Schwarzmüller: Virtual spare parts shop offers new order and information platform

The introduction of the virtual spare parts shop by Messrs Wilhelm Schwarzmüller Ges.m.b.H. opened up a new distribution channel. Numerous new and existing customers use the company’s internet order option. The service portal was installed using the leading software for spare parts catalogs – CATALOGcreator® 6.0 – which offers many technical novelties. Ordering spare parts by using the new spare parts shop has become a lot easier, internally, for both Messrs Schwarzmüller and their customers.

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In Europe Messrs Schwarzmüller  is the fourth largest manufacturer of superstructures, trailers and articulated lorries. Being the market leader in Austria and many European countries Schwarzmüller produces 12,000 utility vehicles annually. Messrs Schwarzmüller is represented in 20 European countries. The company can look back upon a 140 year tradition in utility vehicle technology. Technical competency, innovative know-how, as well as numerous patents underpin Schwarzmüller’s success. With regard to after sales service Schwarzmüller focuses on quality products and extremely competent staff. The fastest spare parts supply possible has turned Schwarzmüller into a strong logistics partner.

Starting point

Up until now the spare parts catalogs at Messrs Schwarzmüller were produced using a normal word processing program. In order to improve data processing and data quality a modern system for electronic spare parts catalogs had to be purchased. The aim was to simplify the production process by keeping it transparent for all departments involved. The information had to be always up-to-date and available at any time.

Requirements

In order to allow their customers ordering facilities around the clock, they went looking for an internet-based solution. From the beginning of July onwards the new “ïnternet” platform is being used as an additional distribution channel to acquire new customers and generate additional sales.

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Solution
For Messrs Schwarzmüller the solution was the introduction of a spare parts shop based on the latest version of the leading spare parts catalog software – CATALOGcreator® 6.0. The product data (ERP-Data) and exploded views were processed by the CC XML DataConverter and used for the production of the electronic spare parts catalog. The CC XML DataConverter is a module for structured reading of mass data into the CATALOGcreator®.
Owing to the high flexibility of the CATALOGcreator® 6.0  software, data from various software environments can be integrated in the electronic catalog without any problems. In the case of Messrs Schwarzmüller the merchandise planning and control system „PSIPENTA“  was used to create structured export data for the CC XML DataConverter. As the latest version of CATALOGcreator® 6.0 features the HTML Dynamic – Module, this procedure is only required for updates and is fully automatic. The new HTML Dynamic – Module is a database-supported system. The HTML-pages are generated in real time from a mySQL-Database via php-templates.
As a result the system is extremely flexible and any spare parts can be located quickly and easily.

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In addition, the exploded views held by Schwarzmüller make a one hundred per cent identification of spare parts easier. For spare part indication the user is furnished with a lot of information, such as data sheets, special instructions and assembly manuals. By entering an article number-/description the user receives the selected information and can create the spare parts catalogue from the database (on the fly). Catalogs can be created quickly even in the case of large data volumes or spare parts catalogs in multiple languages. The database-supported spare parts catalog features access control and an integrated webshop. For instance, each catalog user can see his individual prices. A linked Content Management System (CMS) provides the web application with additional useful information. The exemplary co-operation with Messrs Schwarzmüller allowed us to complete this project within a period of 5 months.“ said Bernd Weigelt, Project Leader of TID Informatik GmbH.

Conclusion

By introducing the virtual spare parts shop via CATALOGcreator® 6.0 many aspects,which are of vital importance to produce a high quality spare parts catalogue, were improved. Not only could the data quality and their uptodateness be improved but also the internal workflow, cooperation and communication between the departments involved were optimized. The password-protected variety of the spare parts catalogue offers existing and new customers of Messrs Schwarzmüller an additional means of ordering which is also comfortable and safe. „The smooth running of the project and the excellent expert advice by Mr. Weigelt, the responsible project leader of TID Informatik GmbH, has to be highlighted in particular“, said Mr. Kaindlsdorfer, project leader of Messrs Schwarzmüller.

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