The Stern family business has been developing garden and leisure furniture for over 70 years, with ever-growing creativity and passion. Their products range extends from lightweight aluminium furniture to purist stainless steel shapes made and classic wickerwork or teak. Around 100 employees work every day at the company headquarters in Affalterbach in southern Germany to promptly supply almost 500 partners in Europe via a modern central warehouse with around 17,000 pallet spaces.
Furniture and furnishings
Traditional CAFM tools offer way more functions than Stern could ever need.
Stern, Facility Management worked with intensity using Excel spreadsheets and verbal and written communication and reports. This proved to be time-consuming and nerve-wracking, especially as they had no dedicated facility manager. Stern’s managing director took on these tasks himself. However, it quickly became clear that this way of working did not allow for a comprehensive overview over the facilities management processes.
That’s why Max Walter was hired as an experienced facility manager at Stern. Due to his expertise in dealing with CAFM systems, it was clear that Stern needed software that would make workflows faster and simpler while providing a clear overview of the whole facilities management process.
However, with three buildings to manage and only a few technical assets, they quickly realized that a comprehensive CAFM system was too powerful for their needs. It seemed to them that a traditional CAFM system offers more functions than Stern’s facility management could possibly need in their daily work. Max Walter summed it up:
“The software should be exactly as simple and uncomplicated as our work is.”
Wowflow is a quick to learn and user-friendly solution
Stern was pleasantly surprised when Wowflow approached them. They had no idea that facilities management software like this existed beyond the CAFM tools market. Wowflow is characterized by its user-friendliness, ease of use and expandability, which was ultimately the decisive factor for them to take a step towards optimizing facilities management processes with Wowflow. It was particularly important to them that the system was so user-friendly that it could even be handed over to a trainee.
The step-by-step mobile app implementation is a game changer for Stern
Due to Stern’s manual way of working, they lost track of things and had a patchy situation with their data collection and storage. Therefore, they have made a conscious decision simply not to just upload their existing data during the implementation phase, but to create it manually, completely from scratch. Even though this involves hundreds of data points, they have no regrets about taking this step, as it enables them to work with much more precise data sets in the future.
Documenting processes is extremely simple with the mobile app. You can easily walk around your facilities, take photos and upload them directly to the database.
Although they are currently at 70% of the implementation, and it is not yet complete, they already say that it is a worthwhile investment, with a favourable influence on their data collection and storage processes. That is, even if they should decide to work with a different system in the future—Wowflow has been a major milestone in the development of their current database. Their experience with manual implementation has convinced them that Wowflow is also an efficient solution for data collection.