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Boels, one of the largest rental companies in Europe, is catching up on digitalization and is working hard behind the scenes on a new digital infrastructure. At the basis of this digital transformation is the introduction of a new Product Information Management (PIM) system.

PIM: A management system in which all product data is stored and can be opened up to external sources, such as a webshop or a customer portal. This data must be correct in order to display the correct information about Boels’ products and machines, but also to ensure that they can be found easily through search and find functions. In this way, a client can be sure to find the right machine if he wants to rent something from Boels.

It was important for Boels that not all old data was simply transferred to the new system, but that first an improvement in the quality of this data would take place. A part in which Perfact, with its experience and knowledge of master data management, has professionally supported and guided Boels to make this quality change.

New layout

“With the arrival of a new PIM system, we had the opportunity to think carefully about how we would like to store information in the new situation. This led to a new structure, with the consequence that the information that was already available about our products had to be rewritten so that it would fit in with the new way of recording,” says Jochen Bams, Product Owner Digital Solutions at Boels.

“Boels worked on compiling desired information fields and drawing up templates for use in the management system. Parallel to this, we started migrating the data. We received a variety of data from multiple product managers, responsible for different sectors and therefore different standards. Initially, by using smart applications, we cleaned up this bulk of data, which revealed certain findings that we shared with the Boels team,” says Bob Rajh, Project Manager at Perfact.

Quality Assurance

“Because of this systematic approach to data migration, we kept the helicopter view during the process and got a good idea of any missing or duplicate data. An example of this is that identical specifications for machines were named differently and therefore appeared twice in the database. Or that certain specifications were indicated in different units, both meters and centimeters, dB and dB(A), kilograms and tons. These trends and other possibilities of improvement were given back as feedback.” indicates Bob.

Jochen continues: “We in turn processed the feedback we received. When challenges arose, we were able to switch quickly because there were short lines of communication between both parties. Perfact was flexible on several occasions during the project. It was nice to be able to work together like this and to notice that you can fall back on a professional party”.

“As a knowledge partner, we did not only limit ourselves to converting the data to the system, but we always thought along with the process. In this way we ensured a high quality of the available data and thus the entire digital transformation,” Bob continues.

A solid basis

This part of the migration process has now been completed and with it, a strong foundation has been laid for the further rollout of the digital transformation process. “Our entire digital transformation process is still in full swing right now. We are currently migrating all of our websites to one new platform and then continuing to build all kinds of useful online tools for customers. In this way Boels can serve its customers (online) even better,” said Jochen.

“We are happy that we have taken care of our partner Boels, at least in this part of the project. Through a systematic and proactive approach, we ultimately laid a high quality foundation for the rest of the digital transformation,” Bob concludes.