Finding that their project management challenges were being caused in part by a lack of integration between various critical systems, ViaCon Baltic Group chose to unify their five companies by deploying CRM and ERP solutions from one vendor that would allow them to provide all project participants with needed information and automate the workflow of their projects, some of which have durations of two years or more. Business Needs
ViaCon Baltic Group distributes construction materials such as corrugated steel and plastic pipes, retaining walls, hydraulic engineering structures, fencing, acoustic barriers, pilings, and water collection systems. As a full-service company in the construction materials industry, their extensive projects begin with complex pre-sales design, proposal, and quotation development and can continue for more than two years as they specify, fabricate, test, and deliver various components to their customers.
|We eliminated connectivity problems, changed our hardware systems, server systems, and moved everything to the cloud.|
| Vadim Jurovickij|
Managing Director and Co-Owner
ViaCon Baltic Group
To support activities between team members, and between their daughter companies, ViaCon Statyba, Hidroterra, ViaCon Projektai and ViaCon Baltic Pipe they replaced their earlier collection of Excel spreadsheets and other documents with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 but soon found themselves severely limited in their ability to customize the application to their very specific needs. Compounding the problem were frequent internet communication issues between their various locations, and difficulty sharing documents and information.
Frustrated by the limitations of their Dynamics CRM 3.0 system and increasing delays in accessing information from it as they grew, their people stopped using the system, rendering it almost useless. ViaCon is dependent upon their relationships with their customers and their ability to track information about them and the sales processes necessary to successfully complete sales. As such, ViaCon Baltic Group determined that the rapid growth of their company demanded superior support from integrated systems, particularly CRM and ERP solutions, that would allow them to thoroughly track the progress of each project, enable all of their people to readily add their activities to the project, and automate the workflow of as many routine functions as possible. Solution
To replace their simple, rudimentary accounting system with a platform that could properly support their multiple companies, ViaCon Baltic Group selected Microsoft Dynamics AX. “With Dynamics AX we found productivity suitable to our several companies,” explains Vadim Jurovickij, Managing Director and Co-Owner of ViaCon Baltic Group. To resolve their connectivity and recurring hardware problems, Vadim explains that, “We had to eliminate the mistakes of before. We eliminated connectivity problems, changed our hardware systems, server systems, and moved everything to the cloud. The only thing left in our office is a file server. Everything else is in the cloud. That's when we decided to integrate CRM and AX.”
ViaCon selected a local cloud provider and moved their entire IT operation to their data center, including their new implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX and also Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. “Mostly our main purpose,” explains Vadim, “is to have CRM allow all departments, all people, all personnel responsible for the project and involved in the project to see the project in all different stages and transfer responsibility parallel to the project plan.”
ViaCon Baltic Group engaged the services of Microsoft Partner XRM Systems to develop the workflows required to bring all of their systems together. “Different from the previous version where we had to adjust (our processes) to the existing software, here we wanted the software to follow the processes we have in the company,” explains Vadim, “so our guys explained (our processes) and their specialists took on the main part in putting all these processes in.”
In the resulting system, processes are integrated going in both directions. Pricing information from Dynamics AX informs the development of price quotations for customers which are then developed using workflows in CRM. Upon acceptance, the quotation goes back from CRM to AX to become an order. Accounts, contacts, credit information, history and more are similarly shared. Benefits
Making the decision to migrate virtually all IT functions to a partner cloud provider has helped ViaCon Baltic Group to eliminate the hardware problems they were experiencing. Inter-location communications and collaboration have also been dramatically improved through this centralization.
Having stabilized their infrastructure in this way enabled ViaCon to readily implement new CRM and ERP systems in their hosting partner’s datacenter. The selection of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics AX provides a level of integration that could not easily be achieved on divergent platforms. ViaCon has already experienced several key benefits from the deployment of integrated systems:
Since the CRM system now delivers clearly visible value to the end-users, all ViaCon personnel are enthusiastically adopting, and using, the new system to collaborate on their various projects.
The combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics AX provides all project participants with a constant 360° perspective on all aspects of their ongoing projects.
Pricing and other customer information from Dynamics AX now feeds into the development of proposals and quotations making it easy for ViaCon to take projects from pre-sales design to pricing to presenting a quotation to the customer, and then taking the acceptance from the customer directly back into the appropriate systems as an order. This streamlines the most important processes in the business.
The ViaCon sales organization has ready access to all pertinent information about each of their customers, allowing them to better cultivate and constantly improve their all-important customer relationships.
The new platform enables easy and extensive analysis of each project, revealing new insight into the efficiencies and the profitability of each project, as well as the utilization of each of ViaCon’s personnel. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.