“We urgently needed just one ‘single version of the truth’”, is how Gert Jan Uijtdewilligen, Manager Business Development & Corporate ICT for Holmatro, explains the company’s situation a few years ago. “We have a broad product range and we’ve now gone from four to eight supporting languages, including Chinese. That’s a big growth market in which we’ve been operating for a number of years. We have to make sure that our product specifications are clear in all those languages, for our dealers, our end-users and for our internal organization. What was missing was the control of information, and the ability to access it in different ways, both in print and online, in ways that meet the needs of different roles.”
Manufacturer of innovative hydraulic equipment and systems for (technical) rescue, industrial and special tactics applications worldwide.
- 5 Sales offices (Netherlands, US, UK, Poland and China)
- 2 Production sites
- 4529 Products
- 10620 Digital assets
- 8 Commercial languages
- 290 Dealers in North-America, China, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America
A single database for communication about products and solutions, accessible on a worldwide basis, that was what Holmatro needed. “Having a single, central version of truth that we can rely on, is vitally important for us.” Formerly, information was located at different places – for example, our US website showed different technical data than on the dealer websites and in our brochures. “That led to inaccuracies about what was really correct. And this sometimes caused problems in the sales process, for example in government tenders for fire service equipment.” Holmatro looked for a ‘single-source, multi-channel publishing’ solution: one database to make information accessible in different ways. “That’s why we turned to SyncForce as a specialist. We started our search for the solution fairly inexperienced, in fact, there was little structure in our portfolio information.
The sessions that were held with the specialists from SyncForce to structure all the information in a database proved to be a process of creating awareness.” That was a huge job because Holmatro’s products have many technical specifications that all had to be put into the database. “But it was a worthwhile task. We now have that single, central truth that we can rely on for all our products. That’s a huge step forward in ease of use.”
Breakthrough in product information
We’ve made a real breakthrough in professional, product portfolio content, Uijtdewilligen concludes. “It’s hard to say exactly what the result is in terms of FTEs because we now do a lot more things than we did a few years ago. We’ve opened up new markets, we’ve grown strongly and our ambition is to grow in all our product-market combinations. In fact, we’re increasing our professionalism in every possible area.” The new system creates a lot of added value for the dealer network, he points.
“The brand is more clearly visible in the dealer channel, and the brand image from the customer’s perspective is a lot stronger. That’s also visible in our results. And for our organization, it’s good that there’s a clear information structure, with different roles and clearly defined with rights.”
“We can now really structure the way we provide our information in a planned way, and we can manage the whole information process effectively – from development, through launch right up to the sale of the end-products.”