HEMA started out in the late 1970s manufacturing mechanical bellows as protective covers for machine tool guides to cover and protect parts from water and metal fragments during machining. Over the years, HEMA added to its protective and vision system line of products to include aprons, backwall systems, telescopic and rolling covers. As machine tools have become more complex and sophisticated, so has the HEMA product line.
HEMA adopted Microsoft Excel to catalog and manage the growing list of system components. Proliferation of options fueled exponential growth in the number of items within the catalog that sales personnel used to configure custom orders. As the complexity of components and the number of options grew, Excel became increasingly error prone, cumbersome, and time consuming to use. “Our Excel spreadsheet was huge,” says Thomas Gabriel, Director of Business Development. “It was clear we needed to find a better way.”
“We have a lot of exceptions in quoting. But the rule feature in Experlogix is a good way to guide and lead the user through the process. This led to a significant reduction in the number of failures in creating accurate quotes on the first pass.”
Thomas Gabriel, Director of Business Development at HEMA
HEMA’s decision to seek a new quoting solution was driven in part by a commitment to upgrade its internal CRM system, a niche product that they had used for years, but that was very limited in functionality and flexibility. HEMA selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM and then searched for Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions that worked with Dynamics CRM. After evaluating several solutions, it was clear to HEMA that Experlogix CPQ for Dynamics CRM was the best solution from a user and technical perspective.
“Our legacy CRM system was more like a typing system,” says Gabriel. “The possibility that we could seamlessly create a quote within Dynamics CRM without an apparent change to a different system was impressive.”
The challenge of transferring their massive Excel quoting system to Experlogix appeared daunting.
“The Excel spreadsheet was so big and complex, people said I was crazy to attempt it,” Gabriel says. “We knew we didn’t want to attempt it by ourselves.” Experlogix said it was no problem – they’d take care of it.”
“We were astonished at how quickly Experlogix managed the transfer of data from Excel. They did it not only on time, but on budget,” continues Gabriel. “I’ve been working in IT for years, and I have never seen a vendor achieve that.”
“We were impressed that the Experlogix user interface was so intuitive and easy to use, but there is always the issue of getting people to change – especially in a situation like ours where people had been using Excel for fifteen years,” Gabriel says. “It always takes a lot of effort. You have to convince them to make the change.”
Not so with Experlogix. “It only took our people a couple of weeks to get used to the new system. It was really ideal. That alone is one of the big reasons why we’re so happy about selecting Experlogix,” Gabriel says.
The Experlogix rules engine was another huge plus. “We have a lot of exceptions in quoting. But the rule feature in Experlogix is a good way to guide and lead the user through the process. This led to a significant reduction in the number of failures in creating accurate quotes on the first pass,” he explains. Gabriel says he especially likes the color scheme feature in Experlogix that shows various subsystem components in different colors so that people know what they’re working on during the process. “This is such a small feature, but it really helps to enter in formulas without making mistakes.”
“Improving the time it takes to create a quote, and improving the quality of quotes helps to drive improvement in on-time order delivery to our customers,” Gabriel states. He says that using Experlogix, HEMA has reduced the time to quote by roughly 20 percent.