IT instead of paper

IT instead of paper

RationalizationUnlock sales potentialPlug and Play

The problem

Growth no longer allowed material planning to be managed more or less manually

The growth of a medium-sized industrial company had caused the intransparency of processes. There was no uniform access of different departments to general data, which was needed. This made an overview difficult and required permanent arrangements, inquiries and prevented a transparent cooperation. Thus, the manual administrative effort was too great.

The solution

A uniform process for material flow - from order to delivery; from the buyer to the warehouse employee

The complete material flow, material requirements planning and material consumption were illuminated as a process and digitally redesigned. In order to make the best possible use of the added value of digitization, touch screens were made available for employees in production and in the warehouse. These touch screens make it possible to enter the processing of materials or changes in stock on site at so-called entry terminals in the system directly and without "paperwork". A uniform process for the flow of materials was created - from ordering to delivery; from the buyer to the warehouse employee.

Illustrations

Before

Paper sheets in the entire process 

Afterwards

  • (Almost) no more paper and just-in-time transmission of data
  • The amount of personnel required, especially for the recording of handwritten data, has been reduced significantly, so that this working time can now be invested in the quality and reliability of the products and in meeting deadlines.   

Insights

Stumbling blocks

As in any larger project, some issues only became clear and transparent with hindsight. It does not always work out in the production as the work preparation imagines it and therefore decisions and clarifications have to be made. Stumbling blocks, as there are in every project. Showing, addressing and solving them is the task of good project management.  

What had the customer tried before?

In the first few years, the use of Microsoft Excel was certainly a good way of making data visible and tracking developments. However, the maintenance was laborious and often incomplete or only very rough. The personnel expenditure for the maintenance of the Excel tables was simply not bearable in the long run.

Additional challenges at the customer

Creation of a transparent data structure - especially parts lists, activities and resources.

What criteria were important to him?

In addition to fast and intuitive data entry, it was important that the data is available to all departments and that other software programs can access it. General interfaces are important.  

Business

Benefits

  • By using recording terminals in production and warehouse, the information is recorded promptly and directly in the process.
  • Manual writing down and later recording is no longer necessary today.
  • The information is immediately available.
  • Decisions can be made directly and escalations are immediately visible and reported.

The project schedule

  • Initial discussion and general comparison between requirements and performance
  • Process analysis in the form of a project planning workshop. The material flow was just as decisive as the document flow.
  • The analysis showed first fields of action and was groundbreaking for the next steps.
  • After the first rough concept, an agile approach was decided upon and Phase I was defined.
  • The experience gained from the first processes was immediately incorporated into further planning, so that the solution was always oriented towards practical implementation.

Project maturity level

Used company-wide

Project duration

Start: May 2019 - Implementation: September 2019 - Phase I: October 2019 - further phases until December 2019 - Live from January, 1, 2020

Project cost
(digits)

5

Involved employees
(Operating phase, FTE)

5
FTE/M

Running costs
(per month, digits)

3

Involved employees
(Project phase, FTE)

15
FTE

Technical

Skills required by the customer

The contact person at the customer's site should have a command of the internal processes both commercially and technically. A basic IT knowledge including ERP experience is desirable and increases project performance.

The project schedule

After concept approval, the first entry masks were developed in a test environment and tested with concrete orders and processes. Feedback was incorporated and only then was the mapping of the next process begun - step by step.


Technical facts: 

  • SQL database; process-oriented masks; touch-capable interfaces, assistance system


APIs/Integration

  • API for ERP - bidirectional


Where is the data?

The data is and remains the property of the customer and is located in his IT environment. He is responsible for the data, in particular for data security and data protection.

Providers

Michael Suermann (Project Manager)

"If a customer is looking for a technically playful system, we can't help, but when it comes to bringing commercial processes and transparency to production, we are at the forefront".

Michael Suermann

The information may of course vary in individual cases. Please contact the provider for an assessment of your project.