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Order Manager Connect 5: Expert interview with TecAlliance

| Medlemsnyhet | Företag TecAlliance GmbH

TecAlliance’s subject matter experts explain the next level of technological advancements in Order Manager solution!

One of the disruptive trends in automotive aftermarket is consolidation of channels, ultimately bringing digitisation of channels and interfaces. This in turn, reduces information asymmetry and increases cost transparency for the customers, as published in a recent report by McKinsey. While more and more parts manufactures are embracing digital or web-based solutions, TecAlliance successfully remained the largest digital “order to invoice” solution provider, in automotive aftermarket space.

Alexander Bresslau, Vice President Order Manager at TecAlliance, explains the EU market challenges and scenarios:
"European automotive aftermarket is reportedly growing 3% annually and will continue to grow in the coming years. The primary market challenges have always been scattered communication and non-availability of consolidated platform to standardize the processes."

Bryan Marschall, Vice President Order Manager at TecAlliance explains the foundation behind developing Connect 5:
"As businesses, markets and customer expectations evolve by the minute, we adhere to the norm of transformation from technical perspective. Productivity gains that seemed obvious at the previous outset, needed a technical overhaul. Technical improvisation is as much about the customers and processes as it is about technologies. We thrived to create a well-thought advanced solution, Connect 5 that caters to current existing challenges. Often, solutions are created, based only on the requirements or problems. We took a step further to understand and improve the current business ecosystem to better prepare for the digital future. Materializing the key idea of creating one Access-point for all business processes, Connect 5 bridges the gap between technical needs and customer’s convenience of use."

TecAlliance’s Order Manager, a state-of-the-art automation solution for the parts suppliers, dealers to workshops enable end to end “Order to Invoice” processing into one single platform. We talked to Andreas Maurer, Senior Technical Consultant, Order Manager to find out the key benefits of using Order Manager and Connect 5!

Could you explain Order Manager and its benefits for the suppliers?

Andreas: In an automotive supply chain many components are intertwined between a Supplier and the Buyers. Historically, the supplier needed to maintain numerous one-to-one connections to the buyers, using various platforms, technologies, resulting into a chaotic scenario with high maintenance.

Order Manager simplifies everything into one single platform!

Through Order Manager, the suppliers have ‘One Connection’, ‘One Platform’ and ‘One Interface’ reducing the complexities and implementation burdens, allowing better market reach. No more, a supplier needs to adhere to his customer’s technical interface requirements if he’s an Order Manager user! Order Manager expert team is continuously working towards technological advancements based on the customer and market requirements. As a result, Connect 5 was introduced. The suppliers, using Connect 5 see enormous advantages to simplify their businesses with their customers, and at the same time they are able to bring more growth to businesses with less costs.

What about Connect 5 and how does it work?

Andreas: Connect 5 is the latest development based on customer needs and our product vision. This is the most comfortable way for a supplier to connect to the Order Manager platform. Connect 5 serves as a communication and integration component that takes away all the complexities from a supplier in order to provide cost efficiencies and time saving.

Take a case of an Order Manager buyer, enters a part number in the system, selects the matching brand and sends to the suppliers. Just a few seconds later he gets a response. We ensure the backend support. However, a customer can connect to Order Manager in many ways depending on its platform infrastructure, choosing from variety of connection scenarios. The supplier has the opportunity to connect via

  • Entry model or “manual operation”;
  • Classic model or “automated before ERP system”
  • Comfort model or “automated and integrated in the ERP system”

What are the new possibilities that you have created with Connect 5?

Andreas: One of the most interesting new possibilities is ‘Message Throttling’. A very common operational challenge for a supplier is to have an overloaded ERP system that slows down its performance, due to many solutions running on it. Thanks to Connect 5 Message Throttling feature, now a supplier can limit the number of incoming messages. This allows supplier’s ERP system to perform steadily. This has been a very popular feature amongst the Connect 5 users.

Are there ‘cost savings’ opportunities for a supplier?

Andreas: Most of the cost saving comes from the easy configuration that lowers the integration and migration costs ultimately resulting into lower project costs.
Compared to past scenarios, where a supplier needs to have a dedicated server, Connect 5 could be run on an existing Windows server without a database. This saves a huge amount of Licensing Cost. Our solution is cloud based and therefore, runs inside our network.

Jaroslav Markovec, senior software developer, Order Manager is leading the development of Connect 5 project.

Jaroslav: Following the overall strategy, we developed this solution to simplify the whole process for our customers.  Previously, customers faced challenges with multiple requirements and software installations to set up an order process, sometimes not knowing where to start!

Hence, the most successful scenario, is the development of centrally configured, remotely administered and monitored solution, to streamline the processes.

The ease of configuration and installation that Connect 5 offers, lead to a faster onboarding and a faster time-to-market. The solution consolidates all different configurations and services involved, into one single basepoint.

Did you witness success?

Jaroslav: We had successful deployments with the first of our customers and witnessed success already. In some cases, we have noted a significant increase in traffic.

Some customers are even using additional monitoring services that allow them to see the number of requests per day, knowing exactly, what’s happening with their instances. This implies a great improvement in business for the customers.

Security and privacy is one of the concerning factors for businesses. How is Connect 5 dealing with that?

Jaroslav: Yes, the businesses are concerned about opening their internet network to third party providers due to security restrictions. However, internet is undeniably the most critical component for business. Connect 5 solves the problem by offering an alternative communication mode, without forcing the suppliers to expose their network and service from the outside. The users are completely protected from any incoming connection.

Is Connect 5 easy to get up and running ?

Jaroslav: Indeed, it’s very easy to setup, providing easy configurations as well as saving a lot of time. We have simplified the previous ‘Order Processes’ and upgraded to streamline the whole structure.
More innovations are planned for the future to provide additional support to the suppliers. We would like to make sure that the integration implementation with ERPs is as easy as possible together with visual workflow designer to create customizations without writing any code.

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