In just under 90 years, Internorm has grown from a one-man locksmith’s shop into Europe’s largest internationally operating window brand. The Austrian family business produces around 850,000 units per year at its sites in Traun, Sarleinsbach and Lannach. Continuous technical development of the products do not just make Internorm themselves an industry pioneer; the innovations have to be translated into products that can be ordered by their 1,300 selected sales partners in 21 countries. In order to meet this challenge, Internorm uses two tools implemented on the basis of the INFINICA platform to supplement the standard ordering process with a product configurator. This involves generating the extensive service parts catalog based on intelligent INFINICA templates, as well as processing dealer inquiries via document workflows in the INFINICA Workplace. These successfully implemented solutions demonstrate the diverse range of applications for the INFINICA platform, even outside of the classic customer communication management solutions that INFINICA implements for service companies (banks, insurance companies, energy providers, etc.).
The main aim of the service parts catalog is to sustain the thirty-year functional warranty that the company promises on each of its products. “This requires a huge parts history,” says Jürgen Buchinger, who implemented the corresponding solution at Internorm together with INFINICA, describing the enormous demands placed on the PDF-based catalog. “It contains a structured listing of a total of 3,700 individual parts with around 2,200 part illustrations, (plastic windows, wood/aluminum windows, aluminum entry doors, sun and insect protection).” This makes it possible for the users of the catalog – dealers and service technicians – to determine at any time which part was used in which product system, in which design, and in which time period. If the part they are looking for is no longer manufactured, they can obtain information on alternative processes for restoring the product in question. The catalog is published in nine versions, each with up to 1,100 pages in four languages, and is divided into material categories. Thanks to INFINCA’s structured, integrative system, catalog creation is now completed in five days; previously, this process took three to four weeks.
At Internorm, 99 percent of product orders are placed via a configurator, which – without taking size and color into account – can display around 2 million product variants. The workflow for the additional 10,000 or so special requests per year used to run on an Excel/e-mail basis, and was handled by around 50 employees. Approximately 3,000 of these inquiries actually become orders. After what Jürgen Buchinger described as a challenging development and implementation phase, a document-driven interactive workflow was implemented together with INFINICA, which allows several centralized and decentralized instances with different rights to process the requests. The process data of the current inquiries, which is generated quasi as a “waste product”, can now be clustered according to product systems, evaluated and checked to see if they should become standard. In the future, 5 to 8 percent of the recurring inquiry topics will be standardized and transferred to the configurator. The data analysis is also expected to significantly increase the number of inquiries that lead to orders and, at the same time, to continuously reduce the number of inquiries that are obviously nonsensical. With the INFINICA tools, processes could be optimized while also increasing customer satisfaction, as Jürgen Buchinger’s sums up: “Nowadays, products alone don’t allow you to stand out from the competition. Perfect design and functionally reliable technology are no longer enough for today’s customers. The total experience from the time the customer first shows interest in the product through the entire service life must be just right. You have to impress all customers, especially those who take design and technology virtually for granted, with perfect handling logistics.”
“With the help of INFINCA’s structured, integrative system, catalog creation is now completed in a matter of days; previously, this process took three to four weeks.”
Business Analyst & Process Engineer
UTAH Informationsservice GmbH (a company of the Internorm Group)
Benefits of INFINICA solutions for Internorm:
- Optimization, streamlining, centralization and cleanup of processes.
- Better evaluability of process data
- Significant increase in efficiency (reduction of effort = costs)
- Increase of customer satisfaction