Customer Stories

TBF Thompson

TBF Thompson increasing effectiveness and efficiency in a dealer management system.

TBF Thompson (Garvagh) has been operating in the plant and truck sales/servicing sectors for over 50 years and has traded in the Irish Republic as TBF Thompson (Plant) Ltd for around 25 years. In that time, TBF Thompson is proud to have become a well-respected company, supporting businesses who serve the economies of Northern Ireland and the Republic.

TBF Thompson has held the exclusive distributorship for DAF in Northern Ireland for over 15 years and also holds the rights for LDV in both the North and the Republic. Other exclusive distribution agreements are in place for Bomag, Thwaites, DAF, Deutz and Hitachi (held for over 18 years), amongst many others.

TBF Thompson supports their wide customer base through four depots in the North and a further two depots in the Republic.

Situation

The Northern operation was running a heavily modified version of Equiplan on HPUX to manage the business. In the Republic, the business was being run on an inadequately supported basic accounting/ inventory system. The DEC MicroVAX based system was being used in conjunction with many manual processes. The two systems were being run independently of each other. The original business objectives for implementing a new dealer management solution were to:

Take advantage of improvements in technology and systems;
Reduce the amount of duplication (keyed and manual);
Provide managers with an informative, easy-to-use overview of the business;
Provide key functional and performance indicators, such as labour efficiency and productivity;
Provide consolidation of Group results and increase their visibility across TBFT Companies;
Improve parts availability and first pick percentage;
Facilitate connectivity to third party systems (especially DAF);
Move to a system that is flexible enough to cope with future business needs.

Implementation

The approach took the form of a rapid implementation pilot at the Dublin depot, followed shortly afterwards by the Galway depot. A period of review then followed, before moving on to the depots located in Northern Ireland. This method allowed for an increased input from all areas of the business ahead of the roll out into the more complex operations in the North.

The implementation team was selected by the steering group and included full time project managers from both TBF Thompson and Annata. The two project managers built a solid relationship and worked closely together to ensure that any issues were fully investigated and quickly resolved to minimize delays in the overall project timetable. The team also included a data lead and an inventory expert. A senior manager from the Dublin depot completed the TBF Thompson element of the team.

Involvement by these key decision makers was essential to the success of the overall implementation. This ensured that there was no delay in making alterations to the set-up of the system, or in making changes to the business operations to take advantage of useful features within the Annata Dynamics DMS solution.

Solution

TBF Thompson embarked on a detailed analysis of their current procedures and began by identifying changes that could be made to improve their operations. They sought a solution that would match up to their operational needs, as well as supporting an innovative approach to the way they wished to do business in the future.

Ultimately, they were looking for a solution that would enable them to continue to offer exceptional levels of customer service. After a careful and detailed selection process, TBF Thompson chose Annata and the Annata Dynamics DMS solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

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