Global outdoor play equipment company takes advantage of Business Integration Solution to achieve successful ERP deployment

For BERG, To-Increase Connectivity Studio advanced the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX by facilitating reliable, efficient data migrations of the company’s large stores of information into the new ERP system. Following the deployment, BERG relied on Connectivity Studio to create important, business-enabling integrations, for example, connecting the dealer portal with the ERP solution and enabling the dealers around the world to take care of business at their convenience.

Headquartered in Ede, Netherlands, BERG creates, produces, and sells a range of outdoor play equipment, including many different models of go-karts, skelters, trampolines, scooters, and wagons. A go-kart was the first creation of Henk van den Berg, the CEO, and BERG is maybe known best for its go-kart product family. The company’s products are designed to be long-lasting and provide years of active playtime. Through a global channel of resellers, BERG distributes play equipment, accessories, and parts to retail businesses in more than 56 countries. Customers can also connect with BERG through an online storefront.

When it was time for BERG to update its business management technology, remaining within the Microsoft Dynamics realm was an easy decision. For years, BERG had managed its operations with the help of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Given the company’s global growth and positive future outlook, it decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, collaborating with Microsoft Dynamics partner Prodware to perform the project. Today, close to 60 BERG employees use Microsoft Dynamics AX to manage manufacturing, purchasing, sales, marketing, and other critical business functions. The ERP system integrates with the dealer portal and the consumer web shop.

BERG has relied on To-Increase technology solutions since 2009, including during the many years when BERG ran on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. BERG used e-Con product and sales configurators, originally created by To-Increase. It also took advantage of To-Increase Connectivity Studio for Microsoft Dynamics NAV to facilitate the important integration between ERP and the warehouse management system. Concurrent with the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX, BERG adopted To-Increase Connectivity Studio for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Key Benefits

  • Accelerated ERP deployment with reliable, efficient data migrations
  • Elimination of redundant data entry with associated errors and inefficiencies
  • Enablement of worldwide resellers to handle business on their own
  • Availability of product and other information in the online storefront for consumers

Berg

  • Company: Berg
  • Number of Employees: 100
  • Website: http://www.bergtoys.com
  • Country or Region: Headquartered in Netherlands, with worldwide channel sales
  • Industry: Manufacturing and distribution – Consumer goods

Software and Services

  • To-Increase Connectivity Studio
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Customer Profile

BERG, founded in 1985, designs, produces, and distributes wagons, go-karts, skelters, trampolines, and other outdoor play equipment as well as parts and accessories.

Business Situation

When BERG implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, it needed to bring business data into the new ERP system and connect it with other systems and resources, including its dealer portal and consumer web shop.

Solution

BERG used To-Increase Connectivity Studio to perform data migrations and connect its ERP and other systems.

Download the BERG case study

downloads_list_iconThe To-Increase solutions helps BERG resolve issues and reach their goals

“Of course, I would recommend Connectivity Studio to other companies. It’s a powerful, reliable tool with a huge amount of possible options for defining outputs, alerts, and other aspects of integrations here.”

Bernd Wassink, Application Engineer, BERG

ERP implementation with reliable, efficient data migrations
During the implementation, BERG’s wealth of business data from many years of operation needed to be brought into the new ERP system. Bernd Wassink, Application Engineer at BERG, and his colleagues collaborated with To-Increase on setting up and performing the required data migrations by means of Connectivity Studio. “We used Connectivity Studio to transfer all of the essential business data related to customers, vendors, warehouse locations, product details, any sort of transaction, and much more,” says Wassink. “The product works extremely reliably and efficiently, especially compared to less successful approaches to data migration, such as an Excel-based add-in utility we tried out.”

During the data migrations, BERG designed data migration messages in Connectivity Studio, tested them with business stakeholders and a group of key users, made modifications, and finally ran the actual migrations. “The process of planning and performing data migrations with Connectivity Studio is very smooth,” says Wassink. “Because the tool is easy to understand for people who don’t have managing software systems in their job description, we could show people in sales and other business groups what the outcome of migrations would be. Then we made adjustments based on their feedback and requests. Data migration with Connectivity Studio was one of the high points of our Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation, probably the most successful part of it.”

Expanding usage Scenarios for systems integration
Following the ERP implementation, BERG had more plans for Connectivity Studio. “When we planned our Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment, we looked to achieve a number of optimizations,” explains Wassink. We were already giving our dealers some product and other information in their portal, but we wanted to enable them to do business on their own, no matter where they are or when they visit the portal. To accomplish that, we created with Connectivity Studio a number of integrations that let dealers verify the availability of inventory, see EAN codes, and much more.” Connectivity Studio proved to be an efficient, business-ready tool in producing BERG’s systems integrations. Says Wassink, “We prepared the functional design for the integrations we wanted to perform, modeled and tested them, and made sure they worked well within our processes with feedback from the business groups, not just from a technical perspective.”

BERG engaged with the To-Increase business integration team to help prepare integrations. “Connectivity Studio is built to interoperate with Microsoft Dynamics AX, and we found it very convenient to work with,” explains Wassink. “We asked To-Increase to help us prepare some of the integration interfaces simply because we were extremely busy and wanted to get quickly to a point where we could show dealers the new portal functionality. They were clamoring for it.” 

Collaborating with To-Increase was a productive experience. Wassink comments, “The technologists at To-Increase are obviously experts in ERP and systems integration, but they also understand our business model and saw what we wanted to accomplish. They also made sure we had all the training and practice with Connectivity Studio so we could work well on our own.”

Enabling 24/7 productivity of the global dealer network
As a result of the integration between BERG’s dealer portal and Microsoft Dynamics AX, resellers around the globe can take care of business in self-service style. “Thanks to the ERP integrations we were able to build with Connectivity Studio,” says Wassink, “our dealers now have a much easier time when they need to source products and parts, verify orders, or check on inventory availability. Because they are in time zones far removed from the Netherlands, making phone calls or waiting for email responses would not be practical and take too long. But now they can take care of their needs online, around the clock. Of course, that speeds the process of getting the products out to the retailers, and eventually our end customers’ children benefit from that. It also helps us work more efficiently—without the integration, we would have to re-enter the data manually, which would take too much time and result in errors that would have to be corrected.”

The online storefront for consumers, also facilitated by means of Connectivity Studio, is not as richly featured as the dealer portal, but plays an important role in building brand awareness for BERG and helping people find the right products as well as local retailers.

“Of course, I would recommend Connectivity Studio to other companies,” says Wassink. “It’s a powerful, reliable tool with a huge amount of possible options for defining outputs, alerts, and other aspects of integrations. The message history is very helpful in letting us review what integrations and migrations we have already performed, so we can reuse past experience in future projects. I expect that we will find additional usage scenarios for Connectivity Studio as BERG evolves its business and the ERP system.”

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