The production of wheelchairs for children does not seem to be a complicated assignment to most producers. But for Veldink4kids, this is an entirely different story. No one in this field can compare to Veldink4kids’ methods. Veldink4kids has a clear vision: “We aren’t satisfied until the child is.” And this is not without reason; to the child, his or her wheelchair is part of daily life.
“The output makes sense: an order is simply correct. Nowadays, we no longer need to worry about faulty compositions of the wheelchairs.”
Every day the child faces the obstacles of having to use a wheelchair. A commonplace wheelchair does not suit Veldink4kids’ vision. The wheelchair has to represent the child’s personality, and be an extension of their personality. Every child is unique, and as such every wheelchair is unique as well. We talked to Herwin Westra, design engineer at Veldink4kids. “The final product is never impossible, as long as we can compose it together with the children.”
But what makes Veldink4kids’ wheelchairs so special? First of all, the possibilities when producing children’s wheelchairs are incredibly widespread. No disability is the same, and every disability requires a different composition for the wheelchair. Additionally, the child is measured from head to toe. As a result, Veldink4kids manages to create the wheelchair optimally adjusted to the child’s proportions. In other words: the possibilities in producing children’s wheelchairs are incredibly widespread. And to describe how this influences the product range we have done the math: If you add up every possible option when creating a Veldink4kids wheelchair, you end up with more than 3,6 million different compositions.
This plethora of options leads to thousands of different rules to follow within the sales process. In turn, this makes the sales process increasingly complex. Additionally, Veldink4kids also does marketing for its product through sellers of medical products, which means all of the product information needs to be transferred to third parties. These institutions in turn invoice the final product at the municipality concerned. All in all, Veldink4kids nearly always has to deal with intermediaries within the pre-production process. Westra: “We realize that there is always room for more efficiency within our sales process. This process can prove difficult at times, as the child always needs to be the main point of focus: the wheelchair has to fit the child seamlessly, concerning both personality and physique. No matter how many difficulties this may add to the sales process.
All of this, in a time where the world around us is continually changing. Every traditional manufacturer probably realizes the urgency of digitalisation, as Smart Industries sees huge developments at the moment. And this is happening rapidly. These developments necessitate higher speeds in both production and sales, for both nationally and internationally competitors are not dwindling. Veldink4kids is a paragon of a business that does not want to miss out on this. Veldink4kids seeks to both warrant and increase its market share, because the coming years will prove to be crucial.
Elfsquad is the next step for optimal satisfaction for Veldink4kids’ customers. Herwin Westra: “Elfsquad knew the direction in which we wanted and needed to go. After a smooth implementation round we could immediately start using the configurator.” Previously, an order was drafted and processed through PDF form. Veldink4kids’ wheelchairs were already modularly built up, so the first step was to add the logics of the existing PDF form and the corresponding product structures to the configurator. This way, Veldink4kids’ sales pitch was processed in the configurator. The children’s proportions, the seating material, the footrest systems, all of it was added to the configurator. And also through use of text, explanation, and imagery all barriers of product knowledge are removed.
With every (extra) option added to the product, a clear explanation of that option’s function is provided. The illustrations provide both the providers of medical products and the end customer with a clear image of all of the wheelchair’s components. Is one of the compositions incorrect? The configurator will point it out immediately. As a result, both sellers and providers of medical products are guided throughout the sales process, and are able to go through all of the child’s wishes during the sales pitch, without unnecessary obstacles. During composition, the configurator prepares the product. As such, the product is always presented in a way which optimally aligns with the customer’s needs, and on top of that the health insurance provider is always presented with the correct invoice. A flawless product and a drastically reduced run time of quotations is a step in the right direction. But Elfsquad does not end with optimizing customer satisfaction.
We can guarantee our customers that we will suit the child’s needs. Through serious software we present ourselves as a serious party. With undivided attention for the child’s needs
By utilizing Elfsquad for Veldink4kids’ internal company processes we realize Veldink4kids’ digital factory, together. Throughout the entire process, from lead to production order. To do this, Elfsquad integrates with Veldink4kids’ existing IT-landscape. This way errorless component lists are generated from Elfsquad to Syntri, the ERP system used by Veldink4kids. Errorless component lists make for errorless production orders. Without human interference, the wheelchairs can go into production directly. Westra: “The output is logical, an order simply works. At present, we no longer need to worry about faulty compositions of the wheelchairs.”
Delivery times, too, are drastically reduced. Partially because the pre-production process has been automated. But more importantly, because customers’ faith in Veldink4kids is growing, which in turn leads to faster decision making. By presenting the correct product composition immediately, Veldink4kids has to do much fewer revisions on quotations than before. Westra: “We can guarantee our customers that we will suit the child’s needs. Through serious software we present ourselves as a serious party. With undivided attention for the child’s needs.”
The current position in the niche market in which Veldink4kids operates, is clearly being reinforced. Existing customers tie themselves to Veldink4kids for longer periods of time, they now always deliver optimal compositions for the wheelchairs, and trust in delivery among customers is still growing. Working with Elfsquad has inspired Veldink4kids to take subsequent steps. They intend to utilize the configurator for all their partnered healthcare institutions. They have noticed the growing need from medical product suppliers to find a solution for autonomously ordering wheelchairs. Elfsquad covers all of these solutions, and knows how Veldink4kids has the future on their mind: Veldink4kids will no longer need to provide a sales advisor, every healthcare institution will independently use the configurator to provide children with their wheelchair.
We know that we unburden the child, the healthcare institution, and the health insurance provider the most with our work procedure, which is why we still want to be relevant in our market in ten years or more. Because with the most efficient internal processes, there is much more time to focus on the children themselves.
With Elfsquad big steps are being made towards realizing the future, and expanding the market share. Westra: “We know that we unburden the child, the healthcare institution, and the health insurance provider the most with our work procedure, which is why we still want to be relevant in our market in ten years or more. Because with the most efficient internal processes, there is much more time to focus on the children themselves.“