Ordering Spare Parts for Cableways with CATALOGcreator®

Only recently, Doppelmayr has begun to integrate electronic spare part catalogs into its service portal for customers. In the first phase of the project, spare part catalogs have gone online for 30 systems of the innovative cableway manufacturer’s D and 3S lines. A parts list linked to 2D drawings enables easy identification and ordering of spare parts for these systems.

Company

Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, with its seat in Wolfurt, Austria, is part of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group. As a quality, technology and market leader in cableway construction, Doppelmayr/Garaventa operates production sites and sales and service offices in more than 35 countries around the world. To date, the company has built over 14,800 cableway systems for customers in 91 countries.

Initial Situation

Until recently, Doppelmayr had received a variety of requests for cableway spare parts. Customers had attached photos or Excel sheets to their requests or contacted the customer service right away. The informational value of these requests was far from uniform, impeding the further processing of the spare parts orders.

Since the renowned cableway constructor ships approximately 100 to 110 new systems per year apart from a variety of other products, and in view of the diverse information provided, it was often difficult for the service department to identify the right spare parts and deliver them to the customers.

A further constraint was that the information provided to customers for spare part identification was limited. Assemblies were maintained in Word files and merged with a PDF into a kind of product sheet for the systems to be delivered. Understandably, the search for a solution that would reliably identify spare parts for each system began as early as 2013.

Requirements

After first favoring a solution specially developed for Doppelmayr, market research quickly revealed that standard software for electronic spare part catalogs was a much smarter solution. It was essential for Doppelmayr that the software integrated seamlessly with its customer-service portal.

Among the three available providers, TID Informatik GmbH with its CATALOGcreator® solution emerged as the winner. Johannes Köb from Marketing Customer Service explains: “TID gave us the impression that CATALOGcreator® would empower us to implement solutions quickly and without bureaucratic overhead. This turned out to be a great advantage for the cooperation later in the project.”

The Austrian company wished to implement two key requirements with a spare part catalog software: Simple and fast online ordering for all customers and a representation of the system within the catalog that would facilitate the work of the internal departments. Fast loading of the online catalog’s pages was yet another important criterion in view of poor internet connections on many mountain stations.                

The Austrian company wished to implement two key requirements with a spare part catalog software: Simple and fast online ordering for all customers and a representation of the system within the catalog that would facilitate the work of the internal departments. Fast loading of the online catalog’s pages was yet another important criterion in view of poor internet connections on many mountain stations.

      

Solution

The first phase of the project aimed at limiting information within the catalog to classic spare part search and ordering. Additional documents, such as maintenance or operating instructions, are being integrated at present. The minimalist information approach ensures fast page loading at the start of the project and thus wins a high level of acceptance on the part of the users.

The first cableways in the spare part catalog are systems of the 3S and D-Line. This new generation of cableways features pioneering technology and includes Doppelmayr’s first-class products. At the same time as the D-Line was presented at the trade fair in the spring of 2017, the first 2D spare part catalog was completed for the system. As early as January of 2019, 30 additional systems of the D-Line and 3S-Line had been integrated with the online catalog.

 “What impressed me most as a marketing manager was that our corporate identity would fit perfectly into the catalog – and in a very short time. The generally extremely flexible CATALOGcreator® software solution integrates seamlessly into our customer service portal. Users do not even notice when they leave the information pages to enter the catalog,” says Johannes Köb.

The next major project phase is the ongoing integration of new products into the electronic catalog. In 2019 alone, Doppelmayr plans to ship another 40 new cableway systems, their spare parts being ordered from its central customer service department. Though printed system documentation will still be delivered as a legal requirement, the priority for customer service is to expand the online catalogs.

Experience and Outlook

Importing data into the electronic catalog still requires manual effort. Data is retrieved from the ERP system IFS and from Siemens’s 3D CAD design program NX and processed by the Swiss documentation service provider Dogrel AG before being imported into the electronic catalog. Johannes Köb describes the cooperation between TID, Doppelmayr’s two external service providers (Dogrel and an internet agency), and the project managers at the cableway manufacturer as “very pleasant and extremely efficient overall”.

Doppelmayr is now aiming at automatic data import. The more catalogs go online, the greater the manual effort to keep them up-to-date. The step towards 3D catalogs is also being discussed. Overall, the new electronic spare part catalogs are a great success already and a giant leap for Doppelmayr’s customer service.

Conclusion

“With Rafi Boudjakdjian from TID, we had a highly competent project manager and perfect supervisor for this project at our side. Everything we wished for was implemented reliably and quickly. The results have even exceeded our expectations. We have always been on time and on budget. Cooperation at its best! I can only recommend TID to anyone who looks for an electronic spare part catalog,” concludes Johannes Köb, who initiated the project at Doppelmayr and continues to oversee it to date.

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