Since 2016, injection molding machine company Stork has been running the Merkato software. With a production of 120 orders per year, this is the smallest company in its market in Europe and the only one in the Netherlands. Where competitors bet on standard machines, Stork IMM delivers what its customers want and this makes them unique. However, this distinction also has a downside. It created a culture within Stork IMM, where sales could arbitrarily take the wishes of the customer into the organization. To be able to create order, the configurator has been purchased. Johan Visser, product manager at Stork IMM, talks about the use of Merkato.
“For the purchase of the configurator, the salesmen first went to Stock IMM’s customers. They noted the requirements of the customer, after which an offer or order was drawn up internally. The disadvantage of this was that every customer made different demands on the machine, creating a wide variety of special customer requirements. However, it soon became apparent that many points of the customers were in agreement, while a completely new process was always being created. This made it clear within our company that the sales process had to be changed. With this step the wishes of the customer had to be translated directly and unambiguously into the sale of our Stork IMM products. It became clear that this required a cultural change within sales.
In addition to this new perspective on our sales process, there was also an internal change, the purchase
of a new ERP system. The old version was written internally and the programmers of this system were no longer working within Stork IMM. The system was also too complicated to work properly with. The purchase of a new ERP package was done, but the wishes of Stork in terms of calculation and quotation generation could not be realized with this system. This caused the second reason why a sales configurator had to be found. ”
The best match
“Based on the skills of my colleagues and me, I talked at the timewith various parties. With my background in programming, Merkato is the best fit, because I can create what I want in this. The packages of the other parties are too limited in terms of possibilities. They are certain blocks of options that can be linked to each other. When a function in the system needs to become a bit more complex, programming becomes very difficult immediately. Nobody in our team can do that. And we don’t want to be able to do that either. Merkato also makes it possible for a non-programmer to enter and maintain complex matters in an easy way.
When purchasing the sales configurator, further consideration was given than just the front of the system. By investigating this well, we have found the best match with Merkato. ”
“In August 2016, after two months of implementation, the sales configurator was ready for use. The ERP system and the configurator were quickly put into use, which was accompanied by varying successes. Due to this rapid change within Stork IMM, the functionality was not yet optimal. We had taken too little time internally to transfer our information in the right way, which meant that the first months were somewhat messy for us.
Where the backend of Merkato needed to be optimized internally, with the front side we immediately achieved exactly what we had in mind: overview among our customers. The first impression with a customer must be good immediately and that is what we can now offer. Without Merkato, our presentation would look hopelessly outdated. Now we are able to explain to a new customer exactly what is included in our end product within an hour, because the configurator looks neat and the quotation, which is generated at the touch of a button, is clearly prepared and all necessary contains information. ”
“The distinctive character of Stork IMM remains. On the one hand we want to translate the wishes of our customers into a machine and thereby distinguish ourselves from our competitors. On the other hand, we want to create an overview of the standard products of Stork IMM. Thanks to Merkato there is a possibility in which both sides can continue to exist.
Our sellers now go to the customer to sell our products, but are also able to accommodate the extra wishes. These “specials” can be entered in Merkato and this does not require any special actions. In fact, I don’t have to program anything, because the “special” can simply be entered textually by the seller. I just have to check if the wishes of the customer are technically feasible. We must filter what it costs, manufacturability and whether we want to produce it at all. For this a workflow with validation and an authorization battle has been implemented in Merkato. ”
“The arrival of Merkato appears to have a positive effect within Stork IMM. From a customer-focused “specials” culture, we are slowly changing into a strong organization with a good market vision and our own products and options. The wishes of our customers remain central, but we provide guidance. In addition, the sellers can now move more independently on the road instead of having to check everything for manufacturability. This saves a lot of valuable time.
Merkato fits in perfectly with our ERP system (Trimergo) and creates overview, clarity and clarity. With this sales configurator we can show our customers what we want to show. We achieved what we wanted to achieve with the sales configurator, but we keep changing, because there is always something to improve. This is also a point that I like about Quootz: they keep renewing the products and are open to feedback. “