Headquartered in Bocholt, Germany, the company’s customer service includes 24 hour delivery, stocks of over 12,000 products as well as bespoke deliveries for even the smallest orders.
With subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Italy, and France, Ostermann is opening up more and more international markets. However, the internal IT structures were no longer able to map the more complex business processes adequately and so the company looked for a software solution that could
- manage multiple subsidiaries
- handle multiple languages
- facilitate master data maintenance
- support customer communication
- improve customer service.
Ostermann has found all this in SAP ERP. Together with SAP subsidiary Steeb Anwendungssysteme, the company has implemented the integrated, internationally standardized application in just five months. The implementation package consisted of the pre-configured Steeb Fix ERP package and Steeb Fix CIC (Customer Interaction Center).
Everything in one system
Midmarket Award for Ostermann
After reaching the finals in 2007, Ostermann was honored as a finalist in the “Großen Preis des Mittelstandes” (Major Prize for the Midmarket) award in 2008. This accolade is granted to companies in Germany for: outstanding overall development, creation and safeguarding of jobs and positions for trainees, innovation, commitment to the local region, service, and customer proximity.
“We faced three major challenges during the implementation project. First, we wanted our employees to start working with the new SAP ERP solution quickly. Second, we had to reconcile our business processes, which were already complex, with the standardized SAP processes. And third, we wanted to further optimize our order inflow,” says Johannes Teriete of the consultancy TERIETE IT-Beratung and external project manager at Ostermann.
The SAP applications for accounting and controlling, incoming orders, ordering and materials planning, packing, warehousing and picking as well as delivery and shipping are now available to roughly 200 users. From the customer call to order entry through packing and shipping – every step of the process is carried out on the same medium in the same system. All cross-company business processes are mapped electronically. SAP ERP is used in all subsidiaries.
Clear overview of customer data through a central cockpit
Telesales are the cornerstone of sales and marketing at Ostermann. This is why Steeb’s partner Cycos also installed a new Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) solution, connected directly to the SAP system, during the SAP ERP implementation. This computer telephony integration provides the basis for fast telephone sales. The solution based on this is the Customer Interaction Center, a component of SAP CRM.
Acting as a central cockpit for all employees in the sales department, it ensures that all the relevant master data, such as address, bank, or payment details, is displayed on the screen each time a customer calls. This means that all customer information is available at a single click and can be further processed.
Before the conversion to SAP, each order had to be post-processed in different systems. Because this is no longer necessary, employees can take considerably more orders in the same amount of time. In addition, incoming orders are processed much faster.
“The new integrated SAP solution increases our transparency and efficiency. We have established the necessary IT structure for further profitable growth both in Germany and in the rest of Europe,” says Dagmar Daxenberger, managing director of Ostermann.
Rudolf Ostermann GmbH
Ostermann is the largest European mail-order company for edgebands and fittings for the wood-working industry. Its key customers are joiners and carpenters. Since 1992, the company has increased its annual revenue on average by more than 15 percent. During the last four years, Ostermann increased its revenue by 76 percent to 67 million euros and created 86 additional jobs. The company now has 220 employees.