No matter whether you’re a start-up or a market leader, MAC IT-Solutions delivers the right IT solutions for a range of requirements in e-commerce and omnichannel commerce. The company always acts with the principle of “You reach the top with focus.” and can therefore react to changes in the market and increasing expectations in terms of technology.
The Microsoft Dynamics platform, on which the complete mail-order business software DiVA is based, provides a sustainable basis due to its releaseability. Even with high volumes of transactions, processes can run smoothly as there’s a high degree of automation. Additionally, DiVA is available on location or in the Microsoft Cloud and can therefore be used very flexibly. Tradebyte’s top brand customers such as springlane, hessnatur or naketano have been placing their trust in the solutions for many years. These are the perfect prerequisites for a sustainable and long-term partnership, not to mention recently being awarded with one of the first certifications for a tech partner in the ERP sector.
Luisa and Anna at MAC IT-Solutions
For Anna – from Kiel – it was just a stone’s throw to Flensburg, and as Luisa had always wanted to feel the “stiff breeze” of Northern Germany, we decided to visit the MAC IT headquarters on 10th September, just before going to DMEXCO in Cologne. At DMEXCO, we had a hearty reunion with Olli, as Tradebyte and MAC IT were represented together in the ECD Lounge.
In the foyer of the modern building we were greeted by a welcome screen and afterwards personally received by Kerstin, Dirk and Olli. Even before we properly started our appointment, we were given a “code bag for “experts”. In the context of an employer branding campaign, all employees are called “super heroes”, as they successfully implement ERP projects as a “specialist in something” rather than a “specialist in nothing”. So, for a few hours, we also felt like “super heroes”. Around 100 “super heroes” work at the location in Flensburg, eight others work their super powers in the Hamburg office. MAC is a company that stands by its word – with a Nordic cool head and a focus on what’s important. Different benefits for different ages ensure that the super heroes between 23 and 63 years can put all their powers into running projects. These range from massages to height-adjustable tables, to cooking together or the collaboration with a day-care centre for kids. Furthermore, there’s a wide range of sports with a cross-fit group, different company runs or table football tournaments.
The success story of MAC began in 2004 when it was founded. However, its basis was set out 30 years ago with the “mother of all German mail-order business solutions” MAILplus, which was based on IBM technology. When the product lifecycle ran its course 15 years ago, this wealth of experience and industry expertise went into the current solution called DiVA. The especially adapted application won over customers such as dress-for-less, LLOYD, gourmondo or Orion. That’s how DiVA became the benchmark of the industry it is today. With functions such as CRM, ERP, OMS, LVS and POS, it can display the processes of an order – for online as well as offline channels. The perfectly coordinated modular interplay of the DiVA solutions enables the customer to react to any change with this mail-order business software. All information about the trade processes in the product range, supply chain and finance (DiVA ERP), logistics, shipping and storage structure (DiVA LVS), as well as customer service, order management (DiVA OMS) and marketing (DiVA CRM) sectors are pooled in one database.
In the development of modules, MAC isn’t afraid to put innovative approaches into practice, such as design thinking. So a dozen employees received training and, in a workshop together with customers and service providers, laid the foundation for the OMS module. Anna also took part in the workshop and contributed to the new OMS together with all the other participants. DiVA OMS unites all the functions of order management and is a streamlined version of the ERP software which is embedded in existing systems and can be extended with further modules afterwards. Design thinking has also entered the day-to-day business at MAC. One example is the presentation of the project status on a wall made out of Lego.
A typical customer project starts with an initial workshop in which an interface map is created and the systematic functions and dependencies determined in order to collate them with the DiVA standard. In a second step, a concept phase, the previously gained insights are incorporated across all areas for going into the implementation of the project with a basic structure of core functions and customising requirements, if required. MAC especially emphasises communication with the customer and problem solving on a personal level. This is how the MAC super heroes master the most complex projects and ensure that the solution still runs perfectly even after 10 years. Due to this, Tradebyte and MAC have developed many mutual customers and a sophisticated connection.
Thanks to the intensive partnership, MAC was immediately willing to take part in the beta certification of ERP interfaces as a test partner. That’s why the new certification logo adorns the MAC folder for TB.ONE marketplace connections. We’re very happy to have MAC on board as one of the first certified tech partners in the ERP sector! The official rollout of certifications will come asap – stay tuned!
Interview with MAC IT: Oliver Bartl, Head of Cloud Services
Tradebyte: What are frequent bottlenecks in an ERP project especially in terms of fashion?
Oliver: Even in the analysis phase you find out that processes aren’t as trivial as they initially sound, and as the project goes on you realise how detailed and individual processes in the fashion industry can be. Especially the professional handling of variants, vouchers, internationality (different currencies), returns and proper accounting challenges many systems and projects. Bottlenecks are therefore mainly people responsible and concerned in a project who understand and master these challenges and have to do so.
In your opinion, which systematic requirements in terms of e-commerce will be put in place in the future?
We’re clearly heading in the direction of omnichannel commerce. It’s not always just about the mere presence on different channels and the creation of output, but in particular about the speed of being able to use and implement new, innovative opportunities. The timing, being at the forefront of innovations right from the start is extremely important in commerce nowadays.
What do you usually find when you start a new project with the customer? An e-commerce newbie? An outdated system environment?
Our customers are usually known or established online players with several hundred or even thousands of orders and returns per day. Often, the used system environment is outdated or not up to the modern requirements and volumes. Now and again, we accompany relatively new and unknown players with their entry into online trade with the background of enabling fast growth and market establishment (scaling) through our expertise and solutions. Investors like it when our software solution DiVA, which is well known in the industry, is the IT basis for the desired and required growth. That makes it much easier to get investments.
Which trade process takes up the most time during the introduction?
That’s hard to say. There are customers who have sophisticated service processes, which have to be displayed in the software. Others require a complex commissioning process in the warehouse far from standard processes because that is the USP of the customer. But in every process there’s a “time-eater” which you have to learn to be in control of.
The MAC IT-Solutions “super heroes” carry out project after project with big, well-known customers. What’s your recipe for success?
I think first of all we’re very authentic towards customers and prospective customers. We’re typically Nordic and honest, we tell the customer if something isn’t possible and we’re very pragmatic. That goes down well with the market and gets about. But of course that’s not enough to bind customers long-term. That takes more. Customers say for example that we’re absolute specialists in commerce and e-commerce, that we understand them completely and we’re on one level. That reflects more than 25 years of experience. Last but not least, with our DiVA we have one of the most successful solutions for medium-sized companies – without wanting to sound arrogant – and set the benchmark for omnichannel backend solutions in our market segment.
What distinguishes the long years of collaboration with Tradebyte?
We’ve determined that the Tradebyte solutions (mainly TB.One) perfectly complement DiVA when connecting marketplaces. On the other hand, we’re simply a great match as companies. The chemistry between the project employees is just right and it’s great fun to carry out projects together and celebrate the success together afterwards.
Tradebyte is starting a certification programme for tech partners and we were allowed to “test” the BETA certification on you. Why did you agree to do this immediately and where do you see the added value?
It’s an honour to be one of the first ERP technology partners and be awarded a successful certification. Through this, we indicate to our prospective and current customers that the technical connection and omnichannel commerce work perfectly, also in bulk business, and that it’s proven itself over many years. That saves us the hassle of persuading customers that we can do it. And that creates an advantage over our competitors.
At MAC IT since: 2015
What do you do in your spare time? Running and travelling
What led a Bavarian like you to Flensburg? Work and love
Personal goals for 2018/2019: Being allowed to travel again as a MAC representative to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond (USA) as a selected Microsoft Partner.