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Konica Minolta optimised the visualisation of business processes for Mezger Rent & Service using the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP platform. Despite having the same number of employees as before, the logistics specialist can now look after a larger fleet and deliver greater growth.
The main business of Mezger Rent & Service in Mockmühl revolves around flexible offers in the field of truck rental. The commercial vehicle service provider rents out vehicles with various equipment levels for durations from a single day up to several years, while supporting its customers throughout Europe as a full-service provider. Since 2003, the Navision enterprise resource planning software has been supporting the company's business processes, which was no longer in line with current requirements after more than ten years in use.
“The company had enjoyed significant growth. This had also led to changes in terms of processes and requirements, particularly with regard to rental processing,” reports Benno Krause, Management Assistant and ERP Project Manager at Mezger Rent & Service. Added to this is the fact that the basic operating system, as well as outdated hardware and software were jeopardising the stability and the overall system could only be maintained and upgraded in very limited scope.
“The processes used depended heavily on the employees and their knowledge, as the old solution was unable to display any price tables, discount systems or special conditions, for example,” explains Krause. One of the primary objectives of the ERP project was therefore to integrate this knowledge into the system and visualise all aspects of vehicle rental processing.
In addition to this, vehicle scheduling was to be performed via the ERP solution and not using the previous tool, Microsoft Excel. It was also important to optimise internal company interfaces. For example, the workshop, which is embedded in an independent company, was to be connected more effectively. “Until now, we had to maintain common customers, vehicles and schedules separately for each of the two companies as there was no data synchronisation,” explains Krause, who had listed all processes and requirements in an almost 80-page requirements document.
For management, it was clear from the outset that they would stick with Navision or rather its successor, Microsoft Dynamics NAV. However, it was necessary to find the right partner for project implementation who could bring the necessary experience and expertise in the service and rental sector to the table. Krause examined two potential providers quite intensively.
For the project manager, the key arguments in favour of Konica Minolta were the local contacts: “We really got the feeling that the solution can be implemented effectively. For example, we got to know the project manager in the very first meeting together with our sales contact. Without changing the composition, we received first class support from one team throughout the entire project duration. In the case of the other potential providers, on the other hand, I had already spoken with four different contacts just within the contact period.”
Following a project period of around one year, during which those responsible both implemented and tested the requirements, the go-live took place in May 2016. The system was rolled out for all employees and departments in a single step without any issues, despite being introduced at the start of the month when the main accounting takes place, a highly critical time for the company. The baptism of fire was a resounding success, as Krause reports: “We did not encounter any downtimes or general problems whatsoever. A full week had been set aside for the go-live – yet we were up and running at 100% after just two days without the need for any additional support. Everything worked perfectly.”
The solution resulted in numerous benefits for Mezger Rent & Service, also supported by many improvements to details. Drafting the monthly and final invoices used to be an enormous effort. The processing of the toll payments alone often took two days, a step which has now been reduced to no more than four hours with the new system. In the past, employees also had to calculate and enter the balances for mileage and fuel levels manually. Today, this is all done automatically. The system now supports the employees, who can work in a process-oriented way and do not require any extra information. “This not only makes us faster, but also more flexible, as more employees are capable of handling invoicing. Vacation and sick days can also be compensated far more easily,” reports Krause.
There are also further benefits for financial accounting, which is partially automated and thereby avoids manual entry errors. Mezger Rent & Service no longer requires complex Microsoft Excel support for scheduling or workshop planning. Thanks to multi-client operation and the synchronisation capability, the logistics specialist avoids double data storage at two sister companies. Overall, Krause considers it a major advantage that the company can now look after both existing and new customers more effectively and manage a larger fleet with the same number of employees. This stimulates additional growth in what can be a fiercely contested market.