“Old solution did not support the speed of processes, automation of business processes, and development of modern e-shop and mobile applications.”
OPTIMERA ESTONIA AS (SAINT-GOBAIN GROUP), A COMPANY OPERATING UNDER THE BRAND EHITUSE ABC, SWITCHED TO A NEW SOFTWARE VERSION AT THE START OF THIS YEAR AND REPLACED ITS NAV 3.6 WITH THE NEW NAV 2013 AND LSRETAIL 7.1. THE OLD SOFTWARE SOLUTION WAS INCONDUCIVE TO WORK PROCESS SPEED AND AUTOMATION OPTIMIZATION AND DID NOT SUPPORT THE RETAIL SOFTWARE LS RETAIL’S NEW VERSION THAT COMES WITH UP-TO-DATE E-COMMERCE AND MOBILE FUNCTIONALITY. HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE ADVANTAGES OF THE NEW VERSION IS THE COMPANY’S DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR SVEN VESIK.
“Our old IT system was caught behind the times in terms of its architecture. For example, we wanted to adopt the new version of the retail software LS Retail and it turned out that the version would not have worked on our old NAV,” explains Sven Vesik. He says the old program also hindered the company’s plan to implement the mobile workstation application and business analysis solution BI4Dynamics. The company wanted to undertake something in order to optimize and automate work processes and eventually found that it makes sense to transfer to the new solution instead of developing the existing version.
At first they held several meetings and then described their future needs and wishes as closely as possible to their partner, BCS Itera.
“We spent a lot of time and resources on the analysis stage that later turned out much larger and longer than planned. However, I can now boldly confirm that all the expenses were made for a reason and eventually saved on company investments,” says Vesik, noting that though the volume of developments became very large, they never changed or developed anything simply for the sake of it, adjusting their processes to the standard LS NAV solution wherever possible.
The development director will not deny that updates require from people a lot of energy in learning and getting accustomed to the changes, and also test management skills in the process. “Implementing new software prescribes excellent change management skills, close interpersonal cooperation and constant information exchange for the managers. All company employees must have a clear understanding as to why the changes are implemented and what good they will bring. Then people will go more gladly along with the changes and have better tolerance for the increase in transition era workload.”
As for specific examples of the advantages gained with the new solution, Vesik first highlights the central stock management and automatic purchase order generation that improves product availability and optimizes stock. He also emphasizes the automated accounting transactions and document confirmation cycle that was previously solved outside NAV. Technically speaking the system setup is also more robust than before.
MOVING TO NEW SOFTWARE IS JUST LIKE MOVING TO A NEW HOME
Vesik says that moving to new software was like moving to a new home: information not needed was left behind along with obsolete developments and outdated product codes. “I strongly recommend anyone planning the same route to organize all data before transferring to the new system, because bringing along incorrect data will immediately bring with them new problems. Compared to the old version, the LS NAV has different structure for much of the data and this makes transfer even trickier. Complexity only increases if the data transferred is not correct, a data field has been left empty or includes the wrong info.”
Close to 200 people use LS NAV daily at Optimera Estonia AS. Currently the company uses sales, purchase, stock, and finance modules and in the future plans to also start using the salary and stock management modules. Although the new solution is very much different from the old one, the feedback from the first weeks indicates that people have managed well: the new LSNAV search engine has received most of the plaudits.
“The effect comes not from replacing the software, it comes from working with it,” the development director emphasizes. “Nothing certainly changes overnight, all of our people must work daily to launch the new software seamlessly and actually optimize our work processes. This year we plan a whole host of additional training sessions and we will gradually adopt the possibilities provided by the new LS NAV to the maximum extent. Every training program will be as practical as possible so that the people can test all functions themselves.”
AN OUTSIDE POWER USER WILL EASILY SPOT ANY MISTAKES
In the analysis stage, Optimera Estonia AS engaged people from all corners of the company to describe how things work, what the bottlenecks are and how they think work can be made faster, easier and more convenient. Among those engaged were sales attendants, cashiers, client managers, store directors, storage workers, accountants, and managers from all levels.
“Our goal was to obtain the maximum from standard solutions and to reinvent the bicycle as little as possible. We compared every proposition with the developments in the old solution and tried to reason whether and why we should develop it in the new,” emphasizes Vesik. Generally companies do not go over their processes on such a systematic and detailed scale, especially not with a software partner.
Optimera Estonia AS
Optimera Estonia AS, the owner of the chain of stores under the brand Ehituse ABC, belongs since 2008 to the Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic company concern the sole owner of which is Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s leading construction material, high-tech material, and glass maker and construction material seller.
Ehituse ABC chain includes 11 construction material stores all over Estonia: in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Rakvere, Jõhvi, Haapsalu, and Loksa. The largest store is in Tallinn at the address Peterburi tee 71.
Sven Vesik is the Development Director at Optimera Estonia AS.
Solution contain finance, sales, replenishment, warehouse and mobile solutions, POS, loyality solutions, credit management etc.
Ehituse ABC webpage http://ehituseabc.ee/about-us-eng/about-the-company/