The Berner Group currently employs around 9,000 people in some 60 companies located in 25 countries. Its various business units are all managed from the group’s headquarters in Künzelsau, Germany, including direct-to-customer sales of tools and consumables for skilled trades under the Berner brand, the Caramba Chemical Group, as well as building-industry specialist and direct marketer BTI. The headquarters also house an IT department responsible for technologically linking all of the group’s international subsidiaries.
The Berner Group’s goal was to operate a standardised IT infrastructure with the help of uniform processes—including for software deployment, system preloads and IT support—across all of its sites. Hardware was to be delivered centrally.
To this end, the Berner Group requested a global portfolio allowing authorised users to order any required IT component. This platform had to be reliable and available to all employees worldwide. The Berner Group also wanted its IT users to be able to provide feedback internally. The project’s overarching goal, however, was to build a homogeneous IT landscape throughout the entire group, with every component available for delivery in any country at any time for a consistent price.
In Neckarsulm, Bechtle built up a stock of client computers and corresponding peripherals for each of the Berner Group’s 25 countries of business. This international portfolio features PCs, notebooks and monitors, primarily by Dell, which Berner selected following thorough testing.
Bechtle centrally preloads these systems using Microsoft Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), then dispatches them to their country of destination. Throughout the process, Bechtle takes into account each country’s specific circumstances—such as their existing IT infrastructure as well as the software solutions they use—upgrading and retrofitting clients as needed.
In addition, the prices agreed between Bechtle and the Berner Group incorporate currency fluctuations as well as logistics costs, ensuring stable prices despite the portfolio’s international structure.
Each employee and each activity at the Berner Group has its own hardware and software requirements. Against a backdrop of 9,000 employees in 25 countries, we had to find a way to satisfy these requirements in a centralised and unified manner. Bechtle’s experts not only had a fantastic solution, they also provided the client-management experience to implement it perfectly.
Wolf Christian Drexel, Director International IT, Berner Group
Because the pricing of Dell and additional hardware is consistent across all of its global sites, the Berner Group is able to plan its IT budget more efficiently and straightforwardly from a central location. In addition, the Berner Group benefits from a single, central contact for both the vendor and systems integrator should any issues arise with hardware delivery—saving significant time and other resources.
Wolf Christian Drexel is all about speed, efficiency and flexibility. He explains how IT has come to be central unit at Berner and highlights the importance of homogeneous hardware and software.