Assistor wanted to develop its business operations and offer new services to its customers. The development work was guided by Digia's service map, which helped the company to identify customer needs.
Together with Digia, we analysed our internal processes and how they are linked to our customers' processes and their experiences of what kinds of services they could acquire from Assistor.
Aki Karppinen, CIO, Assistor
Customers expect new digital services – but where should one start? This is a familiar problem to many Finnish companies.
Assistor, a logistics company specialising in deliveries of vehicles, spare parts and materials, pondered the problem with Digia, its long-term partner. A service map developed by Digia came in useful.
“This wasn't just about leaving the coding to Digia. Instead, we put our heads together and looked at things from the customers' perspective: what they want and what would provide added value for them,” says Aki Karppinen, Head of ICT and Information Services Business Unit at Assistor.
Karppinen says that Assistor also made use of the service map in its discussions with customers in order to determine the significance of new services to them.
“Together with Digia, we analysed our internal processes and how they are linked to our customers' processes and their experiences of what kinds of services they could acquire from Assistor.”
This cooperation resulted in a number of added-value services based on data collected during Assistor's traditional business operations.
In 2015, Assistor delivered about 81,000 new vehicles and 2,600,000 spare part items. The company provides services for car factories, importers, dealers as well as supply and spare part vendors.
“These service generate quite a bit of information in our systems,” says Karppinen.
Karppinen says that, going forward, the company will make greater outlays on information service-related business.
“For us, new information service-related business means refining the logistics information we've gained in our vehicle and spare parts business into the form that customers need. We use this information to provide added-value services,” says Karppinen.
“Vehicle tax-related simulations and comparisons are interesting examples of the kinds of services that this information makes possible.”
Assistor collects masses of data not only from its own systems, but also from customers and partners. So that this information can be compiled in the right format and on time, systems need to be integrated. Digia's solutions helped Assistor in this effort.
“We've done a lot of really good work in integration management so that we can collect this information and refine it to meet our customers' needs,” says Karppinen.
Without effective integration, it would be difficult to build new additional services.
“Integrations make it possible to take our information processing and service provision to the next level.”
Assistor, which is in business in Finland and Estonia, partnered up with Digia back in 2006. At that time, Assistor had a pressing need to modernise its operative system. A major challenge was managing large vehicle warehouses and locating the correct vehicles with optimal efficiency.
Digia provided Assistor with an integrated end-to-end system covering ERP, shipping and vehicle tax solutions. In addition, a webshop called Assistore was opened.
“Our aim was to boost the efficiency of processes to reduce the amount of manual work. We needed better online services to support order, production, procurement and invoicing processes and their automation,” says Karppinen.
In addition to the webshop, a service interface was developed to handle equipment orders in one of the ERP systems most commonly used by car dealerships. Thanks to this service interface, the same order can be handled through either the webshop or the customer's own system.
“We were the first Finnish company in this business to launch a webshop.”
Now 90% of orders are placed through the webshop or service interface.