The versatile Digia Enterprise covers functions from ERP to webshops
Helkama-Auto has used Digia Enterprise as its ERP system since 2007. In addition to the ERP modernisation, the cooperation has produced two webshops and business-critical integrations.
Most Finns associate Helkama primarily with bicycles. But those only account for a small share of the group’s operations. Helkama-Auto is also part of the company. It imports Škoda cars, spare parts and accessories to Finland.
In 2006, Helkama-Auto faced a traditional challenge when it was time to update its ERP system. The old system would have required development, but there was no proper maintenance. For that reason, Helkama-Auto decided to acquire an entirely new system.
Operationally reliable from day one
“I remember its launch in 2007 very well. That moment when you move into production is always a bit exciting,” says Lea Taittonen, IT Director of Helkama-Auto, at the company’s headquarters in Espoo.
Helkama-Auto had decided to choose the Finnish Digia Enterprise ERP system.
“We’d had a look at many systems, but we felt that Digia Enterprise would be a good fit for our functions. Of course, it had to be customised, but the basic concept worked well.”
At the same time as the ERP system, the company also launched a B2B webshop for Škoda spare parts. Taittonen says that everything went perfectly.
“Fifty dealers started using the ERP system and webshop on the same day, and no spare parts went undelivered on that day. Everything worked,” says Taittonen.
Integrations keep the wheels turning
Helkama-Auto servers dealers and customers all over Finland. Due to its nationwide operations, it was business critical that the ERP system would work effectively.
“When dealers order Škoda spare parts today, they are sent out today, and the dealers receive them tomorrow all over Finland. The basic process works and yields business value for us each day,” says Taittonen.
In addition to the ERP system, Digia also carried out important integrations at Helkama-Auto, both inside the company and to the systems of dealers and the manufacturer.
“Digia Enterprise is integrated into our financial administration, for instance. Orders from the manufacturer are also handled through Enterprise. The goods flows are so large that nothing would work without these integrations.”
Qlikview, integrated into Digia Enterprise, serves as the management reporting and analysis solution.
Due to Helkama-Auto's nationwide operations, it was business critical that the ERP system would work effectively.
Webshops serve a diverse clientele
Helkama-Auto currently has two webshops. In addition to the B2B webshop launched at the same time as Digia Enterprise, the company also set up a consumer webshop in August 2017. Helkama-Auto does not handle order receipt separately: they are made directly through the webshop.
Both webshops are built on top of Digia Enterprise, thanks to which their maintenance is easy. Taittonen praises the operational reliability and user-friendliness of the webshops.
“Product items, data and balances are fed straight from Digia Enterprise to both the B2B and B2C webshops. The latter includes more photos and information, of course, as it’s intended for consumers. But everything is administered from a single system,” says Taittonen.
Finnishness is an advantage
Helkama-Auto was established in 1942 and has imported Škoda cars since 1947. During our interview, the long history of the company can be literally felt around us, as Taittonen talks about the ERP project in the company’s old board room, which is decorated with old furniture and portraits.
It’s no wonder that Helkama-Auto values having a Finnish IT partner.
“The fact that Digia Enterprise is Finnish was important to us in the procurement phase. And it’s still important. Support is close at hand in our own language, and the partner knows how things are done here. All of this enables us and Digia to be true partners and really work together,” says Taittonen.
She says that it’s been extremely important that Digia has kept the same team in place and that the project manager has not changed.
“We can be confident that the team really knows our business and ways of working.