Odin Groep – consisting of the companies Previder, Heutink ICT, Heutink GmbH and Winvision – is an ambitious IT player. With offices in Hengelo and Vianen, the organization provides, among other things, online workplaces, IT environments, websites, and online portals in the healthcare, construction and profit sectors. Odin Groep uses modern cloud and data center solutions to increase the scalability and innovative power of customers.
In recent years Odin Groep has grown both organically and through several acquisitions. For a long time, the group mostly did their business software development in-house. “At some point, however, our software no longer matched the services we offer customers”, says IT manager Scheurwater. “It turned out to be insufficiently scalable and not set up for recurring business. In addition, there was a need to simplify the application landscape and to organize work processes in one system and more standard.”
That Odin Groep eventually ended up with Microsoft Dynamics 365 is quite logical, Scheurwater says. “We needed a package with intercompany functionalities and standard processes. Dynamics 365 F&O is ideal for this because ‘out of the box’ handles well with multiple companies within one installation. Besides, of course, you benefit from the fact that Microsoft has a whole bunch of developers dedicated to continuously improving and adding features.”
Through subsidiary Previder, there were already contacts with Pulse, says commercial director Stephan Masselink. “We already knew that Pulse was a leading player in the field of F&O. After several constructive meetings, we decided to embark on this adventure together. Like Pulse, we like to tackle things head-on. We’re not afraid to learn along the way, and because we wanted to go live quickly, we decided not to do an immense amount of preliminary research.”
That choice led to challenges along the way, Masselink admits. “The complexity of the organization and our logistical and financial processes proved to be greater than expected. We had a lot of stakeholders to deal with, and our key users weren’t always fully available. We learned from that. However, you have to remember that we renewed the business software of not one, but four companies. The diversity in our product and service portfolio and the large numbers of orders we have to deal with didn’t make things any easier.
The project at Odin Groep was kicked off with workshops to map out processes and develop a sound project approach. We chose for a phased implementation, starting with replacing AccountView by F&O. The first integral sprint begun in the summer of 2019. For the Value Added Logistics process, Pulse developed a custom solution, which was necessary because Odin Groep sells many products that still have a small service attached to them. For example, before delivery, laptops must first pass a logistics centre to be set up.
In the meantime, Odin Groep tackled some 14 technical tracks for data conversion, authorization, integrations and BI. A relatively smooth go-live followed in September 2020, Masselink says. “Of course the new software took some getting used to in the beginning. Two new logistics processes that we had thought up turned out to be more labor-intensive than expected. We are now rolling out optimizations so that we can speed up even with a high order volume. Fortunately, we were spared major repairs and were quickly up and running again.”
Odin Groep is already reaping the benefits of the switch. “For example, we have better reporting capabilities, more integration and a clear overall view of customers and processes. We also benefit from better insight into our capacity and orders, making the work more predictable and providing insight into delivery times. This allows us to serve customers better and manage KPIs.
In our warehouse, we no longer work with paper receipts, but with hand scanners and locations. It is now just a matter of entering the order number on the scanner, and you see precisely at which rack and which compartment you need to pick the item. Furthermore, order picking is fully automated, and our processes are better streamlined. With Dynamics 365, we can see at a glance what the need is from sales and when an order needs to be at the customer or in our warehouse. That makes planning logistics services easier.”
Thanks to Dynamics 365 F&O, Odin Groep has taken an automation leap and can harness data’s predictive power. For example, there is a beamer in the warehouse that displays a PowerBI dashboard with the latest state of affairs. Masselink: “That’s not all though, because we are also going to take steps with Customer Engagement and Marketing Automation. In this way, we will soon have the full Microsoft Stack as a foundation for our future growth.”
Despite some challenging moments, Masselink looks back on a successful project with a great result. “Especially at the difficult moments, Pulse showed character and proved to be a good partner. The collaboration created energy and team spirit. For every challenge that presented itself, we found a good solution by remaining focused and constructive. There was always mutual respect, and we got the job done by working together.”
After the go-live, Odin Groep opted for Managed Services from Pulse. Through this proactive 24/7 service, the continuity and improvement of its business software are guaranteed. Pulse also keeps Odin Groep informed about trends in the market, security developments and new functionalities.