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Mercedes-Benz Herten Gruppe

Digital workshop at four locations

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    In January 2024, the digital workshop map found its way into the Mercedes-Benz Herten Group. From now on, the employees of the four locations will process workshop orders electronically throughout. This is made possible by 100 iPads for the fitters and service staff, software for digital business processes and Deskcenter Mobile Device Management (MDM). Oliver Harperscheidt, IT manager at the Herten Group, manages the devices centrally and largely automatically. This ranges from creating user profiles and authorizations to assigning apps and setting up Wi-Fi access.

    The Herten Group is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz car dealerships in the North Eifel region. Family-owned since 1938, the Herten family developed the business from a car repair shop into a group of companies with four branches. Oliver Harperscheidt manages IT centrally from Düren. He is solely responsible for the entire IT infrastructure and has been managing assets, software and licenses for years with the Deskcenter Management Suite. In addition, he has also been using it to administer all mobile devices since January 2024.”

    „It takes me less than half an hour to on board a new device today, in the past it used to take me two hours because there was always a problem at some point. Deskcenter really makes my life a lot easier.“

    Oliver Harperscheidt
    IT Manager, Autohaus Herten Gruppe


    • Management of 100 tablets in 4 locations
    • Software and user management for all workshop and service staff
    • Ensure data security in the event of loss or theft


    • Cross-site, central administration of all 100 iPads
    • Automated roll-out of apps and central rights management
    • Policies and groups map user requirements

    Tablets instead of paper

    The impetus for this was provided by the management in September 2023 with the “paperless workshop” project. Whether it’s changing the oil, checking spark plugs, changing tyres or carrying out a major inspection: every workshop order should only be recorded, documented, completed and archived electronically. Autohaus Herten wanted to save mountains of paper, reduce administrative effort and show its customers that the car dealership is moving with the times. Because first-class digital on-board electronics in the vehicles and the order managament via clipboard no longer fit together.

    Tablets were initially needed for the implementation – 100 iPads for all workshop and service staff at all locations. 30 tablets were already available, and 70 additional ones were purchased. And it was clear that the paperless workshop could only be implemented smoothly if iPads, apps and users could be automated and administered from Düren.

    “We have been managing our 150 PCs and laptops on Microsoft Windows centrally via Deskcenter since 2011. I use it to inventory all devices, automatically roll out the operating systems and apps, apply patches and monitor license management. We are very satisfied with the solution,” explains Harperscheidt. “That’s why the decision for Deskcenter’s Mobile Device Management was made quickly. Especially since it fully meets all our requirements.”

    Prepare the structure thoroughly

    “Deskcenter provided us with excellent support in setting up mobile device management. First I was instructed, then I familiarized myself with the system, created guidelines and created groups and users. If I had any questions, I could always count on the support of the consulting department,” says Harperscheidt, describing the implementation.

    The guidelines and groups are the linchpin of this. This is because Autohaus Herten determines which apps are automatically installed or updated on which device. Therefore, Harperscheidt preferred to put more thought into the group structure. “Good planning in the setup phase saves you time during operation,” explains the IT manager.

    This is because service consultants, fitters, warehouse clerks and trainees need different apps on their tablets. What these are depends not only on the area of responsibility but also on the affiliation to the car or truck division. And on which of the three legally independent companies a user belongs to. With this granular group structure, Oliver Harperscheidt is now able to equip each person with exactly the apps, access, Wi-Fi access and e-mail accounts they need.

    As a Mercedes service partner, Autohaus Herten also works with a wealth of internal manufacturer websites – and new ones are added regularly. The IT manager provides this on all 100 devices in just a few minutes. All he has to do is create an icon in Deskcenter, assign a URL to it and distribute the icon to the desired groups. Every fitter has the link for the new page available and ready.

    If employees are on a training course lasting several days, there is an extra: Harperscheidt authorizes them to use streaming services via MDM on the work iPad. For example, they can watch films in the evening at the hotel via their personal account for Airplay. After the training, the authorization is deactivated just as quickly.

    Device setup in just a quarter of the time

    The MDM software allows new devices to be put into operation quickly and users to create them conveniently. Oliver Harperscheidt explains: “I set up a new device for an existing user in ten to 15 minutes via the Apple configurator and Deskcenter MDM. If I have to create a user first, I might need 15 minutes longer and if he needs an e-mail account, a few minutes on top. Today, it takes me less than half an hour to on-board a new device, in the past it took me two hours because there was always a problem at some point. Deskcenter really makes my life a lot easier.”

    Another example: If an iPad breaks, the user is simply assigned the serial number of the replacement device. One click and within minutes the user has all applications and authorizations on the new tablet and can continue working.

    Because the management of the iPads works so smoothly, the iPhones of the sales staff were immediately included in the MDM tool. With the same advantages: Apps are deployed centrally and even the loss of a device is not a security risk, because Harperscheidt can immediately lock the smartphone and delete the company data on it. Even to reset a forgotten PIN, no one has to drive to the location and assign a new PIN to the device, it all works remotely. “I was really amazed at what can be done with Deskcenter MDM!” says Harperscheidt. “I can even start a kind of remote maintenance via the module. Every 3 seconds I receive pictures and see what the user is doing on the iPad. This makes problems or error messages quickly comprehensible. If necessary, the device can even be restarted from the control center.”

    Optimally positioned thanks to guidelines and standards

    It took only about four months from the idea of the paperless workshop to the go-live of Deskcenter MDM. Today, all Herten Group locations process their workshop orders completely digitally – saving an enormous amount of paper and archiving effort. Herten also sees the quick and uncomplicated provision and administration of mobile devices as a big plus.

    “The iPads all have the same standard, every technician has the same icons, apps can be automatically installed on all devices at the same time and I can intervene centrally if necessary. This provides incredible time saving and process optimization,” says Harperscheidt, summarizing the success of the project.

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