Industry: Travel & Leisure
"From the start we noticed that our Cegeka analyst was a true professional: he asked a lot of questions and showed real interest in our trade."JOHAN WULTEPUTTE - VICE-PRESIDENT, KMSH
Johan Wulteputte, vice president, and Sven Wastijn, IT project lead, use the following metaphor to describe the old setup: ‘The government expects us to keep a lot of data up to date, such as pedigrees, the history and health situation of dogs, and so on. But doing that with an AS400 system would be like building an annexe for an old house: theoretically possible, but impractical, inefficient and expensive in the long term.’
‘Sooner or later you have to make the switch’, Sven says. ‘Maintenance for our old system was too expensive, and it was also getting more and more difficult to find IT professionals who could develop it. We also wanted to be able to support our customers, i.e. the dog breeders, in the best way possible in these digital times. For example, they have to be able to quickly access their dogs’ information or register puppies online. So it was clear that we needed to digitize. First, I thought about implementing a tailor-made system, but Cegeka eventually changed our minds and introduced us to Microsoft Dynamics 365.’
Johan continues: ‘We were pleasantly surprised by Cegeka's proposal. They immediately figured out what we needed. On the one hand, this was because of their vast experience, but also because the Cegeka analyst had actually done research on dogs and kennel club breeding. And that's how you recognize a good analyst: he can empathize with the customer’s needs, he asks a lot of questions and he really immerses himself in the subject matter.’
The first workshops with KMSH’s key users started in May 2016. The go-live was scheduled less than a year later. ‘This was faster than I’d expected’, Sven says. ‘It was possible because of several factors: very tight testing and evaluation flows, weekly meetings to discuss progress, and open communication and cooperation. The most difficult obstacle was certainly data migration, which is of course normal in this type of project. This was mainly because the data in our old database was not structured properly. Thanks to a few workshops and custom development we managed to tackle this problem efficiently.’
‘Today, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the beating heart of our organization. We also have Dynamics NAV for financial transactions, SharePoint for our digital archive and our intranet, an e-counter for members and a brand new website. The whole cloud story is also interesting for our customers’, Johan says. ‘On our new website, breeders can easily report, advertise and follow-up on a new litter of puppies. The role of our employees has also changed drastically: from entering data in our system to offering real customer service.’
Koninklijke Maatschappij St-Hubertus, abbreviated as KMSH, has been collecting and keeping data on pedigree dogs since 1882. Slightly less old, but also relatively prehistoric, was their AS400 system from 1987, which was used as a file and database server. High maintenance costs, lack of flexibility and increasingly stringent legislation forced KMSH to move to a modern, user-friendly environment. Cegeka guided them into the digital age.