In implementing its spare parts shops the Krone spare parts service relies on an efficient combination of standard SAP software and the open source solution Apache OFBiz. The results are impressive.
For a successful transport system speed and reliability are decisive. In order to ensure a smooth operation of trailers and vehicles, a quick and easily accessible supply of spare parts is essential. The Krone spare parts service does this through its innovative spare parts shop.
Ralf Faust, Manager Spare Parts Service: “Through this implementation measure the spare parts department pursues the objectives of sales promotion, improvement of customer services and customer relations, relief of telephone services, reduction of order processing times and the customer-friendly provision of the internet sales channel. The provision of such a distribution channel is important in view of the progressively acting market competition and thus for gaining additional market share in the distribution of spare parts”.
The online solution offers the user a comprehensive range of spare parts and accessories. The products are offered to the logged in customers with customer-specific prices and detailed illustrations. An efficient full-text search, as well as fast entry by entering the material number or upload of a parts list, enables the efficient compilation of the required spare parts. The delivery can be customized individually with different options. The entire order process is clear and simple, the addresses are pre-displayed from the integrated accounts receivable data and thanks to the personal order history reordering is possible with the click of a mouse. The integrated Content Management System (CMS) enables the maintenance and presentation of services, contact persons and information without any additional programming.
At the IAA Nutzfahrzeuge 2014 the solution was extended in a further stage with the interactive spare parts catalog, the CATALOGcreator from TID Informatik GmbH, with the depiction of vehicle-specific catalogs. This extension stage permits the selection of replacement parts by VIN and the visual representation of the vehicle with its components, split into BOMs, down to the individual components.
This is made possible by a combination of the standard SAP software and the open source Apache OFBiz solution. In the central SAP system, all master data, such as material numbers, accounts receivable and their conditions, is stored. The data supply of the shop solution as well as the return transmission of the order data occurs fully automatic in an asynchronous manner via SAP XI and an IDoc interface developed by Lynx. “By using an open source solution no license fees are due. The budget can be profitably used for an optimal adaptation to customer requirements. The implementation efforts as a whole are significantly lower than for a new development”, as Dr. Christian Holsing of Lynx Consulting GmbH emphasizes the advantages of free software.
“Critical to the use of OfBiz were the maturity of the product on the market, coupled with adaptations and bug fixes which, in the course of its market life, have resulted in a mature product, as well as the free license costs and the flexibility that enable an effortless individual adaptation to the needs of Krone. The provider, Lynx, has appropriate experience with Apache OFBiz and was able to provide our company with a core team of experts for this project. The product, which was created in collaboration with Lynx, adequately represent the ideas of our company that were to be implemented within the project”, commented Mrs. Nolting on the collaboration within the project. “The employees at Lynx have done a professional job. The employees were always available and the contact was very partner-like. A major challenge was the timely creation of the integrated Online Shop and Online Katalog systems for the IAA 2014. This target has been achieved as intended”