend the Service Cloud abroad as well?
In the near future, no, because we don’t have any maintenance business abroad. However, Cloud for Customer is, of course, important for the entire group and therefore important here in Germany as well as abroad. After all, we want to have a single uniform CRM system for the entire company, completely regardless of which ERP is running. That is why we chose SAP’s cloud solution.