Interview with Markus Felsch
General Manager of Felsch Lighting Design
Dynamics 365 Sales
Felsch Lighting Design is an independently operating Lighting Design company with its headquarter located in Hamburg, Germany. The founder got into business with his own office in 2004. Today he can look back on twenty years of experience with handling light as material in national and international projects. A team of qualified experts plan and consult their customers.
“Ultimately, the success of a project depends upon the effective and good collaboration of all team members in a project. Since the CRM Update project to Version 2016, I feel very well supported and understood by AlfaPeople. My wishes and requirements are solved promptly and entirely. The communication and cooperation is very pleasant.”
Please briefly introduce your company.
Felsch Lighting Design is an internationally operating engineering company with the focus on lighting planning and design. With currently five employees we are concentrating on all scope phases from regulation of fees for architect and engineer services (HOAI), special lamp development as well as distribution and installation of lighting systems.
How did you become aware of the AlfaPeople GmbH?
We became aware of AlfaPeople in an indirect way. Whilst searching for a new Project Management Software and as a replacement for our Software SuccessControl we took notice of the software solution “Assistance PSA”. AlfaPeople is a partner of Assistance Software and acts as implementation partner in Germany.
What was your IT environment like prior to the implementation?
Our IT-infrastructure is completely operated on-premise. Before the implementation, we worked with SuccessControl. In the course of the implementation of Assistance PSA, we also introduced Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales as a replacement for SuccessControl. Already before this implementation we mainly used Microsoft products. This includes Microsoft Exchange for Emailing, Windows Server as operating system including Active Directory, Client Operating Systems, and Office products like Word, Excel and Outlook.
Why it was important to start with the implementation of a Customer Management and Project Management software?
Due to the continuous growth of Felsch Lighting Design during the last 10 years we were finally looking for a software solution that meets all our IT requirements.
In projects like the airport terminal T2 in Oslo all aspects of Felsch Lighting Design`s services have been requested. More than 10.000 light points have been planned, developed and delivered by our experts. With having more and more customers we are requiring a project management software Solution that supports us to solve all these complex projects. This also includes an effective reporting about won and lost sales opportunities, access to local resources from anywhere as well as the connection and integration of Microsoft Outlook. Our existing software solution was not able to keep pace with all these things.
Which needs could not be covered by the old solution?
The recording of time and booking of hours was not possible for our projects. This meant an extensive administrative effort for us managing projects. Furthermore, there was no Outlook integration, E-Mails couldn’t be linked into the system directly. Personalized E-Mails couldn’t be created and sent automatically. Contacting our customers by E-Mail was very difficult or not possible at all.
Why did you opt for Dynamics CRM? and Assistance PSA?
The combination of Dynamics 365 and Assistance PSA is the optimal prerequisite foring our business requirements. The implementation of a non-Microsoft product would have increased the costs and expenses. We have decided to have all software products from a single source preferably. Finally, we were convinced by the concept of Assistance PSA.
What challenges were you confronted with during the implementation and how did you overcome these?
The effective usage of Assistance PSA and Microsoft Dynamics CRM means a high expenditure on administration and configuration.
A certain level of endurance is necessary to establish the whole solution and to make it understandable for each employee. It is not a single product installation alone but such an implementation of a complex and comprehensive software means to start a long process. Also, the training of all employees was very time-consuming.
What is going to happen now? What are the next milestones?
During the next phase, we will use more and more functions of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sale and Assistance PSA also in more depth, like project management, invoicing, offerings and order management. Furthermore, the goal is to capture the whole process from lead generation to invoicing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Assistance PSA. We also want to use the forecast calculation at the beginning of a project as well as the analysis of past projects. With Sales, as part of Microsoft Dynamics 365, we are in a very good position for this.
Which improvements could be highlighted in connection with the CRM and PSA implementation?
I would like to point out two great functions from Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Assistance PSA. First, the report and analysis function of the CRM System. It’s possible to compare important project information of all data records which are saved in the system and if it’s necessary to draw relevant conclusions.
We also profit from the project-related hour booking functionality of Assistance PSA. I’ve got an accurate summary of all booked hours. Before the implementation, it took a long time. Right now, I can focus on my business.
How would you describe the collaboration with AlfaPeople?
Ultimately, the success of a project depends upon the effective and good collaboration of all team members in a project. Since the CRM Update project to Version 2016, I feel very well supported and understood by AlfaPeople. My wishes and requirements are solved promptly and entirely. The communication and cooperation is very pleasant.