Geesinknorba produces perhaps one of the most necessary products that can be imagined within society, namely waste collection vehicles. From household waste to construction waste and from Amsterdam to Quito in Ecuador: the vehicles of Geesinknorba can be found worldwide. With eight locations throughout Europe, it is one of the largest suppliers of waste collection vehicles.
In Emmeloord where the head office is located, we speak with Stefan Snoek. The department where he works is the link between the various sales offices (called branches) and the factory. Here he is responsible for the implementation of the Merkato Software within Geesinknorba. Ever since Stefan Snoek came to work at Geesinknorba, the purchase of a configurator was discussed. In 2016, after thorough market research, the choice was made to become a Quootz customer.
The Geesinknorba method
"Our eight locations are in England, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands, where the Export branch is also located. It is important that every branch sells and communicates in a comparable manner. This was different before we started this process. Each branch sold the same products, but used its own sales method. This resulted in different price calculations, commercial texts and more, while everyone basically did the same work, "says Stefan Snoek. "This was an important reason for us to purchase a configurator.
In addition, each site has many translations within the process of selling a waste collection vehicle. With a large number of translations, the chance of errors logically increased, Geesinknorba showed. In July 2016, the Merkato configurator was introduced within Geesinknorba to centralize the eight locations and to reduce translation.
Implementation phase 1
The implementation started in the engineering department, but was soon placed in the hands of Stefan, because the configurator is a strategic and functional sales tool and can therefore be better implemented by the users themselves. Because people used to work from an Excel list, most of the information was already traceable and the implementation of the product information was relatively easy and quick to complete. Due to the rapid success of this part of the implementation, Stefan soon got another challenge on his plate:
"At the start of the implementation process, it turned out that there was a lot of work for us in the organization of the workflows. To use one sales method within Geesinknorba, basic documents for the sale had to be set up first. After an analysis of the different translations per department, clear basic documents were drawn up. This enables us to communicate everything in a consistent way to both the customer and internally.
Implementing all products that we can resulted in the delivery taking longer than we had hoped. This is the reason that we are not yet running entirely on Merkato. Two of the five products now go to the factory via the software, namely the GPM 4 and GPM Mini. With a view to new products in the future and the existing products, we therefore have to go a bit before we are finished with full implementation. On the other hand, things will always keep changing and fortunately making adjustments to Merkato is easy. The configurator will therefore probably never be completely finished, but it will always be improved and adjusted accordingly. "
Implementation phase 2
The second challenge for Stefan was to make all works work according to the new working method.
"This changed working method, which came about with the introduction of the configurator, gave some resistance from the users in the beginning. By listening carefully to the users and working together with them, they quickly got the new method under the knee. That is how they saw the benefits and fortunately we often heard that the software saved them a lot of time compared to their former way of working. The branches became enthusiastic at those moments. They just had to cross the threshold and leave the familiar behind.
We are not done with this phase of implementation either. In the Benelux, for example, the field service already works completely with Merkato, but in Spain only the field service. This depends on the different wishes per country. We try to run everything in the same way with some flexibility here and there. In the Netherlands, a seller can immediately print a quote to someone who has no additional requirements, but in Spain they prefer that their office staff checks every quote. These are the small things for which you change the workflow slightly per site, but in principle the working method already matches each other. "
Contact with Quootz
"At the start of the implementation of Merkato I received training from Rinck. This went very well, but because our workflows are so complicated, I asked for a few days of extra support in building them up. Because of this I learned the tricks of the trade and I found this very pleasant. At the moment I only send an e-mail when I come across something. When something does not work or does not yet exist in Merkato, there are always opportunities to further develop this software. I find this flexibility very pleasant. My only drawback is that the software does not always work pleasantly on a tablet, while within our organisation there are plans to have the field sales completely transferred to tablets.
Merkato within Geesinknorba
Despite the fact that Stefan is not yet completely finished with the implementation of Merkato within Geesinknorba, he is very pleased with the results achieved so far. The working hours of the office staff have been significantly reduced, there are no more translations within the entire sales process and the Geesinknorba working method has been uniformly introduced for everyone. In addition, the production department now rolls out an error-free order every time and the customer always has the guarantee that the vehicle delivered is actually what he ordered.
"The possibilities with Quootz are great and I hope to achieve my ultimate goal through this: All our products in one tool, for all our sellers, each in his own language, both for the office and field staff and around the world. And that tool is of course Merkato. This is already a reality for the first two products. We have a little bit to go, but the future is definitely in sight. "