“Implementing a technician scheduling solution to support worldwide customer service excellence.”

COMPANY OVERVIEW

The HOMAG Group is the world’s leading provider of production solutions for the woodworking industry and
woodworking shops. Since its foundation in 1960 in Germany, the HOMAG Group has developed a huge range of innovations and established many products on the woodwork market – including wood processing machines, industrial production lines, and related software, services, and spare parts – with a worldwide customer service that supports its presence in 100 countries through 22 service points. Customer satisfaction, trust and reliability is at the heart of the HOMAG Group’s corporate philosophy and values. Strong of its engineering skills, innovative foresight and highly trained 6,400 employees, HOMAG is a part of the Dürr Group, one of the world’s leading mechanical and plant engineering firms.

CHALLENGES

Prior to implementing Visual Planning, the HOMAG Group had been using Microsoft CRM, Outlook agendas and Excel spreadsheets to manage its technicians’ schedules and customer service operations. However, this solution proved insufficient. The lack of communication, visibility and flexibility provided in Outlook generated many organizational issues.

The system they had before was too slow with limited functionality and led to massive discontent within the users. For example, when a technician was unavailable, their manager could not easily reassigned a task, due to the lack of a centralized master schedule to consolidate all the information about technicians. On one hand, the centralized planning function in SAP-PS was powerful but extremely complex, and on the other, basic schedules were handled through Excel spreadsheets. However, this hardly covered the full spectrum of planning and scheduling needs at the HOMAG group.
The communication was convoluted too: to plan any task, they had to organize a meeting beforehand and get everyone on board, which was extremely time consuming.

HOMAG’s main need was to find a flexible and collaborative scheduling solution to get better results and to ensure that schedule information was shared worldwide in a transparent manner.

THE SOLUTION

After evaluating the available solutions on the market, Visual Planning was selected to demonstrate capabilities in front of 20 of their experts. Due to the importance of this decision, representatives of all service points of the HOMAG Group were invited.  

“This software contains everything that we need – not more, not less. Besides, we were convinced by the software’s flexibility and its excellent performance”, said Peter FroelichSenior Manager Information Technology at HOMAG GmbH, the German headquarters. 

Indeed, Visual Planning matched the purpose and their expectations for a resource planning system. It was easily integrated within their IT systems through data sharing interfaces. The flexibility of Visual Planning made it possible to install and adapt a variety of planning templates in correspondence with their needs, without the necessity of additional programming or custom developmentIn addition, Visual Planning was configured to allow users to create any kind of ad-hoc planning scenario. The group was no longer wasting time on planning and scheduling tasks.  

Today, over 500 staff members use Visual Planning at the HOMAG Group. In addition to the initial technician resource schedule, they also use Visual Planning for their showroom, research department and order engineering, as well as tracking demand in the tendering stage. 

RESULTS FROM PAPER INTENSIVE TO PAPERLESS

Thanks to Visual Planning, the HOMAG Group deployed a content-rich scheduling solution worldwide and achieved high user acceptance in all sectors. Key project objectives were met, sich as:  signature3

 

Process management

by improving their resource planning workflow for technicians, they successfully reached a global harmonization in their customer service processes.

Return on investment

they reached their target ROI in 14 months.

Humain ressources

Relying on accurate information contained in Visual Planning, the stuff is completing scheduled work faster and become more efficient.