The ACO Group is a world market leader in drainage technology. With its integrated approach, ACO stands for professional drainage, efficient cleaning, and the controlled discharge or reuse of water.
ACO has a presence in over 40 countries, with a total of 30 production sites on four continents. With a global workforce of 5,000, the company generated sales of 850 million Euros in 2018.
The family-owned company headquartered in Rendsburg/Büdelsdorf, Germany, was founded in 1946 on the site of the Carlshütte foundry – Schleswig-Holstein’s first industrial company. The innovation strength of the ACO Group is built on intense research and development, and its technical expertise in processing polymer concrete, plastic, cast iron, stainless steel and reinforced concrete. Thanks to internationalisation and diversification, we can balance out large fluctuations in local construction sector markets, and stabilise our expansion course.
"ACO’s business covers the complete life cycle of the product from design, through specification, to manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, warehousing, distribution and finance."
That is why ACO Group has the need to combine various types of ERP systems. One of them is certainly Dynamics NAV. Some ACO companies use Dynamics NAV for many years, since their inception. Dynamics NAV has the capacity to integrate.
Dynamics NAV has capability to integrates
After intensive research the group decided to divide all the companies in two groups.
Big and slow change companies
(in slang “Container ships")
And nimble fast speeding easy to adapt companies
(in slang "speed boats")
The decision for the “container ships” was SAP and for “speedboats” NAV, with a three-phase-plan for integration and consolidation.
One of the first phases of planning is to find a suitable company to partner with in creating the "core" and an overall support in this long-term project.
After the screening and suggestion, we chose the Croatian company DignetSoftware.
Over the period of one year we developed the initial “core” together and established rules and functionalities to be implemented in all ACO companies. We first implemented in Croatia. A few months later we implemented in the following countries: Bosnia, Serbia, Belgium, Estonia, India and China. In the picture below the countries in green stand for countries which already have ACO NAV. The blue companies are companies in progress.
With the help of DignetSoftware and through the constant improvement of our business process and capabilities, during our process of integration we simultaneously start working on the integration between SAP and NAV companies, but not only that between Sales and Production companies. Apart from sharing stock and resources sale companies could trigger the production process in the corresponding production company in another country if necessary.
All of that has improved the effectiveness of our people tenfold. We have changed the way people think about the sales process. Selling something from the other side of the continent is no problem. Likewise, selling something which needs to be produced aging is no problem.
The overall speed for the exchange of information and items for our customers has improved drastically. In phase 3 we start working on the e-commerce platform. Since we are a drainage company the idea to have an e-commerce platform or a web shop seemed unrealistic in the beginning. However, once we started with the “Pilot” we found that, because of its full integration with NAV, it acts as a great source of information for our customers, who want to form a picture or acquire information about the price or decrease the time for creating quotes or orders.
ACO NAV is a crucial part of our daily work. It allows us to remain number one in the field of drainage technology. We love simple and quick solutions and care a lot about user experience. Therefore, a full integration of all Office tools, from e-mail to One note to Power BI is a great help.