Case Study

Shepherd streamlines operations for Azolver: Europe’s postal machine market leader

Azolver, once a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes, is now an independent company that has taken the European franking machine market by storm. With a view to ensuring smooth operation and value for its clients, Azolver chose Netsuite as its ERP together with Shepherd CMMS to streamline its maintenance and field service management.

Overview

Azolver is an independent company and European leader in the franking machine market. Azolver was initially the European arm of US franking technology giant Pitney Bowes, whose own history harks back to the early 1900s.

At present, Azolver holds an impressive track record of having provided some 60 thousand companies with mailing solutions in 6 different markets. It has offices in the Nordic region as well as Central and Southern Europe selling franking machines and other mail-related equipment as well as offering the option to rent.

Azolver used SAP prior to the break from its parent company, and took the separation as an opportunity to evaluate its options. After a thorough review Azolver selected NetSuite as the new ERP system. The next step was to choose a servicing solution. And this is where Shepherd came in.

Client Spotlight

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Industry: Mechanical Engineering
Location: Germany
Employees: 550
Service: Application Lifecycle Management
Customer since: 2014

Challenges of being independent

Azolver needed a solution for efficient, straightforward management of equipment maintenance and servicing. It had additional requirements for invoicing and other Human Resources processes. Azolver recognised Shepherd as the best pick thanks to Shepherd’s flexibility: the end result needed to feel, and be, custom-made.

NetSuite’s appeal, in many cases, is that it is so adaptable to an individual company’s needs. That adaptability also entails significant in-house work to fit the end-user’s operations as neatly as possible. The Shepherd module is designed to complement and supplement NetSuite, and features this same level of customisation.

However, unlike NetSuite itself, Shepherd does not require subscription payments from the point of signing. Payments begin only when the system has been launched and the company can begin using it. This integration and on-boarding has been characterised by a positive dynamic relationship between Azolver and Shepherd, described as a “good relation with the contact in Shepherd”.

Field service core to Azolver operations

The nature of Azolver’s products and services, and their ongoing management of the machines requires a technician assigned to a particular geographic area. That technician is responsible for any servicing or fixes in their assigned district. This business model can translate into a lot of driving on a given day between each job site. Thankfully, Azolver explains, the Shepherd system copes very well with this need. This is particularly true of the Shepherd Mobile App.

Indeed, the app was designed precisely for this type of situation. The central system stays current with ever-changing conditions out in the field. This, of course, depends on the technicians using the app as planned and entering the data needed.

In this respect Azolver reports that the technicians are happy with the app, finding it easy to use and an improvement to their workflow. At its launch, the technicians had feedback about the travel logging process. Shepherd took the comments on board, analysed them and, as expected, delivered a solution.

An ongoing evolution

Consistent with Shepherd’s flexibility, Azolver and Shepherd are currently also cooperating on developing an additional app feature that allows technicians to log time-off requests that will feed directly into the Human Resources database.

This, Azolver states, is another example of the very good customer service they get from Shepherd. The response times and levels of engagement from Shepherd in addressing any issues are excellent. After almost 2 years with the Shepherd solution the dynamic can be summarised as this:

“Shepherd is very reactive, the customer service is really very nicely handled. We have the feeling that Shepherd is answering all our requirements at a good pace.”

Furthermore, in those two years the needs have not remained stagnant. As Azolver’s requirements changed, so too did Shepherd’s solutions:

“We work hand in hand with Shepherd working toward new solutions”

The day-to-day operations of the Shepherd solution function well and are easy to work with. This, combined with the cost of the service, makes Shepherd excellent value and highly competitive.

With lessons to learn as the project matures, Shepherd has continued to support Azolver, particularly in making the finer adjustments needed to go from an adaptable solution to one that fits the client like a glove.

If your company faces similar challenges and strives for similar outcomes, get in contact with Shepherd to see how they can help you streamline your operations, cutting your costs and paperwork.

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