Axians Referenz König + Neurath

Migration of isolated applications to SAP CRM and NEO Mobile Suite

Customer benefits

The integration of SAP CRM leads to significantly more transparency in sales and easy controlling. The sales department is perfectly supported by the use of the NEO Mobile Suite in mobile activities.


King + Neurath



König + Neurath is one of the top-selling German office furniture brands. One of the key success factors here is the traditionally intensive customer relationships, which, however, were no longer supported in an up-to-date manner by the CRM system used. This was because the application was not only a stand-alone solution, but had also become “more than outdated” in the meantime. That’s why König + Neurath decided to make a fresh start – supported by Axians’ SAP Solutions & Technology division.

Intensive customer relationships determine requirements

“The replacement of the old CRM system was absolutely overdue. It felt like we were the second-to-last user of this solution, which we had originally introduced back in 1997,” says Michael Hoppe, Head of IT at König + Neurath, describing the initial situation. In addition, sales was one of the last areas not to follow the office furniture manufacturer’s overarching IT strategy, according to which “all systems used must be able to communicate with each other.”


Since the CRM, which had previously been used primarily by the sales department as a pure address and activity database, was now also to be integrated into the further processes up to and including service, König + Neurath initially decided on the classic approach: All the requirements of the different areas were queried in a differentiated manner in order to develop an overall concept for all areas. “In the process, we quickly realized that we are not necessarily the ‘blue print kings’ who lock ourselves in the closet for weeks and then come out with a perfectly thought-out fine concept. That’s why we decided to continue with a more prototypical approach,” says Hoppe.

Between key account contracts and variant diversity

In any case, it was important for the new CRM system to reflect the special features of office furniture sales. König + Neurath sells its products through specialist dealers, and the deliveries themselves are often made directly to the end customer. In addition, there are key account contracts. It must be possible to store this relationship accordingly. In addition, the products themselves cannot be easily managed in CRM, as there are a large number of possible variants. A wide variety of surfaces can be combined with different edge colors, for example, and dimensions also vary, resulting in an almost infinite number of variants from 35,000 basic articles. For this reason, only product groups such as “seating furniture” or “cabinet systems” and their values are currently stored in CRM; the specification is carried out separately in a separate variant configurator in SAP ERP.

Integration of LO-VC from the ERP system into CRM will be evaluated at a later stage. In addition, however, it was also necessary to transfer quite banal things, such as the existing “birthday list”. In addition to meeting the industry-specific requirements, the new CRM had to work in an integrated manner with the existing SAP system, because the “single point of truth”, i.e. that each date is managed in only one place, was also one of the specifications. In addition, the new solution had to be web-enabled and support mobile working.

The evaluation matrix helps to make a decision

An initial comparison showed that the three leading systems – SAP CRM, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics – basically met these requirements. König + Neurath therefore added a weighted evaluation matrix to the selection criteria and took a closer look at two possible service providers per product. “On this basis, it quickly became clear that SAP CRM was the only option for us. When it came to choosing a partner, Axians was not only convincing from a technical point of view, but also from a gut feeling,” says Michael Hoppe, explaining the decision. Two principles applied to the implementation, which started in February 2014: Additional programming was to be absolutely avoided; only pure customizing was permitted. And: The project should proceed pragmatically and professionally, area by area and not all at once. “What we had before should also work in the future, but integrated and above all mobile,” summarizes Michael Hoppe.

Data quality as one of the biggest challenges

The first prototype for distribution was ready after a short time. However, the data transfer proved to be “tricky”. This was because the data from the legacy system showed multiple overlaps with the customer data in SAP. In addition, the old solution had hardly any mandatory fields or plausibility checks, so that a large number of incorrect data records had accumulated over the years. “It was quite possible to enter ‘Karl Maier’ residing in ‘Tokyo’ in ‘Hungary’. With more than 200,000 data records, this resulted in a real tour de force during the transfer. Even now, after the start of production, the issue of data quality keeps us on our toes,” reports Michael Hoppe.

Fully integrated process without media breaks

For the mapping of mobile processes, König + Neurath decided to implement the NEO Mobile Suite from Axians. However, instead of the native application for the mobile devices, the company chose the web client. “Operation via the browser ensures maximum platform independence for us. Because it doesn’t matter whether we use Android-, iOS- or Windows-based devices. This gives us the greatest possible flexibility for the introduction of the next modules in marketing and service,” says Michael Hoppe, explaining the decision.


To ensure acceptance, a key user structure was set up at an early stage and a differentiated training plan was drawn up. An experienced sales employee was largely kept free from day-to-day business and was thus able to act as an interface to operational sales. He was also responsible for organizing and, for the most part, conducting the training sessions. After all, a total of around 100 employees had to be familiarized with the new CRM solution, 50 of them in the field alone. In the first training sessions, not only were the basic functionalities presented, but suggestions for improvement were also requested.

When it came to choosing a partner, Axians was not only convincing from a technical point of view, but also the 'gut feeling' was simply right.

Head of IT, König + Neurath

Project result: More transparency in controlling

“Compared to the legacy system, the new CRM offers significantly more options, but is also more complex to operate. The integration also ensures transparency and makes it possible to set up real sales controlling. This also led to ‘fear of contact’ on the part of some employees, which had to be reduced through training,” reports Michael Hoppe. Overall, however, it was possible to ensure acceptance among employees in this way.

Further modules in planning

So now nothing stands in the way of introducing the next two modules. After marketing, this primarily concerns service, because mobile workforce management is also to be mapped in the future on the basis of the NEO Mobile Suite integrated with SAP CRM. This not only involves the company’s own 15 technicians, but also external service providers who are commissioned on a regular basis.

Another project is the connection of a self-service portal, which should significantly simplify the spare parts ordering process in particular. König + Neurath also relies on the support of Axians’ SAP team for the projects. “The cooperation has proven itself in all facets: Even a change of personnel in the project management on the part of Axians did not lead to any impairments in the ongoing conversion. Especially with regard to the know-how in the area of mobile processes, we see ourselves in good hands here,” concludes Michael Hoppe.

About König + Neurath

König+Neurath is a leading company for modern office furnishings. Since 1925, the German-based company has pursued a clear mission: to create working environments that combine innovation, functionality and aesthetics. With high-quality furniture and well thought-out concepts, König+Neurath designs inspiring office environments that promote productivity and well-being.

Logo König+Neurath