Feintool International Holding benefits from considerable time savings through Fellowmind
Feintool International Holding AG is an internationally active Swiss technology group with a total of 15 plants in Europe, the USA and the Far East. The group of companies uses Dynamics 365 Sales to control its worldwide sales and to calculate the offer prices for each location. In order to meet the complexity of its market-oriented pricing policy, Feintool needed an optimization of its customer engagement platform.
Different price calculations on the same basis
Feintool’s most important product group are components for the automotive industry, which are manufactured using high-pressure processes. For example mechanical components for seat adjustments, transmission components and clutch plates. The supplier market is very competitive worldwide, so a good pricing policy is crucial for business success. The difficulty of the matter: the prices vary greatly from region to region. In addition, they have to be adjusted regularly – for example due to fluctuating raw material prices.
With Dynamics 365 Sales, Feintool found the right system and replaced the previous regional programs. All sales teams in the entire group now use the same cloud-based platform. This leads to a homogeneous and thus more efficient data maintenance. The on-site sales department can therefore calculate regionally-specific component prices in the relevant national currency very flexibly. At the same time, the transparency of all global activities and market opportunities improves for management. In addition, it is now very easy to set uniform standards centrally for the entire group of companies and to adapt them very quickly if necessary, for example the calculation model or the level of margins. Another plus: as a Microsoft product, Dynamics can be easily linked with other Microsoft systems, for example with the Office applications already in use and with SharePoint.
“The team doesn’t just score with crucial expert knowledge around Microsoft Dynamics, but also in project management.“
Lars Reich, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Feintool US Operations Inc.
Personal exchange is also immensely important in the digital age
At the end of 2016, Feintool made the decision to introduce the latest Dynamics 365 Sales version. Now, it was a matter of engaging a suitable management consultant. The conditions for this were to take into account the considerable number of users affected and the tight deadlines and also to meet Feintool’s high quality requirements for their CRM system. In addition, the work for the rollout had to take place in parallel with ongoing operations and with as little impact as possible on daily events, i.e. little downtime, set-up and changeover times.
“We were happy to see how reliably and smooth the team managed the project and brought it to a successful ending in only around one and a half years. It was exactly the right combination of technical know-how and the ability to efficiently manage such a complex IT project. ”
Lars Reich, Executive VP of Sales and Marketing, Feintool US Operations Inc.
The concept phase for the programming lasted 18 months, the implementation then only took 10 months. A big plus was that the headquarter of the team is centrally located in Eschborn and is easily accessible via Frankfurt Airport. In this way, in a very short time and with relatively little effort, personal meetings with the project staff could always be arranged. According to Lars Reich, this is an important factor for the success of complex projects, even in the digital age.
Customizing at a high level
The software upgrade had to be optimized in many areas for the needs of Feintool and its automotive customers. With some topics you could orientate yourself on the existing customizing, in other places new approaches were apprehended. “It was certainly helpful that the same team accompanied us throughout the entire project. The team quickly developed a deep understanding of our sales processes and the specifics of our market”, explains Lars Reich. “The scope of the adjustment was extreme and required the corresponding group-wide coordination and approval loops. Without the high level of personal commitment of all those involved, we would certainly not have been able to secure this type of quality”, he concluded.
The discovery phase continues
The new solution is now live at all locations. “Our 70 salespeople are still in the process of properly discovering the subtleties of the functionality”, says Lars Reich. “Fellowmind has introduced all key users to the new Dynamics 365 Sales. For this purpose, one to two-day user training courses were held on site in Europe and the USA, as well as in Japan and China. Thanks to many automation elements and the location- and customer-specific adaptations that have been developed, our employees have accepted the new system very well. ”Currently, there is a need for action with the synchronization of Outlook contacts on mobile devices. “But here we are working with Fellowmind to develop a pragmatic solution”, says Lars Reich.
Time savings when calculating
The bottom line is that Lars Reich already draws a very positive balance: “For the first time we have transparency about all global offer activities. We have achieved the greatest improvement in the calculation of component prices: thanks to customer-specific programming, we are around 30 percent faster in calculating prices. That actually exceeded our expectations. “
“The collaboration with Feintool was professional and varied from the start. Everyone involved worked hand in hand and made this project a success.”
Carsten Möller, Head of Support, CRM Partners