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With around 30 employees and its headquarters in Gerlingen in southern Germany, the stucco plastering company Mingram specialises in dry construction, wet, interior and exterior plastering and exterior thermal insulation cladding systems. Its large number of satisfied customers includes companies as well as private individuals and public institutions. Effective and efficient IT processes that simply work are the be-all and end-all for the medium-sized crafts business. That is why Managing Director Michael Mingram turned to long-standing partner Konica Minolta with confidence when he needed a solution to make the company’s IT ready for the digital future.
All the information flows come together in the office of a medium-sized craft and trade business: inquiries and e-mails, customer and supplier information, payroll accounting, banking and invoicing, inventory lists and materials management – to name just a few examples. Plasterer Mingram used to have primarily standalone solutions for this purpose. Managing Director Michael Mingram recalls: “We are real Excel kings. But nowadays that’s just outdated. We were on the lookout for a solution that would eliminate sources of error, for example in maintaining and processing customer information. No more different versions – combined with parallel access and simultaneous editing. The digitalisation process hasn’t advanced that far in the crafts and trades sector. But we wanted to be at the front of the game.”
Michael Mingram was looking to find a solution that would make its business fit for the digital future – and found it in the business software M-Soft. “That in turn meant that we needed a new, compatible server solution. Our existing RAID system was not designed for this and had also become a little outdated. However, one thing was clear to me – a separate server cabinet for five office workstations was out of the question,” Michael Mingram explains.
When Michael Mingram’s contact at Konica Minolta introduced him to Workplace Hub, he was immediately hooked. An intelligent overall IT solution with a printer solution integrated in one device was exactly what he was looking for. The company had already been working with Konica Minolta for ten years in a relationship based on trust, so this too added certainty when it came to choosing the IT partner.
“It’s important for us to have a local partner to turn to when we need to,” Michael Mingram adds. This was easily possible thanks to Konica Minolta’s local customer service structure. “We were able to get an idea of the Workplace Hub for ourselves straight away at Konica Minolta’s Stuttgart office. That was another factor in the decision process,” Michael Mingram remembers.
The Workplace Hub was set up in September 2019 and was fully up and running in October. It was not only important for Mingram that the new M-Soft business software was operational – the smooth integration of existing systems and solutions also had to be ensured. The company therefore relies on an external provider’s mail solution. Also, the banking solution had to function as before. The existing RAID system was turned into a physical backup solution. All of this was easily possible with Workplace Hub.
Workplace Hub’ s high security standard also spoke in its favour. Fortunately, Mingram had not experienced any incidents such as virus infections or ransomware attacks in the past. However, the company intends to make sure it stays that way with Workplace Hub and the integrated Sophos anti-virus and firewall solution, which is always up-to-date.
At the same time, Mingram modernised its IT infrastructure, and Konica Minolta ensures that the software is always up-to-date with its Managed Services. Workplace Hub is permitting Mingram to lay the foundations for further digitalisation steps. Product costing analysis, materials management, inventory and other administrative tasks are planned to run on the system in the future. Workplace Hub also opens up the possibility of mobile access to important data – whether working from home or giving a presentation directly at a customer’s premises. “This allows us to take full advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation for our business,” Michael Mingram concludes.
“One thing counts in the crafts business: it has to work. Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub has given us a compact overall solution for our IT and printing needs that does just that. And that in the smallest of spaces: where we used to have only one printer, we now have our entire IT infrastructure.”
Managing Director, Mingram Stukkateurbetriebsgesellschaft mbH, Germany