Challenge

Schur needed a global sales and customer solution.

Solution

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales integrates master data and customer structure across devices and countries. Power Platform enhances reporting and connects Dynamics 365 Sales with ERP systems and external data sources. 

Result

The implementation of Dynamics 365 Sales and Power Platform has contributed to creating a more cohesive, global approach to sales, as well as improving the management of data and processes across the organization. 

Schur is a family-owned and leading company in the packaging industry with roots dating back to 1846. They are in the midst of a digital transformation aimed at uniting 1,000 employees across Europe, North America and Australia, along with 10 factories and 12 sales departments, into one cohesive global sales system. This will support their global sales strategy and enable them to efficiently offer solutions from the entire organization to customers.

 

The packaging specialist has chosen Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales with Cepheo as their implementation partner. The solution is now implemented across multiple business units and countries, with a common master data and customer structure. However, there are separate processes and user interfaces for each unit to meet their individual needs.

 

According to Jan Damkjær, Group Digitalization Director at Schur, the solution was chosen to facilitate the move away from an organization where individual business units handled most things on their own.

 

"We want to sell collectively to our customers and call it 'end-to-end production'. We sell machinery, packaging, labels and service agreements, and the individual units need to approach the market together with one common sales platform," explains Jan Damkjær.

 

To achieve this, they have a Global Accounts strategy, which ensures that all business units and sales departments have unified access to a common customer, while also ensuring a consistent customer structure across the entire organization.

 

"For all customers, we can see which business units have agreements or active dialogues with a given company. Dynamics 365 Sales supports a common understanding of how we collaborate with a potential or current customer, with the aim of increasing our overall sales, rather than it happening separately," says the director.

 

Although Schur's businesses have different processes – there is a difference between packaging and large machinery, Jan Damkjær points out – it has been crucial that all implementations are consistent in structure, while the user interface is tailored to each unit.

 

"We have created a global sales system that takes into account the individual prerequisites and already works very well in the business units where it has been rolled out. At its core, we do not deviate from either the standard elements in Dynamics 365 Sales or the Schur customizations we have made," says Jan Damkjær.

 

The latter consideration is important for Jan Damkjær and Schur to ensure a solution that is easier to maintain and develop in the future.

"Dynamics 365 Sales supports a shared understanding of how we collaborate with a potential or current customer with the aim of increasing out overall sales, rather than it happening separately."
Jan Damkjær

Group Digitalization Director, Schur

Microsoft Power BI helped ensure adoption of the sales implementation

 

According to Jan Damkjær, they chose to go 'all in' on Power BI for two clear reasons. Firstly, to gain deeper insights into the business through the built-in reports in Power BI as well as those developed by Cepheo. Secondly, Power BI has proven to be a significant forcing function for anchoring the sales system within the organization.

 

This success was achieved by tightly coupling the solutions so that employees' results and progress must be recorded in Dynamics 365 Sales before they can appear in Power BI.

 

"Only what is recorded in Dynamics 365 Sales is displayed in Power BI, and hence also in the reports that all managers use. This creates a clear motivation to maintain proper data discipline and fully utilize the solution. Looking back, Power BI has truly strengthened the Dynamics 365 Sales implementation, and I'm not sure we would have succeeded without it," Jan Damkjær explains about the value of Power BI.

 

”Document management is a must for a good Dynamics 365 Sales solution”

 

At the family-owned company, order and structure are important values. Based on this, Cepheo has delivered an advanced document management solution that is fully integrated with the Dynamics 365 Sales solution. This means that all emails, documents and similar items related to a potential customer are archived on Microsoft SharePoint, ensuring full document management from the first email to the final contract signing.

 

This delivers great value for a company like Schur:

 

"Our customer portfolio spans varying sales processes across the organization. For example, carton packaging may have a short, six month sales process, while sales of large packaging machines can take up to two years with hundreds or even thousands of documents and drawings in different versions," Jan Damkjær explains.

 

He points out that when new employees are associated with a customer, they gain access to the full customer history, ensuring a faster ramp-up on, and more comprehensive overview of, the potential customer.

 

In spring 2023, the solution was updated so that when the customer signs a contract, the customer profile is automatically converted to a SharePoint archive. This ensures that document management is covered from start to finish in Schur's sales process. Employee access to detailed customer history is crucial, according to Jan Damkjær:

 

"In my view, effective document management is just as crucial for a successful Dynamics 365 Sales solution as the Power BI part."

 

Power Platform ensures that the right data is available in the right place

 

Power BI is just one part of Power Platform that Schur effectively leverages. Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Automate flows integrate the Dynamics 365 Sales solution with the company's ERP systems.

 

"We create customers and contracts in Dynamics 365 Sales. Then, data is automatically sent to our ERP system. From there, we can create a quote based on data from the sales system. Finally, the quote is automatically sent back to SharePoint, making it also available in the Dynamics 365 Sales solution. It's completely automatic and based on Power Automate flows," Schur's Group Digitalization Director explains.

 

Together with Cepheo, Schur has established a Center of Excellence that monitors Power Automate flows and sends warning emails to key employees in case of errors, allowing them to quickly respond to any deficiencies in local Dynamics 365 Sales or ERP solutions.

 

"Master data and customer structure are very important to us. Therefore, we have used Power Apps to create an app that is crucial to our business. This app retrieves data from an external source, ensuring that our customer data is correct and up-to-date. This data is also used by our ERP solutions and the master data structure when we create orders, deliver and invoice," says Jan Damkjær.

 

Managed Services frees up time

 

With Dynamics 365 Sales solutions already in seven companies across four countries and several implementations on the way, the value of Schur's Cepheo Managed Services agreement is already significant.

 

Cepheo's support department handles daily challenges, allowing Jan and the Group IT function to focus more on long-term, strategic matters, Jan Damkjær highlights:

 

"It frees up time to think more long-term, while we have access to a site where we can get an overview of the cases Cepheo has handled for us. It works really well."

 

Strong collaboration enables technological success

 

The collaboration between Schur and Cepheo started in 2020, and Jan Damkjær is very satisfied with Cepheo.

 

"It's simple. Cepheo has skilled consultants who are able to develop and implement good solutions that fit our company," says Jan Damkjær.

 

In the three years since the first contract was signed, much has happened ‒ both globally and technologically.

 

"Since we started the collaboration, many things have happened, especially on the technological front. An example is Power Platform, which has evolved significantly and has become an important tool for us. We have a long-standing relationship with Cepheo, which we greatly appreciate. Our collaboration is developing in a positive way because we are getting to know each other better and we are also following together how the technology we work with is also evolving," says Jan Damkjær.

 

He also views the fact that Cepheo has become an independent company focused on Dynamics-based solutions as positive. In his opinion, it has increased their ability and flexibility to deliver solutions that can create a foundation for success at Schur.

 

Greater coherence across borders

 

Through the implementation of Dynamics 365 Sales, Schur has achieved noticeable improvements in their global sales strategy. The new approach helps create a cohesive sales system across countries and units.

 

This supports the company's focus on delivering common solutions across their various product areas with the Global Accounts strategy, which aims to strengthen internal collaboration towards customers. According to Jan Damkjær, the overall solution has resulted in a more streamlined sales process aimed at ensuring a data-driven approach and a shift towards shared business insights.

 

In addition to the value this creates, it is also important preparation for a future where artificial intelligence will undoubtedly play a key role. However, it is important for Jan Damkjær that the foundation is in place before artificial intelligence is integrated into the business:

 

"We need to be in control of our data and our processes, and we need to ensure that we have the necessary digital competencies in the business. If we invest in artificial intelligence before we are ready, we won't get a return on investment. We need to focus on the fundamentals now so that we don't get left behind when we do need to leverage artificial intelligence," concludes Jan Damkjær."

Want to learn more?

 

Contact our Sales Director, John T. Hummelgaard, for a discussion about your company's digitization.

 

Phine: +45 2510 2050


Email: jhummelgaard@cepheo.com