Municipal housing company Bostaden is far ahead with its IT environment. The organisation uses thin clients with PC over IP and the number of mobile devices is constantly growing. Bostaden uses Desktop Central and Mobile Device Management, MDM, from Manage Engine to ensure that the clients and the devices function properly and are updated and to keep track of what mobile devices there are.
Manage Engine’s Desktop Central is a program for handling stationary and mobile devices all together from a central point. Desktop Central for example makes it easier to distribute and upgrade software, install patches, manage licences, identify hardware problems and provide support through the remote desktop. It is easy to monitor statistics and check the health of the virtual computers.
When Bostaden began using Desktop Central a few years ago the idea was to be able to manage and maintain all its clients in an entirely new way compared to before. The objective was proactiveness and efciency.
“Previously our days or an IT consultant’s time were lled with a great deal of manual work installing and conguring computers, upgrading software, troubleshooting and providing support,” says Rickard Bäckström, IT engineer at Bostaden and responsible for Desktop Central and MDM.
It was time-consuming and stressful and a feeling of being one step behind was often not far away. Desktop Central tted into Bostaden’s way of thinking ahead very well.
The thin clients are based on a PC over IP solution where hardware from Samsung is combined with software from Teradici. In practice, people can log in from any device and continue working where they left off. The solution is very practical for meetings, when you are giving a presentation, when you are out and about, and if you switch places with a colleague.
The number of mobile devices at Bostaden is growing all the time; they are in constant use in the eld by area landlords and caretakers and also by the company’s other ofcers. Since MDM is a relatively new phenomenon at Bostaden, the number of users is increasing all the time. “We have quadrupled the number of licences for mobile devices in about a year,” Rickard Bäckström goes on.
It was natural to choose MDM because Bostaden already uses Desktop Central. The MDM solution was a good choice. “The combination of Desktop Central and MDM is totally right for us. We get a basic structure for all clients and mobile devices that we didn’t have before. Now we can be certain that everything is updated and that we have control of all pur mobile devices,” Richard goes on.
Rickard Bäckström is an IT engineer with extensive experience from several large and medium-size organisations and companies and he is satised. “MDM has made our work much easier. Before we needed to do a lot of unnecessary extra work if a new person joined the company, someone left, or someone simply got a new phone. This is now all done simply via the system. We get a uniformity in the conguration and we can distribute all the programs or patches to everyone at the same time.”
Bostaden’s solution for its stationary clients is built on a basic conguration that is shared by for example all devices with Windows and Microsoft Ofce and there are a handful of packages with software and services that can be chosen and installed for people who have specic needs in their work. These might for example be Bluebeam for drawings, Adobe programs, different web browsers or Notepad. On the mobile devices MDM sits directly on the desktop an contains the apps that are shared and useful for Bostaden’s staff. “The apps and services in our basic package are good tools. They’re useful even if they’re not typically traditional, such as for vehicle checks, translation or directory search services.”
One example of the benets of MDM is the in-house developed app based on Bostaden’s “Pondus” property management system that all the company’s area landlords use when they inspect a at when a tenant moves. The app is in constant use and links directly to Bostaden’s business system. Thanks to MDM the area landlords can always feel secure that the service functions and it can always be kept up to date on all mobile devices. Another advantage with MDM is that its functions can be factory-assured or cleared of all user and company-unique information, which simplies the work that needs to be done if someone leaves the company or loses their phone.
“The users probably don’t notice Desktop Central or MDM very much and for us that means we’ve been successful. For them it just has to work, they shouldn’t have to worry about what goes on behind the scenes.” Desktop Central and MDM were introduced in collabiration with UDK. “UDK are a good support in our work and they’ve handled the projects well. They know a lot about the programs and understand our needs. All in all, this has meant that we’ve achieved the purpose of becoming more efcient. The new way of working has proven to be a great success,” Rickard Bäckström says.
Success Story as pdf:
GS-Hydro is one of our many customers who have realized the benefits of using UDK’s certified project managers. “Besides being very professional and structured, they distinguish themselves by always providing the optimum solutions,” says Even Kristiansen, project owner at GS-Hydro.
GS-Hydro manufactures, develops, and delivers leak-free and reliable piping solutions for challenging conditions, including for the offshore and marine industries and for several land-based industries. The company is present in 17 countries and has over 600 piping specialists.
Last spring, a project was started to allow receipt of electronic customer orders placed through an EDI portal that are then sent straight to GS-Hydro’s ERP system using, among other solutions, Movex eCollaborator.
“We had an old solution that we wanted to streamline so that we can focus on other things and avoid having to manually process orders as much as possible,” says Even Kristiansen, project owner at GS-Hydro.
According to Even, even before management approval of the project, UDK was seen internally as professional and quickly rose to the top as the natural choice for supplier.
“We knew that UDK had previously worked with the purchasing department. An internal dialogue with the department resulted in a number of positive reviews about UDK’s project management and solution. We informed management that there was a platform and a partnership in place which made it unnecessary to look at a third-party solution.”
There were three parties involved in the project, which began last spring: GS Hydro, which is also the project owner, UDK has been responsible for order processing, and Apper has been responsible for the EDI portal.
Ståle R Moe at UDK was the project manager and Carina Nilsson led with her expertise in M3. UDK’s touchstones for the project have been structure, clarity, and focus on results.
UDK provides its project managers with the support and training they need to develop in their roles. The company has also developed its own project methodology that is constantly being improved. Several project managers decided to work toward certification to develop in their roles. A certification is not an education, but rather a validation of existing knowledge. Through project management certification, project managers expand their networks and gain proof of their expertise that is recognized internationally.
The certification process involves several stages, including the self-assessment of their skills and a written test. Moreover, the last few years, UDK has had an internal network where project managers support each other with methods, documentation, and other areas. UDK has also developed an internal toolbox for project management.
“They have been structured from day one and have established intermediate goals, they’ve provided timely feedback, and met every deadline,” says Even Kristiansen.
UDK’s project managers are certified according to IPMA, which is the world’s first project management association, founded in 1965. IPMA stands for International Project Management Association and is an umbrella organization for project management associations worldwide. UDK provides its project managers with the support and training they need to develop in their roles. The company has also developed its own project methodology that is constantly being developed.
Mats Juhlin, solution manager for ERP systems at GS-Hydro, is also happy with how the project has been managed. “They have had a good structure, project design, and project planning with good control and plan for the project and clear control for who does what and when. In addition, the documentation has been good. These factors are important in many ways. Above all, they ensure that costs do not spiral out of control. Having a partner who we can work with also allows us to complete our followup planning and final planning in a good way.”
Most important is that UDK has provided GS-Hydro with the solutions they were looking for.
“An important factor has been that they always see more possibilities than limitations. UDK also distinguishes itself by presenting the most optimal solutions in every part of the project. They make sure they offer feasible proposals and have delivered a very good solution that meets our specifications,” according to Even Kristiansen.
He is also very pleased with UDK’s well-organized and effective meetings, that UDK has been willing to handle much of the communications through email, with UDK’s quick response to questions, and that UDK has asked critical questions.
“This is really how we want it. Everyone has greater needs and desires than what they included in their budgets. That is why it has been so valuable that UDK has made sure to prioritize and to ask good control questions, such as ‘do you really need this?’.”
Both Even and Mats are very pleased with how the project has been run. Mats points to the importance of meeting deadlines. “It is incredibly important and not very common in the industry. Projects often suffer delays, especially since the partner leading the project is often paid based on time and may not always have the right incentives to stay on schedule. But UDK has met the deadlines and delivered what we ordered. That’s worth a lot.”
Even would like to go further and expand collaboration with UDK in other areas. “This has been a very successful project with good project management and lots of good people were involved. The success has grown out of the cooperation at the technical levels. I am going to be sharing with others at GS-Hydro that UDK is a professional organization with excellent project management.”
UDK has several project managers certified at B level, which is the second highest of the four levels going from A to D. To achieve B level, the individuals needs 55 months of experience in managing projects as a starting point, and every person who wants certification is evaluated in three main areas: behavior, method, and competence and experience. Among other things, they have self-assessed and weighted their traits in a thick compendium. The entire certification process takes about nine months at the B level and consists of four parts: a self-assessment, a test, a project management report, and a workshop with interviews and group work.
GS-Hydro Success Story pdf:
Arvid Nilsson, one of the largest supplier of quality fastening element to industry and retail customers, have choosen C4 Contexture PIM from UDK.
As a leading reseller with a large assortment of wood, construction and self-tapping screws, blind rivets, bolts, nuts, washers, plugs, anchoring and construction fitting etc. it is a lot of products and related product information. C4 Contexture handles all information logistics; it is collected in one place, organized, related, quality-assured and through efficient processes, the products can reach the market faster.
Arvid Nilsson has been part of the development of fasteners for nearly 100 years. Today, the Group is represented in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Read more about Arvid Nilsson at www.arvidnilsson.com
Flexit AS has signed up for the product C4 Contexture PIM and C4 Contexture Media Bank. Flexit is Norway’s largest supplier of air handling units and central vacuum cleansers on the private housing market. The company has a very strong market position due to investments in product development, market presence and quality assurance at every stage. As a market leader, the company has high demand for its products outside Norway, with its own sales offices in Sweden and through distributors in Germany, Denmark, Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Russia and Holland.
Read more about Flexit at their website:
UDK’s Mobile Truck Application (MTA) solution gives Tikkurila in Sweden, Poland, and Finland greater control, increased flexibility, and greatly improved delivery quality from their stock. “We have completely eliminated incorrect product deliveries. Now, only the amounts might be wrong,” says Patrik Stattin, Project Coordinator at Tikkurila’s warehouse in Nykvarn, Sweden.
Tikkurila is Scandinavia’s leading provider of user and environmentally friendly finishing products for consumers, professionals, and industry. The company aims to become the market leader in Eastern Europe and Russia, too.
Its product line includes indoor paints, varnishes, and stains; products for wood, masonry, and metal surfaces; and services related to painting. Tikkurila also produces paints and coatings for the metal and wood industries. Tikkurila’s brands include Becker, Alcro, Dickursby, Teks, Tikkurila, and Vivacolor.
In Sweden, Tikkurila’s production facility and central warehouse are located in Nykvarn, Sörmland. The plant began commercial operation in 2007 and is one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly paint factories.
Previously, picking lists and labels were printed out prior to dispatching an order from the warehouse.
“The picking lists were printed in the morning and sorted, which took a long time. What’s more, we had a queuing system that meant we couldn’t adjust a delivery during the day to include any changes a customer wanted to make, or to expedite collection if the delivery truck came a little earlier. Everything that was printed in the morning was set in stone,” explains Patrik Stattin, Project Coordinator at Tikkurila’s warehouse in Nykvarn.
Even so, he stresses that this was not why they wanted to make a change. Instead, it was Tikkurila’s desire to improve its delivery quality.
“Previously, we had no way to verify that the correct items were actually being taken off the shelf. There was always the risk that labels would disappear during transport, too. We also wanted to gain direct control over our stock levels.”
There were some changes that were especially important to introduce:
“In addition to being able to change orders up until they are put together for delivery, we also wanted to be able to add backordered items that had been delivered or produced during the day. The task of developing the solution was partly given to UDK, but Tikkurila also received quotes from two other suppliers. Ultimately, it came down to choosing between systems that would have to be modified, or a fully customized solution from UDK.”
“Purchasing and redesigning the finished systems proved to be more expensive than UDK’s solution. Having realized this, we then developed a clear specification of what we wanted from UDK’s solution.”
At that point, Tikkurila began verifying the basic data and ensuring that everything was correct, especially when it came to variations of the same product and packages. Wireless coverage at the warehouse was also measured. After some additions and adjustments, it was time to start working with the MTA test environment that UDK set up to work with Movex.
Using a finger scanner, they scanned the existing EAN code and made sure that the MTA found the correct item number in Movex/M3.
“We had to test and verify the MTA in combination with Movex to make sure that everything worked.”
The solution was implemented in several stages, with the first step coming in February 2011 in connection with Tikkurila’s own stores.
“Just to be safe, we wanted to make sure that everything worked flawlessly in our own stores first.”
In May 2011, the picking solution was implemented in all stores in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In December 2013, the company began using the MTA for deliveries of whole pallets and for moving products internally. The same software, but with a different application, was also launched in Finland.
“Today, the MTA is used in Sweden, Poland, and Finland, with only small, local modifications for each country based on their specific needs. Our warehouse manager in Poland decided to implement the solution after visiting us, and Finland did the same shortly afterwards.”
For Tikkurila, the solution has delivered many very positive effects.
“One of our most important Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is how many lines are picked in a row without error. Previously, we were at 1,100 lines. Now, we’re up to 3,600 lines and errors are only ever the wrong amounts, never the wrong product. This means we avoid returns, which means a huge financial saving and a great way to build trust with our customers. What’s more, we can now maintain a more consistent stock level.”
The solution also lets us see where in the job queue we are and who is picking which order.
“In the past, we didn’t have the same overview of how much work had been done. Today, we can track the position of each order being picked in the warehouse. We can also change the priority of orders.”
Today, the MTA is integrated with the transportation management system.
“We can send XML data directly to the system and from there create shipping labels with the correct package type. In the past, there was a risk that an order that should have been listed as a package would be listed as an entire pallet or vice versa. We also achieve 100 per cent accuracy on delivery numbers via XML and avoid the risk of input errors that can lead to a delivery going to the wrong customer. Warehouse staff no longer need to get off the truck to enter shipping labels into an extra terminal.”
Clearly, quality has increased, but what about efficiency?
“There was a concern that efficiency might suffer, but that didn’t happen. In fact, we have improved our efficiency. Just looking at the measurement of lines per hour, we achieve more now than before. One interesting effect of the increase in quality is that we have had to revise our piecework rate: It’s gone from being a combination of speed and minimal errors to disregarding errors altogether, since almost no errors are made any more. That’s a direct result of this solution.”
Dependability is also good, with only a few short interruptions in recent years.
By replacing its existing Ibrix system, Tikkurila gained a more flexible and stable solution.
“By replacing Ibrix, we gained a fully supported and upgradeable system for refilling picking locations and handling full pallets. What we wanted to do in Ibrix, we have now achieved in our current solution and can, for example, easily see if full pallets aren’t fully allocated. Above all, we can print address labels–something we couldn’t do with Ibrix.”
UDK has long been the main partner and support provider for Tikkurila’s business system, Movex/M3. As noted earlier, however, this solution was selected through a procurement round that UDK won.
“Our relationship with UDK works well. I have learned not to bring ready-made solutions with me to meetings with UDK. If I describe what we need, UDK often suggests a better solution than what I would have been able to come up with.”
Stattin is particularly pleased with his collaboration with Jan Åström, a consultant at UDK.
“Jan has very broad expertise and a good understanding of the business. He is good at seeing how customized solutions impact both other systems and the business in general. Moreover, UDK is good at providing support when we need to check and update our internal processes,” concludes Stattin, Project Coordinator at Tikkurila Nykvarn.
UDK has delivered an import/export feature between C4 Contexture (UDK’s PIM system) and e-commerce platform Magento to Norwegian GullSport, a subsidiary of the Sana Pharma group.
We have helped GullSport with the import/export of articles and products between C4 Contexture and their business system, and then on to their e-commerce site, built on Magento. Articles and products are associated with one another in C4 Contexture and also with other information such as images for use on the Web. Everything included in the web hierarchy is exported to Magento. This makes administration and quality assurance smoother and offers much greater control. The solution for GullSport also includes an image bank for the easier management of images for use on the Web.
Magento is one of the e-commerce platforms UDK is working with strategically in Scandinavia together with partners, as it is a flexible solution that is rapidly growing.
For more information, contact Espen Langbråten, Project Manager for C4 Contexture at UDK Norway email@example.com
Visit GullSport’s website:
Learn more about C4 Contexture:
Read more about Magento:
Thanks to a flexible and powerful PIM Production solution, the central office of the building materials retailer Woody Bygghandel has been able to offer its many partners the opportunity to produce their own marketing materials using quality-assured information.
“We’ve dramatically reduced time to market and can now focus on products, instead of production,” Johan Fors, IT Manager at Woody’s head office.
Woody Bygghandel is a voluntary chain association that generates around SEK 6 billion in sales, divided among approximately 50 partners and 106 stores. These figures make Woody Sweden’s leading building materials retail chain, with a clear focus on professional tradespeople and educated consumers. The chain is owned by local entrepreneurs who cooperate in areas like purchasing, marketing, IT, environment, and training.
The chain runs a joint head office in Helsingborg, southern Sweden. The office houses Woody’s central IT and marketing division. With UDK’s help, this central marketing division has designed a tool called Mediaverkstaden based on C4 Contexture, which allows individual franchisees to produce their own signage based on ready-made templates produced in cooperation with Woody’s ad agency.
Woody first came in contact with C4 when they began using Finfo’s Media Central service. Based on C4, Media Central lets its users add sales-related information in the form of images, documents, product descriptions, and text to the basic data stored in Finfo to address marketing needs.
“When Finfo chose UDK and C4, the obvious choice for us was to move ahead with a solution based on C4,” says Johan Fors.
He explains that they wanted a robust platform that could handle the diverse needs of Woody’s many co-owners.
“We have partners of widely varying sizes; with sales of SEK 15 million to up to SEK 700 million. It’s obvious that they have different needs and circumstances. At the same time, they all need to be sure that the sales information they are using, such as text and images, is correct,” Fors continues. One challenge Woody faced was finding a solution that could handle an environment where there is no single, unified article register and where the co-owners use different ERP systems. Now that 1.9 million articles have been linked using a key that links the supplier’s article number with the Finfo number, the purchasing and marketing divisions can share the same information.
“We’ve been able to get rid of our sign workshop and use PIM Production instead. Now, every partner can make signs for their store, advertise, and produce direct marketing mail-outs using ready-made templates that follow our graphic profile. What’s more, any template they use can be modified to suit their needs.”
One major advantage is the solution’s simplicity. Via a web interface, any co-owner or marketing manager with an account can now produce everything from signage to direct marketing mail-outs.
The new work flow can look something like this: After logging in, the system recognizes the co-owner and knows which address, business hours, and potentially even the local logotype that should be used in the material being produced. The user then chooses which products to advertise by searching for them based on their article numbers or names. They can also find products that have been grouped in central campaigns created by Woody Bygghandel.
Once the products have been chosen, the user can then easily choose which marketing materials to produce. All the information needed is linked directly to the products, so product images and marketing texts are inserted automatically. In a preview generated as a PDF file directly from the InDesign server, the user can see what the material (such as a leaflet) will look like when finished. Users can then save their materials as PDF files, interactive PDFs, or in any other format that can be generated from an InDesign file.
Each text and image can be modified. All changes, which are made centrally, can be saved for later use. Modified texts can also be saved in the PIM database. “It is very useful to be able to offer a convenient and powerful, quality-assured solution in this way, with information taken from just one source. Thanks to the useful and functional templates suitable for different contexts, this solution lets us focus on producing good content, instead of on technical production,” says Johan Fors.
He explains that Woody is also working on simplifying processes for its suppliers. “Because we use Finfo, instead of needing to provide several different parties with unique data, suppliers can focus on a function that lets them retrieve selected data. This is the suppliers’ largetst marketing channel, and those of them who have realized this are working hard to improve the descriptions of the product range so that we can use this information when working with our end-customers in the next phase.”
Fors is very happy with Woody’s collaboration with UDK.
“They’ve made sure we have a flexible platform to work from that gives us the option to extend it to other applications, if we should choose to do so, like e-commerce. The work we’re doing to build relationships between products and content like text, images, and certification documents, means we’ve laid the foundation for a powerful omni-channel solution.
More than that, Fors also wants to emphasize UDK’s expertise and dedication.
“They have amazingly talented consultants who move things in the right direction, at the same time as they maintain a good dialog with us and understand our operations. What’s more, they position themselves to adapt to developments in Finfo. The fact that they have worked with Finfo and a number of the suppliers makes UDK a key player and hub in our on-going management of product-related marketing information,” says Woody’s Fors.
Success Story as pdf:
UDK, together with Apper delivered a SIM solution to Indexator Rototilt Systems. SIM stands for Supply Integration Manager and automate purchasing processes.
It is a platform for providers that communicates directly with the M3 business system. With SIM, the user can increase control and safety in the material flow and reduce administrative burdens. UDK and Indexator has worked together for many years. It is still too early to say anything about the effects the solution will bring, but most likely there will be improvements in the workflow.
Appers SIM solution was suggested by UDK. It is an established solution used by satisfied customers. It is an easy to use platform that streamlines and standardizes the communication with suppliers, transporters and customers. Through an integration between the ERP system M3 and SIM you can integrate business contacts regardless of the technical level they are on. Through the automation of processes eliminate manual errors and work more efficient.
To create a great, attractive website required information logistics that takes care of the basic data from your ERP , refine it and add relationships so that your products can finally be presented neatly with pictures , videos and updated information.
A PIM system makes the administration of your products smooth so that time to market becomes shorter. Benders uses Infor M3 and has built the new web with Epi- server and the PIM system C4 Contexture from UDK :
“Without a functioning PIM system with the relationships and information logistics we have already built up behind us, we would never have been able to produce the website we wanted”, says Christer Pettersson , Marketing
Communications Manager at Benders .
Learn more about Benders new online solution:
Benders Success Story
Møbelringen was founded in 1985 and has grown to today’s 80 member-owned stores throughout Norway. Since they have a focus on Norwegian brands and quality, they implement conducted extensive quality testing to current specifications from mobelfakta.no which also regulates the environmental certification of furniture.
The leading Norwegian furniture chain will use C4 Contexture as a base to creating a brand new, dynamic website where C4 is integrated in a secure manner so that the navigation structure, images, products and prices are always displayed correctly. Also, UDK’s new tool, C4 PIM print will give them a fast and secure production of labels, posters and campaign papers.
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