Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG restarts its service management thanks to CATALOGcreator®, a software solution for electronic spare parts catalogs and service portals. The company has opted for this innovative and highly flexible solution in view of positive customer references and because its requirements can best be implemented with CATALOGcreator® and TID Informatik.
Founded in 1938, the machine factory Berthold Hermle AG today is one of the leading manufacturers of precision milling machines. With its headquarters in Swabian Gosheim, the company employs 1,000 people and operates a widespread and closely-knit sales and service network around the globe. To date, Hermle has successfully implemented more than 22,000 machines. The machine builder’s customers cover many key industries, from medical technology to motorsports, from large and complex components to high-tech micro-components.
After-sales service ranks high at machine manufacturer Berthold Hermle AG and enjoys a high reputation within the industry. While the spare part documentation for the customer machines has relied on manual processes so far, spare parts drawings and spare parts lists will not stand up to the challenge the company will be facing in the long term. In order to extend the after-sales service and make spare part specification more efficient for both service and customer, the company was highly interested in an electronic spare parts catalog solution.
Hermle aimed at both data output from a central platform, covering all machines installed at its customers, and at reusing its 3D CAD models for the service portal. Integration of the 3D construction models with the electronic catalog would result in yet another huge benefit, namely that 3D models generate 2D exploded drawings, which become available as additional views in the catalog. The main goal, Hermle wished to achieve with the spare parts solution, was easy information procurement for service employees that cuts down on response times.
Interview with Lars Fröhlich (IT/Organization) from Hermle
Which arguments in favor of CATALOGcreator® have been key when deciding on the final short-list?
“Following evaluation of several providers of electronic spare parts catalogs, two of them made it to the final contest, i.e. were invited to give a presentation. TID Informatik has won the bid, since integration of our CAD data had proved much easier as with the competitor’s solution. The final decision in favor of CATALOGcreator® has been made after a product presentation involving the departments and the executives responsible for finance and products. The very sample catalog populated with our CAD data and parts lists and presented by TID gave us a good idea about how the actual catalog would look like and made us confident of having backed the right horse regarding our partner for electronic spare parts catalogs and service portals. Apart from that, the TID website has had a positive impact on me, since the numerous customer references do speak for themselves.”
Which steps have been taken following the purchase decision?
“First of all, we have agreed on a proof of concept (PoC) with TID enabling us to discuss the exact data requirements for the electronic spare parts catalog between our internal departments and the specialists. The purpose of the POC has been to integrate the first machine with the 3D catalog and to get clarity on the future process. The prototype is final proof that we have backed the right horse. From what we see today, our expectations from the pre-sales stage have been fully met.”
Who will benefit from the new platform for spare parts?
“First of all, the service will benefit most from the new spare parts management platform, especially from the quick search of spare parts and information. Based on our initial experience with the service, we will extend the platform continuously. This may include topics on our to-do list such as an SAP connection or the integration of further documents and circuit diagrams. Once the solution is well established internally, it will only be logical to make the catalog available to our customers for easy selection and ordering of their spare parts with us.”
What makes TID as a company and collaboration so very special?
“TID is a highly innovative enterprise. Both its solution-oriented approach and its processes are well structured. We highly appreciate collaboration with TID as a whole. They are accompanying us through the entire process and always are ready to help or to respond to our queries. Thanks to the flexibility of the software, it is also easy to implement new requirements. We feel being safe with TID and are a hundred percent sure that we will be able to implement our goals with TID and CATALOGcreator® as scheduled.”
What has made you confident throughout the selection process?
“Apart from professional arguments and TDI’s reference customers, my attendance at the customer events (cDAY) has been key. These events exude a very familiar atmosphere, despite of hosting more than 300 attendants. You can meet many customers and stakeholders for an open exchange of opinions. Talks with the actual users of CATALOGcreator®, the highly-informative presentations, and the impression the TID team has left, makes me confident that we have chosen the perfect partner.”