Globus Fachmärkte uses Lobster_data for its digital purchasing processes

Happy customers are an important measure of the economic success of any company. And as one of the leading retailers in Germany, Globus Fachmärkte consistently achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction across their 91 DIY stores trading under the ‘Globus Baumarkt’ and ‘hela Profi Zentrum’ brands. In a recent study by the German Institute for Trade Research, Globus DIY stores were named the most customer-friendly DIY stores in Germany, alongside Dähne-Verlags, which were highlighted for the eighth time in a row. In another customer satisfaction survey, Germany’s ‘Kundenmonitor 2017’ ranked Globus DIY stores number 1 in the do-it-yourself sector in terms of overall satisfaction, which put them far ahead of the competition.

In order to achieve and maintain such results, the company’s processes must be optimally coordinated. One fundamentally important link in the chain concerns optimised purchasing and supplier processes, because if a product is missing from the shelves, customer satisfaction quickly drops. Two years ago, Globus Fachmärkte’s IT department decided to seek out a solution to further optimise their purchasing processes with suppliers – they soon came across the software solutions from IT company Lobster.

Until then, the task of sending data to suppliers was outsourced to a traditional EDI service provider, along with all the disadvantages that entails. For example, if any problems arose, everything had to be recorded and documented, test data made available and then checked once again after a solution was implemented. Only after approval from Globus Fachmärkte could any issues be corrected by the provider. Another problem was that the existing software – something out of the history books – was relatively rigid and couldn’t be adapted to the company’s modern requirements. All this involved a great deal of time and expense.

That’s why the teams at Globus Fachmärkte were on the hunt for a system that could improve their internal purchase processes significantly. When researching the market, IT company Lobster soon convinced the team of the benefits of their software solution, Lobster_data. Instead of having to resort to several different software products, Lobster offered an intuitive tool that unites everything in one complete solution, enabling smooth data exchange between different IT systems and data formats across the company and with their suppliers. The easy-to-use program also won with its price.

Software solutions for EDI

Lobster_data is used at Globus Fachmärkte primarily for EDI applications (electronic data interchange) for specific suppliers and acts as a central server, coordinating all data from inventory management in all markets and their online shop. The system records when orders are sent, when delivery notes are received and when suppliers issue any invoices, alongside transmitting sales data to suppliers, who can automatically generate orders, as well as stock levels for individual markets. Around 50 suppliers are currently managed by Lobster_data at Globus Fachmärkte. Data volumes are effortlessly processed, tracked and summarised by Lobster_data.

Automatic error messages for smooth running

The IT team responsible for EDI at Globus Fachmärkte is enthusiastic about how the Lobster_data server performs and the statistical analyses available through Lobster_data itself. “The statistics very clearly show what’s been happening in the system, how many orders have been received, deliveries completed, invoices created, etc. With Lobster_data, we can have an overview of our processes in real time and react very quickly, even if something isn’t working quite right”. This is guaranteed by error messages being automatically generated and sent by Lobster_data. “At the same time, debugging works very well. Data contained in input files is immediately checked to see if it is being included in the right field. If it’s not, this will be corrected straight away”, explains Martin Fries, IT Manager, who sees the software’s quick and easy connection capabilities to existing databases as just another advantage of the system. He also has a lot of praise for the support available at Lobster. “Support is very easy to get and they operate with the highest level of skill and friendliness”.

Satisfaction from the start

Enthusiasm for the software could already be felt even when the system was first being introduced. “We had to convert the entire application to the new system. From installation, creating the mappings and test phases right through to connecting our partners, everything had to be transferred one by one. This happened in record time of just six months”, recalls the IT Manager, “an enormously short period of time for implementing so many processes”. By introducing mappings following the so-called ‘code a little, test a little’ method, it was possible to configure and test only small sections at a time, configuring them fully at a later date only if they worked properly. “For other systems, you have to write the entire program first. If you then come across an error, you have to go back to the drawing board and check everything”, explains Martin.

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