Markslöjd Sp. z o.o. is a member of the Swedish Markslöjd Lighting Group (MLG), which manufactures and distributes lighting products. The Group has operations in 13 countries. MLG designs, manufactures and sells lighting equipment designed for both home and public spaces that is sold under the corporation’s two brands, Markslöjd and LampGustaf. Markslöjd Sp. z o.o. has operated in Poland for many years. It supplies the Group’s products to the Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovakian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Russian markets. The company has its head office and logistics centre for its Central and Eastern European operations in Dąbrowa near Poznań.
The company’s customers include large DIY hypermarkets as well as lighting and furniture shops. It is a partner for such chains as Castorama, Leroy Merlin, Black Red White, OBI, Praktiker, Agata Meble, Merkury Market and Bricomarche. Its products are sold at approx. 250 retail points and in roughly 100 online shops. Markslöjd Sp. z. o. o. has 50 employees.
Markslöjd Sp. z o.o. as the only of the 7 subsidiaries of Markslöjd Lighting Group did not work with a system for item delivery automation. This process was organised by a mother company – partially from Sweden, and partially from Markslojd’s subsdiaries in China. The software used in Poland did not support automated access to master data stored in headquarters such as price lists or inventory levels.
Markslöjd would also encounter many difficulties in collaborating with its external partners, which involved ordering, sales and logistics processes. Data such as delivery dates, freight volumes and product demand were generated in various systems used by partners and then sent by mail or electronic mail. Transferring and entering data in Markslojd was burdened with errors.
The Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation project involved 3 stages and was delivered in accordance to the Microsoft’s Sure Step methodology. The first stage included the gap analysis and the preparation of an IT platform for system deployment. The second phase involved system implementation and the integration of existing applications. The implementation and testing of dedicated functionalities and the development and modifications of the application was the final stage.
Due to the fact that the core processes used jointly by Markslöjd and its six business partners rely heavily on document flow, it was necessary to implement an EDI standard (electronic document interchange) solution. After the EDI implementation, each of the company’s partners has continued to generate documents in their own format; however, the documents are subsequently converted into a single, consistent format based on XML files. Documents transmitted by a partner (such as purchase orders, shipment orders or invoices) that would otherwise need to be printed, are now generated as predefined data structures. This facilitates their further processing.
Implementation of the EDI standard has significantly helped reduce costs, eliminate data entry errors, streamline information flows, increase data processing rates and shorten order-to-delivery and invoicing payment cycles.
It also provided access to electronic documents with a standardized structure and enhanced reporting: both to the parent company and for internal purposes. Reports and forms are generated based on electronic documents in both the QlikView software and the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system’s BI (Business Intelligence) module.
Development of a single, common standard for company documentation and integration of the B2B online platform used by partners, who log in to the system using a dedicated interface, enabled full utilization of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system’s potential. It aids in the company’s business-critical processes. In the new system, an order submitted by a partner is now automatically redirected from the B2B application to Markslöjd’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. Before the implementation, such an order would have been fed into the system manually, thereby slowing down processing and possibly causing errors. Now, as soon as the system records a purchase order, it automatically allocates stock items to it and confirms availability to the ordering party. The order is then automatically submitted to the requisitions processing department.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s CRM module, implemented at Markslöjd, efficiently supports the company’s online operations. It combines features designed to maximize the quality and effectiveness of all customer/partner support activities; regardless of whether the customer uses the B2B platform and the purchasing module, or if he/she has placed an order by telephone or fax.
The CRM module handles a variety of processes with diverse levels of complexity. These range from recording customer interactions in their simplest format (customer, date, consultant, description of the interaction, time of customer contact, etc.) to task scheduling and activity planning (task owner, task due date, priority, percentage of completion, etc.) on to development of customer service procedures. In the case of Markslöjd, the module is used to handle 800 to 1,500 sub-processes every day.
Implementation of the electronic data exchange solution at Markslöjd obviously enhanced the company’s document management processes as a part of Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s dedicated module. The module supports gathering, indexing and sharing all types of documents; both the ones created within the company and received from external sources. It also helps find them quickly based on specific criteria. Moreover, it ensures that sales invoices are automatically sent to partners via email.
Increased efficiency and improved standardization of data exchange with the head office and partners enabled by B2B platform integration
Streamlined administrative and sales processes
Automated data transmission from the Astro warehouse management system to Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Standardised format of documents received from partners, including purchase invoices
Ability to create reports and records quickly, based on data from disparate systems used by various business partners
Structured document circulation that reflects process flows within the company