Beijer Electronics is a world-leading supplier of operator terminals. The company has a complete range of industrial automation products, comprising offerings from world-leading suppliers such as Mitsubishi Electronic and proprietary products. Their business program consists of serving the market with control systems, operator systems and drives. Employing 200 people, having offices in Norway, Finland, Germany and the USA, and having a turnover of 55 million euro, Beijer Electronic believe in making automation simple and closely working with customers geographically and technically.
We spoke to Fredric Berling, Beijer’s Notes developer, about his his experience of implementing SWING Integrator for Notes & Office into the Quotation and Calculation application.
What business challenge did you face with Lotus Notes?
– As a Notes developer, I have been looking for a good way to integrate Office documents into Lotus Notes for a long time.
The lack of Office integration became a real problem when I was asked to develop a database for creating calculations for quotations. These calculations were to be carried out in Excel and stored in a Notes database together with the quotation that was created in Word.
Why did you choose SWING Integrator?
– A business partner, who was also a Notes developer, suggested I try SWING Integrator. After making an in-depth analysis of the products on the market claiming to meet my needs and personally evaluating some of these products, I came to the conclusion that SWING Integrator had the functionality I required and was perfect for this application.
As we use many different platforms in our day-to-day operations, SWING Integrator’s ease of installation also contributed to the decision.
Before this solution was developed, employees stored MS Office documents on a NetWare server, which proved to be very inefficient. Now, the solution is based solely around SWING Integrator.
Could you describe the application you created using the SWING Integrator?
– SWING Integrator provides me with numerous advantages, but the ability to save back to Notes beats everything. In our application we populate many fields taken from the Notes database (our customer database is on AS/400). The information travels from AS/400 via Notrix to Notes database down to the Excel calculation and then to Word document, all via SWING. With this, information is constantly updated via Notrix from our AS/400 application, therefore when a new company is created in AS/400 the sales-personal can within minutes create a calculation for that company in Excel and replicate it to his/her computer.
Notes has limitations in its calculation capabilities, and therefore with the SWING Integrator, employees are able to create Excel calculations and transfer these calculated figures to the Notes document for further processing. In terms of Quotations, employees have follow-up notifications of their customer sales-sheets and finally a more efficient and effective administration due to a centralized company template.
A Notes database holds all our customer information. When it is time to write a quotation to a customer, the sales representative creates a child-document to the customer-document called a ‘Sales Sheet’. In this ‘Sales Sheet’, the sales employee creates different office documents connected to the project. Usually, this is a calculation in Excel and a quotation in Word. At times, a PowerPoint presentation occurs describing the products the customer wants to buy.
On the issue of field exchange within Notes Document, all customer information is exchanged into the Office document (Address, name, contact person, etc). When the Word Quotation is created, a field indicating the creation date is exchanged back to Notes (indicating that the quotation was ready at that specified date). In the Notes document a couple of products are chosen and their names and prices are exchanged into the Excel calculation document. When the calculation is complete, the total cost is exchanged back to the Notes Document.
How does SWING Software add value at Beijer Electronics AB?
– This solution brings together ALL the sales information we have on a customer, which is connected to the customer document. Before we introduced this solution, employees really didn’t know where to find what they were looking for, as information was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. With our centralized customer database, all our offices can now see all the other offices’ quotations, and our employees can now follow up quotations with newsletters generated in Notes that are sent to the customer’s primary sales contact.
A further benefit is that we can now see statistics on any product group, region, sales person or date in a variety of formats.
SWING has enabled Beijer Electronic to achieve their vision of making automation simple and offered them the chance to work more closely with their customers.