Head over Heel: How a medical manufacturer achieved database flexibility and freedom
by Alvaro Ansaldo, General Manager for Spain and Portugal
Heel is a pioneer and manufacturer in the field of natural medicine. The company is committed to improving processes by cutting waste and following the best practices of Lean Six Sigma. To that end, the Heel España subsidiary, which searches for and researches natural ingredients or innovative doses that can improve quality of life, wanted to develop innovative ways to manage customer relationships and sales processes while improving analysis and keeping costs down.
Eager to get started and empowered by their success with lean processes, Heel España soon ran into a major road block. This is where our story begins.
Chipping away at the obstacles
A legacy CRM system and a lack of direct access to the company’s databases had brought their latest lean initiative to a standstill. The CRM was deployed in Heel’s German headquarters, and the processes of updating and modifying it were very slow and complicated. Technicians spent a lot of time and effort on processes that did not bring value to the business.
“We had a dispersed environment comprised of multiple separate environments, which in many cases, had independent databases,” says Oscar Generoso, IT and Sales Excellence Director of Heel España.
Heel knew that the CRM was no longer adequate for its needs. It was outdated and couldn’t deliver a digital backbone for innovating customer relationships and sales processes. The way forward was clear: it was time for a new, modern CRM. At first the team at Heel thought that a standard commercial-off-the-shelf CRM, such as Salesforce, SAP, or SAGE, might be the solution. However, the team discovered going this route would mean changing their processes. Why fix something that wasn’t broken? In fact, their processes were anything but broken; instead, they were very effective.
In the end, they decided to develop their own CRM that they could adapt to their company and its processes. Problem solved. Or was it?
For Heel España, there was still the question of database access. The database was in Germany and out of their control. “If my team in Spain wanted to change something, it was impossible to do it quickly,” says Generoso. Data-loading often took between 6 and 8 hours. Being unable to reach the database when they needed data was having an adverse effect on their processes, slowing them considerably and making it difficult to stay lean or innovate. So, as part of the CRM project, a search for a new database began.
The database that could
The new database had to meet several requirements. It had to be easy to access from Spain. It had to integrate with Heel’s systems and enable accelerated processes. It had to be easy to change and learn. Automation was also a key requirement.
After evaluating other products, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL, along with freeware, Heel selected TmaxSoft Tibero. Tibero offered predictable pricing and licensing and could be installed on-premises, on a virtual server, or in the cloud. The other products were not able to deliver on all of Heel’s requirements.
Generoso sums why they made their decision succinctly: "A database cannot be a barrier to evolution. Tibero helps and facilitates our evolution."
TmaxSoft delivered a complete implementation of the Tibero database as a repository for the CRM. They also migrated Oracle data used for analysis and business intelligence. “Engaging, contracting, and working with TmaxSoft was seamless. The involvement of the technical team in the project and the technical support were above and beyond the norm,” says Generoso.
After centralizing all information in the new CRM and Tibero, it was easy to integrate the remaining applications and optimize processes. The result is a unique repository of information that can be simply and quickly updated.
The results are in
The implementation of Tibero went smoothly and operating the database is easy. Heel reports that Tibero has delivered an 80% improvement in processes such as data loading, importing, and BI reporting. The data they need for analysis is up-to-date, perfect for smart business decisions. Heel is confident that Tibero can evolve as needs change and new processes are introduced and the company grows the CRM. Other benefits include architectural freedom and flexibility and cost control and predictability.
Says Generoso: “TmaxSoft gives us complete security. We chose a database with wonderful performance for an affordable price, but there was more to it than that. We trust Tibero.”
So, what’s next for Heel? Generoso puts it simply: “We would like to continue learning more about Tibero’s tools to go see what else we can use. Tibero has provided us with everything to keep moving forward. With Tibero there is no barrier.” For more of Heel’s story, read the complete case study.
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About Alvaro Ansaldo
Alvaro Ansaldo is the General Manager for Spain and Portugal at TmaxSoft. In this role, Alvaro is responsible for the management and development of TmaxSoft's business in the Iberian market. He has more than 32 years of experience in large technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware, where he has had held various management roles and designed business strategies for both customers and partners. Alvaro has a degree in Business Administration from the American Business Administration School, and among other distinctions is a member of the Spanish Association of Mentors.