Microsoft Dynamics AX/CRM
“The combination of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM has allowed us to create and launch marketing campaigns and activity specific to the customer. At the same time we can now access each customer’s activities in one view, so that we can research and understand what the customer likes and how to contact him or her.”
Jessica Zöhner, Head of Marketing
CP Pump Systems AG is a Swiss precision engineering company which has, for more than half a century, developed and produced premium level centrifugal pumps for the chemical (basic and fine chemical, agrochemical and speciality chemical), pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and beverage as well as pulp and paper industries. Throughout the research, development and manufacturing stages, CP Pump Systems combines state-of-the-art technologies with an unrivalled wealth of knowledge and experience and works in partnership with its customers in more than 40 countries.
Having considered future business requirements, as set out by the board of the company and reviewed its existing ERP system, Miracle, CP Pump Systems confirmed that it had reached the end of its technical lifecycle and would be replaced by a more modern solution. Specifically Miracle was capable of operating predominantly as an address database, with some extensions added to track customer interactions and quotes. Time-tracking, payroll, finance, document management and delivery processes were managed by individual software programs, making business operations inefficient. The IT staff were relied upon to support the rest of the business with a system which was not fit for purpose, so standard, flexible software was required when the ERP solution was upgraded.
As a manufacturer for high-end technology, CP Pump Systems had to be efficient from sales to manufacture, delivery and maintenance, and required a sophisticated, up-to-date reporting solution, with the Sales and Service teams needing a way to create a sophisticated overview of customers without the need to contact the customer directly. The new solution also needed to support extensive intercompany dataflow and integrate PLM, DMS, time-tracking, payroll and finance functions, to improve management information and facilitate enterprise-wide resource planning.
CP Pump Systems decided to look for a hosted solution, to reduce the total cost of IT ownership of as much as possible. The answer was a full suite of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, in combination with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and Officeatwork, a SharePoint-Based DMS, all implemented by AlfaPeople. The AlfaPeople team also introduced a ‘just-in-time’ bi-directional Data-Exchange for AX/CRM, which provided a solid data interface between the various systems.
A product configurator, Document Management System, payroll, time tracking and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) were all integrated. These enhancements reduced the reliance on Excel lists, which were previously in place because Miracle did not offer PLM, time tracking or a DMS (Document Management System).
At an operational level, the first challenge for a new solution to overcome was that of quoting. It’s a complex process for CP Pump Systems as each pump is highly customisable and many customers need to use a configurator to try different options before placing an order. A browser-based product configurator was integrated to help customers decide on their final pump more easily and aid the international sales team with activity tracking and offline working capabilities. What followed was an improvement in the company’s sales capabilities as the team could identify opportunities, create more efficient and accurate quotes and track the customer lifecycle, as well as benefiting the newly-established marketing department. As Jessica Zöhner, Head of Marketing at CP Pumps says: “The combination of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM has allowed us to create and launch marketing campaigns and activity specific to the customer. At the same time we can now access each customer’s activities in one view, so that we can research and understand what the customer likes and how to contact him or her.”
Beyond the quoting system, orders and invoices for pumps were delivered with complex instruction and usage manuals which, in some cases, could be specific for each pump. The integrated document management system enabled search capabilities as well as integration to the Sales, PLM, delivery and invoicing processes, including freight documents required and export permission flows to support international exporting. Officeatwork’s template management capabilities ensured that all this was carried out in line with the corporate identity.
The intended goals were clear from CP Pumps initial ERP search, and Microsoft Dynamics AX has delivered:
Total cost of ownership reduction
With the goal to establish a truly modern and efficient IT function which supports and integrates all of CP Pump Systems processes, the introduction of the just-in-time data-exchange between the systems and the hosted environment reduced the total cost of ownership and the dependency manual support from the IT team.
New channels lead to faster access to information
New features in the combination of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM have advanced CP Pump System’s sales and marketing capabilities by opening new channels and delivering more and higher quality customer intelligence. This has further aided the business by being available to all customer-facing departments as well as for back office, management, production and service functions.
A modern technology stack with solutions that are state-of-the-art, and which the vendor can supplement with new channels and technologies in the future, ensures that this new suite of a solution will be a sustainable investment. Thomas Würsch, CEO at CP Pump Systems said: “Through the use of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM, we now have the tools and abilities to make sure our corporate strategy is innovative and future-proof. The sustainability we have achieved as a result of this project plays an important role in our business, which we should not lose sight of.”