Munters is a world leader in humidity control with products and services for water and fire damage restoration, dehumidification, humidification and air-cooling. Munters is structured into three geographic regions; Europe, Americas, and Asia. Their customers are found across a wide range of industries including insurance, utilities, food, pharmaceutical, agriculture and electronics.
Munters is a global enterprise with operations in 28 countries. The Americas region headquarters is located in Amesbury, Massachusetts with additional manufacturing locations in Canada, Florida, Mexico, Michigan, and Texas.
Munters Americas, to maintain their competitive advantage, wanted to improve customer service, reduce internal costs, and provide a proactive eBusiness tool for customers and internal users to place and track orders through the Internet.
Munters Americas, implemented glovia.com Customer Self-Service to enable faster and more efficient business while providing customers with a proactive business tool for improving their experience. Currently, Munters Americas is using the eBusiness tool system for inter-facility transactions of components, with plans to expand the use with their external customers.
Since implementing the solution, Munters Americas has eliminated one-third of the time it took for customer service representatives to create and confirm inter-facility orders. This equates to a significant cost savings per representative. Additionally, customer initiated orders have been more accurate resulting in fewer change orders and a more stable production plan.
Water and fire damage restoration, dehumidification, humidification and air cooling are supremely important processes for a wide range of market segments including the insurance, utility, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. One of the world’s leaders in providing humidity control products and services is Munters Corporation. Munters has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, annual net sales greater than $596 million, and is listed on Stockholmsbörsen (the Stockholm Stock Exchange). Munters has manufacturing and sales operations in 28 countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
Munters Americas implemented glovia.com in 1999 and today has four North America locations running the solution: Florida, Massachusetts, Mexico, and Texas. “Of the solutions that met all our requirements, GLOVIA was the most cost effective and the best fit solution for our business in terms of streamlining business processes and reducing costs,” says Gail Cassin, Corporate IT manager for Munters Americas.
Munters Americas -looking to maintain their competitive advantage in an industry that is constantly demanding faster, cheaper, and more efficient ways of conducting business-examined their operations to determine how they could improve processes and further streamline operations. The company focused on making improvements to the order management process to enable both internal customer service representatives and external customers to place and track their orders through the Internet.
Moving to eBusiness
Munters Americas looked at several different eBusiness solutions, but ultimately decided to implement the glovia.com Customer Self-Service module because of its seamless integration with the rest of the glovia.com suite, thus saving the time and cost of integration. “With GLOVIA’s eBusiness solution the modules are seamlessly integrated with the other components of glovia.com to enhance the functionality of the overall solution while allowing one interface for all users-whether it be a customer, sales rep, distributor, or an internal Munters’ customer,” states Keith Sauder, IT manager for Munters’ Florida and Mexico locations.
glovia.com Customer Self-Service makes it easy for Munters Americas to do business by providing better and faster service for inter-facility customers, which has lowered costs and freed up previously unavailable resources. Internal customers now have immediate access to timely and accurate information about their orders instead of having to wait for a response from a sales or customer service representative. The “shopping cart” interface supports the entire order entry process by managing customer order addition and maintenance as well as simplifying order entry with a searchable product database so users can find the products they need quickly and easily.
glovia.com, in addition to recording, maintaining, and tracking sales quote information, also automates complex products pricing.
The seamless integration with other glovia.com modules enables Munters Americas to convert sales quotes to sales orders instantly, including order number generation as well as automatic population of forms with information from customer master files to save time and eliminate data entry errors.
As a global enterprise dealing with numerous currencies and pricing structures, the security of glovia.com Customer Self-Service was also an important factor in deciding on the application. “Our products and pricing are different in each region globally and sometimes by individual customer, so we could not simply have a public Web site with our pricing. We needed a secure Web site where customers could log on individually to view their pricing only,” comments Cassin. “The secure site and integration with glovia.com enables each customer to see only the information relevant to their particular account.”
A Successful Solution
A small core team of IT and business process owners was assembled to implement the project for the inter-facility customers. As Munters Americas transports or “sells” large amounts of components between their facilities to manufacture many of their finished products, the company decided to take a two-phase approach to implementation. The first phase was to roll the new solution out within Munters Americas to make sure it ran smoothly and to provide customer service representatives time to become familiar with the system. The second phase is to provide external customers access to the system.
Munters Americas implemented the solution internally in four and a half months and is now using the system for their inter-facility transactions of components. “The system is currently working very well internally. Customer service representatives like using the application and are urging us to roll it out to our customers,” adds Cassin. Now confident the solution is effective and easy to use, Munters Americas plans to start rolling it out to customers by the end of 2005.
The solution is already making a positive impact on Munters Americas business. Customer service representatives no longer have to manually enter the orders they receive. Instead, they simply have to review and confirm them. “The timely input and labor reduction for our customer service staff has been remarkable,” says Sauder. “When we did an analysis, we found that the pre-order process of setting up the “ship to” information and the actual placing of orders had been virtually eliminated. That responsibility has now been placed upon the buyer.” Munters found that one third of the time it took for customer service representatives to manage an order has been eliminated entirely.
With GLOVIA’s eBusiness solution the modules are seamlessly integrated with the other components of glovia.com to enhance the functionality of the overall solution while allowing one interface for all users whether it be a customer, sales rep, distributor, or an internal Munters’ customer.
Order accuracy was another area that has been greatly improved with the new glovia.com solution. “When you talk to manufacturing personnel, they see less change orders due to data entry errors because the buyer is more focused on what they are purchasing and is now the one actually placing the order,” continues Sauder. The increased order accuracy and access to information has also lead to unexpected benefits for Munters including a smoother production schedule on the plant floor due to less change orders. In addition, some manufacturing personnel want access to the system because it improves their demand visibility, which allows more time to prepare future orders.
The Final Step
“For the past few months everything with the system has been working very well. The project is 95 percent complete so now we as a company are looking to extend the business-to-business process to external customers,” says Sauder. “We have the procedures in place and know how to execute them. Now it’s a matter of finishing the last five percent and opening the system up to external business.”
The phased approach has been effective for Munters as it has allowed time for training and reinforced the need for accuracy internally before rolling the system out to external users. Munters Americas has plans to roll the solution out to some of their high volume customers by the end of 2005. “This initiative has been a win-win as it’s enabled us to conduct faster and more efficient business while providing customers a proactive business tool for improving their purchasing experience,” concludes Cassin.