GWS Gesellschaft für Warenwirtschafts-Systeme mbH organized the largest IT conference in the company’s history on February 5 and 6. More than 400 participants came to the Esperanto Hotel in Fulda to attend lectures, panel discussions and workshops and learn about the bandwidth offered by GWS’s diverse IT solutions to optimally exploit the possibilities digitization opens up. The conference featured an extensive exhibition with more than 30 booths, including one from the purchasing office Deutscher Eisenhändler GmbH (E/D/E). In a first, the GWS IT Conference included all wholesale and retail sectors.
Kicking off the event was the GWS management status report. Udo Lorenz and Georg Mersmann addressed both the continuing positive development of GWS and trends in the retail trade and world of work. “With a turnover of close to 60 million euro, more than 460 employees and all Microsoft products on offer,” said Lorenz and Mersmann to the managing directors and IT managers present, “we can now claim to be a reliable and stable partner for our customers.” Any company working with GWS, whether large or small, will know that they have products with optimal future security, good advice and a responsible company at their side. But above all, the participants would be inspired and find solutions regarding how best to adapt to the demands of the market and their own customers.
Great market opportunities
In analyzing the market and developing IT, Mersmann and Lorenz highlighted the opportunities which using IT and modern ERP systems present. Applications such as mobile working, IT- and sensor-supported all-round monitoring of servers and rooms or paperless administration open up new and hitherto undiscovered potential. The two managing directors believe that modern IT can even alleviate the challenges posed by shortages of skilled workers.
To boost customer support still further, the two managing directors presented numerous changes in the organization and support processes. Key among these are industry-related business units, expedited support responses and accelerated project implementations. Lorenz: “In 2018, the customer survey showed us that while our clients are happy with our efforts, there is still room for improvement.”
Improvements of gevis ERP | NAV
The presentation of the current GWS main solution gevis ERP | NAV as well as the improvements made since the last conference were crucial parts of the IT conference. The new features of the role center include significantly higher processing speed and an improved ability to export data from gevis to EXCEL and edit it there. The newly developed web, phone and tablet clients now enable access via all end devices and from anywhere, which paves the way for field staff and management to work on the spot. Also new is the so-called Universal Roll Center, linking up what were previously separate tasks, such as purchasing and sales. This extension is primarily intended for employees who take on several tasks in the company, who will now be able to use a common role center.
gevis ERP | NAV becomes gevis ERP | BC
When presenting the improvements made within gevis ERP | NAV the speakers also announced an upcoming name change. Because Microsoft is renaming Navision as Business Central, on which gevis is also based, gevis ERP | NAV will also be renamed gevis ERP | BC. A key update on the increasingly important cloud topic was also announced. In future, there will be scope to use gevis ERP | BC while eliminating all need for a server and infrastructure. According to Managing Director Georg Mersmann, “We envision customers simply downloading the software from the Internet and paying for it based on the number of users and the time used.” The basis for this, according to the Managing Director, would be Microsoft’s data centers, which are now located entirely in Europe, for example in Amsterdam and Dublin, to be followed by Berlin and Frankfurt as of 2020.
A varied support program
As is customary at a GWS IT conference, application-specific presentations were supported by exhibits from GWS partners as well as various comprehensive presentations on topics such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, a holistic eCommerce strategy or gevis as SaaS from the cloud. There was great interest in a speed dating event, at which over a dozen GWS partners introduced themselves, and a panel discussion, in which five companies from food wholesale trade, building materials , wholesale and retail and technical wholesale trades reported on their digitization plans and results.