From now on, when you buy a new windscreen from Carglass, your order will be placed somewhere in the cloud. The car glass repair and replacement company has started using new business software which runs on Microsoft Azure in Microsoft data centres in Amsterdam and Dublin. This makes Carglass the first organisation Belgium to accommodate its ERP application, Microsoft Dynamics AX, in the public cloud. IT service provider Cegeka took care of the ERP integration and also developed additional software for Carglass.
All business units now get their information from the cloud. This includes: Fitting (the business unit that repairs or replaces windscreens), the European Distribution Centre, and shared services such as Finance and HR. “We believe very strongly in the cloud. The response times, stability and flexibility in particular have been much improved. It doesn’t require much effort to scale up or reduce capacity, and we no longer need to worry about our IT infrastructure. It's also faster to start up because the technology is already configured” says Jean-Paul Teyssen, CEO of Carglass.
Faster intake of jobs
An extensive study was carried out prior to the software project, and Cegeka recommended a ready-made ERP package for managing standard processes such as accounting, logistics, finance and sales. Carglass then opted for Microsoft Dynamics AX on the basis of total cost and capacity for integration. This software will give Carglass a better overview of stock management and pricing, amongst other things.
The study also showed that custom software was required for company-specific processes such as work scheduling by the contact centre and interventions by technicians. Because the module is fully integrated with the ERP software, the order feasibility checks run much faster so jobs can be accepted more quickly by dispatching.
The application was developed in house and is used both for mobile jobs and in the 44 service centres in Belgium and Luxembourg. All information relating to jobs in progress is updated in the application. And when a window is replaced in an underground garage without internet access, for example, the app continues to run locally before synchronising with the underlying system as soon as there’s a connection again.
“The purchasing, sales, stock and job scheduling management will be very much simplified with our new applications. This means the transmission of orders, invoice preparation and organisation of customer bookings will run much more smoothly than before. The aim is for all our departments to be even better coordinated. For example, at the moment we currently need three separate applications to trace and order extra items that are low in stock. Our new ERP will replace all these different computer programs,” says Stefan Vuylsteke, Finance and IT Director at Carglass Belux.
Fully integrated processes
The custom software built by Cegeka consists amongst other things of an extra layer that doesn’t just integrate with Dynamics AX, but also with numerous other applications. This includes a connection to the Carglass website, telephony software, time registration system, stock management application and European database for windows and accessories from the parent company, Belron.
Carglass manages its own environment in Microsoft Azure, but outsources the application management to Cegeka. “We opted for Cegeka on the basis of our good understanding and past successes. It also makes things easier to have a single partner for all your applications, infrastructure and service management,” says Stefan Vuylsteke.
Carglass started using the new ERP package in its European distribution centre at the start of December 2015, and the other business units will follow in phases in 2016.
Stefan Vuylsteke, Finance & IT Director - Carglass Belux