Germanos store network is using Charisma ERP
COSMOTE and Germanos Romania implemented Charisma in 2003, and the benefits were immediately seen. Implementing Charisma, we acquired a centralized data base for all the stores, we streamlined the time allocated to the stock and retail activity management and, thus we could focus on a more detailed sales activity. Obviously, all these lead to an overall increase of the operational efficiency.”
Vlad Grațian, IT Manager
Germanos, a Telekom Romania partner, was established in 1980, when the first store was opened in Athens. In 2003, becomes a dealer for various mobile operators such as COSMOTE, OTE, TIM and Vodafone, determining thus the company’s expansion.
1992 represents the beginning of the development process in the Eastern Europe countries: Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, FYROM, and Ukraine. In 2006, Germanos is acquired by Cosmote Group in order to strengthen its position in The Balkans.
Germanos exists on the Romanian market since 1996, becoming the main retail and distribution network of mobile products and services. Germanos store network has over 220 units with an expertise in mobile services and products trade, as well as digital or associated products: telephones, cameras and camcorders, memory cards, mobile services from Cosmote and internet and fixed telephony services from Romtelecom.
In 2009, Germanos Telecom Romania and Cosmote Romanian Mobile Telemccommunication merged, operating under the same management.
Until 2003, when Charisma ERP was implemented, Germanos had been using the Excel ‘sheet’ as a basic tool to administer the sales activity all over the country. The internal reviews proved that this matter reduced the company’s efficient development and management. This was the reason to choose an ERP solution, with a higher flexibility, in order to manage the entire activity.
The negotiation and selection process lasted three months and the implementation five months. The software solution was installed and the migration was “live”, without using the previous solution in the same time. Practically, since that day, the store started using the new solution and the history was introduced afterwards. The Germanos network migrated to Charisma within a few days. This performance was possible after half of year of tests and preparations. At that moment, Germanos decided that the stores should work offline, with frequent replications so as to ensure the business continuity.
Unlike other projects, the special thing about Germanos was the implementation. The company’s end of sales was on December 31, using the previous application, and we had to implement the new solution in almost all the 70 stores that Germanos had in 2003. Obviously, without disturbing the customer’s sales”, states Liviu Dragan, CEO TotalSoft.
In 2006, after the group decided to standardize its financial-accounting activity, Germanos chose the SAP system. Though, in terms of retail activity, the company remained loyal to Charisma ERP, considering it “a very good module for our needs”, declared Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos. Two years later, when the chain had over 200 stores, there appeared the urgent need to transfer all the activity to the online mode.
“We had become the largest retail network in Romania and we were not able to manage 200 local bases, although the replications were done automatically in a clear time interval. Back then, we initiated a major project with TotalSoft in order to switch to the online activity and to add new facilities to Charisma Retail, said Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
Determining the hardware required to switch to online activity was the first challenge. In Romania, there was no other precedent, such a large chain store that could be used as a reference. The switch from the offline module the online module with Charisma Retail lasted around three months. During this period all the adjustments necessary were made for an activity without incidents.
In 2009, once Germanos joined the OTE group, (Cosmote Romania and Romtelecom were already a part of it) the company varied its services. A new functionality that allowed collecting the invoices issued by the two communications service providers was added to the company’s portfolio.
New functionalities that enabled collecting these invoices were developed in Charisma Retail. At the same time, the system was integrated with Cosmote and Romtelecom customer’s data bases. As the services offered by Germnos on behalf of Cosmote were extended, Charisma Retail was adapted, enabling a quick access to information, as well as recorded data accuracy. Practically, any new product that Cosmote launches onto the market implies a new integration with Charisma, meaning 8-10 new integrations with the system every year,
For a better management of the warranty and post-warranty services offered by Germanos, a new feature was developed in Charisma in order to track the IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) and the Serial Number. Thus, an end-to-end management was available in Charisma ERP, WMS and Retail systems.
Working online implied, first of all, a single data base, a quick and easier management of the resources, the real-time reporting at store/management level, but especially at chain level. “We reduced the time spent to restore a system in case of an eventual incident that could imply data loss by 50%”, states Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
In comparison to the previous years, the time allocated to the sales process was reduced. “We have a multitude of data that we can offer to our clients gathered in a single system. Data on the tariff plan, the extra options, invoice collection, last three invoices history”, added states Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
The interface with the ERP system was significantly facilitated. All the information about the prices and the new items, are now available to the final users in real time, without replicating in 200 data bases.
The integration with the providers’ customer data base in the group (COSMOTE, Romtelecom, Telemobil), helped the Germanos stores to collect the issued invoices only by verifying the telephone number or the subscriber code, without the hardcopy of the invoice. “After integrating Charisma Retail we can obtain real-time data of the last invoice issued by the operators in the group. There are between 15 000 and 20 000 daily returns in our stores, the Romanian market being thus the most prolific in this respect”, explains Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
The subscriptions are invoiced in Charisma Retail and the details regarding the discounts that can be offered to the customers, tariff plans or promotions are accessed by the operators in the stores through the interfaces developed by TotalSoft. “Automating the information transfer we secured the system, thus, the operator cannot modify the discount, so the possible errors are removed. Now, it is easier to compare the end-of-period reports of the companies on whose behalf we offer services”, adds Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
Recording IMEIs in Charisma ,the service team has access to information regarding the date when the telephone was sold, the store, other errors it had, if there are other similar errors at the respective model etc. Thus, the technician that tackles the problem is offered “the patient’s electronic record”.
The system automatically proposes the inventory. This proposal is compared to the Project Manager’s proposal, and finally, the order is made in a much shorter time with a better accuracy.
The application can be accessed on any system existing in the store and any hardware failure will not influence the sales. “I believe that using Charisma Retail in the COSMOTE, Germanos and Romtelecom clearly reflects the rapidness, security and flexibility of this system”, states Vlad Grațian, IT Manager Germanos.
Case study revised in 2013.