Gustav Barth GmbH, based in Renningen, Germany, offers the highest levels of expertise in metal trading as well as in the production of edge parts - and has been doing so for 150 years. In September 2020, the metal expert began changes towards process automation with BE-terna. The goal is to introduce Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O in almost all their company divisions and to complete the go-live in August 2021.
Outdated systems can cause processes to get rusty
Until this point, Gustav Barth GmbH had handled its processes with the NAV 2009 ERP system. Over the years, many adjustments to the system had been made, which eventually led to a situation where updates could no longer be carried out. The system had simply been "over-programmed", so a new business software solution was indispensable. After a process analysis and evaluation, a tender was published on the basis of requirement specifications which foresaw that a new version of NAV should be introduced. Nevertheless, BE-terna entered the race by offering Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O, as the solution meets the industry requirements in the best possible way.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O, from Sales to Logistics
Warehouse management and distribution are the main focus of the implementation. Compared to SAP, Dynamics 365 F&O scores particularly highly due to its user-friendliness. Furthermore, this business software is planned to be introduced at the Gustav Barth headquarters in Renningen, as well as at Barth Metal GmbH in Hainichen. The areas of sales, purchasing and logistics require particular attention during the integration, as all modules of F&O are to be used here. In the future, accounting in the financial department will be handled by the new business software solution and connected to the existing DMS with regards to incoming invoices via an interface. In transport management (logistics), the challenge is to integrate another system for route planning and the resulting optimal unloading sequences of the trucks.
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BE-terna as your reliable partner
BE-terna was convincing as a reliable partner for system integration through the quality of the pilot project, including the detailed project design. This gave the customer a precise insight into the areas that needed to be covered and those that needed to be adapted. Above all, the ability to update was important to the customer and this will be guaranteed by BE-terna. Andreas Votteler, Managing Director of Gustav Barth, is enthusiastic:
"From the outset it was clear that BE-terna had put in an extreme amount of effort."
Another important aspect for the managing director
was to have the same contact person from the beginning to the end of the
"With many consultancies, their best people are sent to the selection meeting and afterwards other people implement the project who may be less experienced." Mr Votteler comments.
BE-terna focuses on customer satisfaction and provides the metal specialist with a constant and competent project team - from the preliminary project to the planned go-live.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O, for greater customer satisfaction
Gustav Barth's customers are mostly craft companies which commonly use DATANORM for data exchanges. After a particular server update, it was no longer possible for them to receive data, which was why Gustav Barth was in danger of losing orders. With the Dynamics 365 F&O solution and the expertise of the BE-terna team, it is now possible for them to achieve better processing times, update capabilities and maintain a uniform database. Another benefit is that most of the previously required third-party systems can be omitted from now on, thanks to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
The advantages of the cloud
At the same time as implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365, Gustav Barth took a further step towards digitalization and decided to move to the cloud, even though an on-premises solution had been planned in the first place. The reason for their initial skepticism was price stability, as Andreas Votteler had feared the data being out of his hands and thus creating a dependency on the provider. This was particularly with regards to the current Covid-19 measures, which demand more and more remote working from companies and employees. The managing director is now glad about his decision to move to the cloud:
"Looking back, it was pointless to fight tooth and nail against the cloud. In the future, the sales force and office staff will particularly benefit from the accessibility of the data."
In the cloud, additional infrastructure is no longer necessary.The employees now have the option of simply connecting to a browser and thereby accessing the required information. In this way, implementation workshops can be performed without any additional effort.
Dynamics 365: Automation in all fields of business
Andreas Votteler also foresees great potential in the imminent introduction of scanners in their warehouses. Among other things, Gustav Barth produces rolls of metal, which vary in weight due to manufacturing tolerances. It is possible that one roll might weigh 59kg whilst another weighs 60kg. Of course, it is necessary to invoice for the exact weight delivered. Until now, this had to be recorded manually, then passed on to the shipping department and manually typed in again.This was a process with many possible sources of error, which is now completely automated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O and the introduction of scanners. Mr. Votteler sees further advantages in the inter-company functionalities:
"Until now, the purchasing entries of the different locations have been entered manually, which can lead to inventory miscalculations in some cases. In the future this process will be largely automated by F&O."
Agile and transparent: The BE-terna project methodology
Thanks to BE-terna's transparent way of working, Gustav Barth is able to check the status of the project and monitor processes at any time. Andreas Votteler is excited about the new functions, which are already becoming apparent during the implementation:
"Compared to previous projects, this is not only a different league, but a different sport."
Andreas Votteler is also looking forward to the future zero downtime functionality within the Microsoft software, as this means that the sense of apprehension about updates is no longer present and the new functions are available without interruption. In the future, data from the ERP system will be analysed through Microsoft Power BI. The implementation by the customer itself is already in process.
About Gustav Barth GmbH
More than metal – this is what Gustav Barth has to offer. With a range of over 7,000 items, Gustav Barth has everything you need to do a great job in plumbing and roofing. A large warehouse with modern machinery enables these metal experts to respond even better to customer wishes. Modern logistics and a fleet of their own vehicles guarantee fast delivery - and expert advice comes in addition. That is what Gustav Barth stands for.