Strategic development during the ERP implementation
An almost 2-year-long project deployment of admoVa comes to a successful end.epsotech Germany - a company of the epsotech Group - successfully introduces SAP S/4HANA™ in project management with the support of admoVa.In the following, we will show you how strategic topics of further development such as sustainability and digitalisation can still be successfully combined in an ERP implementation.For more than 60 years, the epsotech Group has been developing customised plastic solutions for a wide range of segments and markets. From train seating to playground equipment, with more than 3,000 products, epsotech offers the most comprehensive portfolio of extruded sheet and film in Europe. Every year, the group supplies more than 2,500 customers worldwide, combining the strengths of 6 European production sites with around 600 employees, making it a typical medium-sized customer for us admoVa.The epsotech locations serve different product segments. And for historical reasons, they use different ERP systems. "Until now, there has been no talk of integration or even digitalisation, and this has severely hampered us in important strategic developments," says Daniel Faller, Executive Director Group Finance & IT at epsotech and ERP project manager.The credo "we care about plastics", with which epsotech clearly positions itself in the market, stands above all processes and developments. "In addition to the digitalisation offensive, we are pursuing the strategic goal of offering a fully recyclable portfolio and replacing non-recyclable solutions in the market," says Carina Marotta, Director of Marketing at epsotech. "Here we are building on the principle of the circular economy and taking the lead in the use of post consumer materials." "The prerequisite for this is transparency about the complex material and value flows of a circular economy. The digitalisation of production and logistics is therefore an important enabler for us," says Daniel Faller.Dhe basis for the success of an ERP implementation is a clear understanding of the target processes by all parties involved. Sorting the processes and assigning them to IT solutions is an important prerequisite for a successful and manageable IT target landscape. In the course of the ERP implementation, we first redesigned the IT application strategy (see glossary below) for the group together with epsotech. "For this purpose, we recorded epsotech's processes and IT requirements, optimised them in part and assigned them to the application levels of the newly defined application strategy," says Dr Jens Rittscher - partner at admoVa Consulting and, together with Daniel Faller, in the overall project management.The ERP level includes important core processes that are necessary to run a company: Finance, Controlling, Production, Logistics etc. Here, epsotech had decided early on in favour of SAP S/4HANA™.The digitalisation of production is difficult to map in an ERP due to the typically complex production processes in the plastics industry. We therefore recommended the introduction of an MES/MDE system to epsotech. The MDE system receives (in real time) machine and consumption data, which are aggregated and transferred to SAP.The digitalisation of logistics could in turn be solved in SAP EWM(TM) (Extended Warehouse Management) with scanner applications (logistics system level). We proceeded in the same way for other process requirements. Sorting the requirements and assigning them to solutions is an important prerequisite for a successful and manageable target landscape.An ERP implementation is complex and is especially not an IT project"An SAP implementation is complex, and especially not an IT project," says Daniel Faller. "We had to learn this painfully at first and then decided on admoVa's project support. "admoVa convinced us with its logistical process transparency and a deep technical understanding of the IT systems in the value chain, especially SAP. admoVa was able to show us concretely what possibilities we have with the new ERP landscape. In addition, with admoVa we were able to tackle the topics of reorganisation and change management, which are also important for us", Michael Hangelmann CEO of the epsotech Group.In their search for a suitable MES/MDE system, epsotech fortunately found what they were looking for within the group itself ("how do your sister companies do it?"). "Here, too, admoVa helped us from the idea, the specification of the need for further development of the so-called Genesis system to the realisation in project management ", Daniel Faller. "You have to pay a really big compliment to the internal and external development team in Italy. With Genesis, epsotech has created an MES /MDE system ideally suited to the production processes, with a high level of integration in SAP - under its own steam", says Dr. Jens Rittscher. The data from Genesis in combination with the extended analysis options of an SAP S/4HANA™ database form the central digital core for all future digitalisation activities.epsotech Germany successfully set live in January 2022 After the go-live of epsotech Holding in September 2020, the first producing location - epsotech Germany - has now been live since January 2022. The subsidiary plants are to follow within the coming months. "We are proud of the success of our project and we wanted to show this to our customers," says Carina Marotta. "Therefore, we decided without further ado to put a short video about our project online. epsotech Video see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNmklPTdBr0&ab_channel=epsotechGroupFurther information on epsotech at www.epsotech.comTasks of the admoVa team in the project:ERP process design, ERP IT architectureProject management SAP S/4HANA implementation Technical Project Management MES/MDETechnical project management integrationMigration concept Test management and cut over management Hyper Care Support SAP S/4HANA GermanyAccompanying consulting topics:Mgmt. Consulting ReOrganisation - GroupChange Management Glossary:Application strategy: The application strategy deals, among other things, with the goals of internal business processes and with increasing their performance. It determines the extent to which individual processes are supported with an application (application layer).ImpressumThe contents published here are subject to German copyright and ancillary copyright law. 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The time is now: SAP process consulting with admoVa
Many SAP implementation projects and also S/4 HANA migration projects are (unfortunately) primarily focused on system implementation. This results in a focus on the technical implementation of processes, the modernization of the IT infrastructure and its operation.Accordingly, traditional IT system houses are strongly represented in the IT departments of companies.This has led to an enormous growth in the number of consultants; however, their technical and methodological knowledge is sometimes weak.In addition, the huge variety of functions, e.g. in SAP, leads to more and more specialization. IT consultants are focused on modules or functions, and the overview and "end-to-end" process view are lost.New functionalities do not always lead to efficient, lean and controllable business processes that companies need to achieve competitiveness.And even within the company, specialist departments can hardly keep track of the variety of possible solutions & restrictions in SAP.The bridge is missing...In this area of conflict, we have developed a new form of SAP process consulting.With our approach we see ourselves as a mediator between IT, business and IT provider. We always keep the requirements of the business in mind, but also the feasibility of the ERP process solution.We form the business counterpart to the "can't be done in the standard" and translate the business requirements into efficient IT solution concepts.We represent the management in these projects and ensure the achievement of objectives.Our team includes experienced management consultants, ERP specialists and, above all, "bridge builders".
Dr. Jens Rittscher
SAP S/4HANA Implementation and Migration
Greenfield or brownfield - depending on the initial situation, the decision seems simple and quickly made.However, a closer look and a closer look at the details show that the SAP world is not black and white.If one comes from a "tidy", current and functionally well-fitting ECC world, the brownfield approach, a purely IT conversion of the ECC system to S/4 on HANA, seems obvious.On the other hand, one will have to ask oneself throughout the entire project whether one has not deprived oneself of the opportunity for renewal by adopting processes and programming that have "grown" over a long period of time.Innovations inherent in the system, such as real-time analyses and aATP, open the door to new processes - and Fiori interfaces will not be rejected.In practice, we have found with our clients that, once started, changes very quickly "go viral" and become more complex than planned.It follows directly from this that the brownfield approach will also have a not inconsiderable business impact.In the greenfield approach, processes, business logics, functionalities, etc., are redefined "from the scratch" before they are mapped in the system. This corresponds to a new introduction, with the advantage that technological experience values already exist and topics such as qualification, migration, etc. are manageable in their complexity.The following applies to both approaches: process-related and functional effects must be identified and evaluated with regard to their degree of change.Is the truth in the middle?Read more in the expert interview with Martin Hummel
Dr. Jens Rittscher
Field Service Management
Increase the productivity of your field technicians and customer satisfaction. In many of our service projects, we encounter the challenge that service technicians generate expenses in the field that have little or no added value, and that the technicians thus only inadequately utilise their productivity potential. Examples are unnecessary travelling and waiting times, high administration costs for reports, know-how deficits, limited access to product and system data or imprecisely defined service procedures. The reasons are manifold. Field Service Management solutions with stringently defined processes, geared towards increasing efficiency in order and technician control, offer the possibility of overcoming inefficiencies. Field Service Management stands for the optimised deployment planning of a company's mobile resources for the processing of service or maintenance orders. A solution for deployment control for the technical field service enables better transparency of the service and maintenance processes. This concerns short-term operational planning and processing, as well as long-term capacity planning. Furthermore, a large part of the scheduling knowledge / methodology is mapped and made available centrally in the solution. This enables the centralisation and standardisation of the scheduling process and creates a basis for increasing efficiency through higher utilisation of the field technicians. In addition to increased productivity, the use of field service management also leads to higher customer satisfaction through shorter time windows for service calls and higher adherence to schedules. The leading field service management (FSML) solutions have achieved a high level of digitalisation to meet today's customer requirements. The following essential functions are essential for FSML, the following list serves as a guideline:Capacity planning of service orders and technician resources for long-term assurance of resources, taking into account a high degree of utilisation.Flexible, event-based planning of service orders, with automatic bundling functions of other orders to reduce the planning effort in the back officeReal-time data and live monitoring in conjunction with alert & event management systems to increase service speedIntegration with spare parts and tool management for optimal synchronisation with field technician resources.Mobile application for technicians for job submission and monitoring for efficient control of field techniciansDigital checklist and service reports to reduce field technicians' administrative time Connection to knowledge databases and installed base information for higher quality and speed of service delivery Integration with CRM solutions for a 360 view of the customer to further exploit the after-sales potential.All these features contribute to the fact that Field Service Management software can achieve cost savings of 20 percent or more through optimised processes. By improving field service processes, companies can also respond to customer needs more individually and quickly. This increases customer satisfaction and thus loyalty in the medium term.In summary - what are the critical success factors when implementing field service management solutions? Clearly defined E2E processes from service ticket creation to order placement in the field to final invoicing to the customer.Complete integration with the core systems ERP (material management, financial accounting), CRM and HR. Any process or media discontinuity lowers user acceptance and opens the door to inefficient workarounds.Consistent mobile story for field technicians. This means intuitive, user-friendly menu navigation, geared to the specific workflow in the field. Furthermore, hardware solutions should be designed for the application.Intensive on-site training of staff in the use of the systems, both in the back office and in the field. New field service management system implementations usually imply process changes and these have to be accompanied stringently. admoVa's senior experts have successfully implemented field management solutions for medium-sized companies with 200 technicians to large companies with over 8,000 technicians in various industries. From the design of the processes and the solution, to the implementation and the associated change management. In recent years, admoVa has also been heavily involved in the transformation of the SAP-CS solution into new cloud solutions. If you also have questions about this special topic, please contact us.
Dr. Jens Kaeseler
Added value of digital self-service
Customers in the B2C and B2B sectors are becoming increasingly demanding in their expectations of service. One of the most important requirements for good customer service, according to many customers, is a fast response time. How quickly and effectively do you respond to your own customers? One concrete solution to this is customer self-service applications. Gartner confirms this in a study and has identified the expansion of the self-service channel as a top priority in "Key Trends in Service & Support Leaders' priorities for 2020". Self-service applications satisfy not only the demand for speed but also the increasing need of customers to solve their problems themselves with intelligent self-service and automated customer contact systems. When a customer encounters a problem with your product or service, their first thought is no longer to pick up the phone. Instead of talking to a support representative, they want to find the answers themselves online via an FAQ article, how-to video or knowledge base. Gone are the days when a phone call was the only way to reach a support team.Several studies have found that up to 70% of customers search for self-service applications on company websites. Self-service is no longer a "nice to have". It is a necessity to provide a comprehensive, positive customer experience. However, a customer self-service portal is only effective if you make it easy for customers to use, here are a few key points:highlight the most popular FAQs about your service requests. One of the most important ways to make your self-service portal a valuable part of your service is to identify the main reasons customers contact your support team.use video and audio where possible to visually show the customer where to do what action, or how to update / edit settings. It helps to solve problems faster and significantly reduces your service effort in case a support agent has to solve a problem.Keep your content up to date. A knowledge database or FAQ section is not a project to be set up once and forgotten. It lives on your up-to-date content. Enable transparent but moderated interaction with your customers to make their experiences with the product available to others. Use the collective knowledge of your customersUse the search behaviour of your users to continuously improve usability. Intelligently networked, self-service applications also provide important information on existing customer needs, product weaknesses and new requirements.Optimise self-service for the high number of mobile users. An important feature of a great customer experience is ensuring consistency across all channels. One way to do this is to make it easy for your customers and allow them to access your self-service portal on mobile. Whether responsive or a standalone app - the user must also be able to find their own solution intelligently and without major hurdles on their smartphone. Around 75% of internet users in Germany access the information they want on the move (Statista 2020).ensure a smooth jump to a personal contact person. A media break at this point would mean high damage to the entire customer experience. Increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty are essential aspects, but what other benefits do self-service applications offer? Your productivity increases significantly, your costs per service contact are reduced by up to 90% for standardisable enquiries with self-service applications compared to call centre enquiries. Furthermore, in the case of complex enquiries, you can increase your staff skills in a targeted manner during the first customer contact and thus make your service operations more efficient.Service quality is increased not only by enhancing the service offering itself, but also by giving self-service and support staff access to the same knowledge. Consistent and quality-assured customer service is made possible.Strengthening the 360 degree view of your customers, through integration with CRM applications the quality and speed of customer service offerings are improved. Every employee has the same information at all times, regardless of the communication channel, and is thus able to offer the customer the best possible solution and exploit the after-sales potential. As you can see, digital self-service applications have enormous added value for your customers and your company. In combination with hotline and email, self-service portals form a multi-channel strategy to support the customer.
Dr. Jens Rittscher
Lean Transformation the basis for Service 4.0
Essential steps for a lean transformation of service operationsHow to lower your service operation costs and improve the customer experienceEconomic developments in 2020 have hit industries such as engineering, automotive and many others with full force. The economy will recover, but new investment in machinery and other capital equipment will be very restrained over the next few quarters. Companies are realising the obvious and are now focusing on designing and developing their services to sustain or develop their business.However, many service-oriented companies recognise that they need to improve the productivity of their service activities to ensure a successful sustainable service business model. The problem is that it is difficult to do so. Simply put, there are many elements that need to be brought together into one solution to achieve complete success for the entire service business.A significant number of field technicians record activities without high value added and are not effectively managed in terms of performance management. In most cases, the underlying causes of low field technician productivity are visible and can be categorised into four main areas:lack of transparency on field technician performanceinefficient planning processes and complexity in the service back officeinsufficient implementation of digital technologies for process optimisation and automationpoorly trained mid-level management in terms of effective performance managementTo address gaps in the above areas, organisations have launched various individual initiatives to optimise their processes, organisation and digital infrastructure. Very often, comprehensive KPI dashboards are developed, regular meetings are held with technicians, but managers do not talk about the key performance indicators that go beyond security. Comprehensive, end-to-end workforce management systems are implemented, but they are too IT-driven. They focus on modules or functions, while the "end-to-end" process integration and contribution to competitiveness are lost.All these initiatives, which make sense at the outset, need to be much more closely scrutinised during implementation in terms of increased productivity and customer satisfaction. Performance targets need to be set from the beginning and the service organisation needs to continuously work towards achieving them.What is needed is the implementation of a general performance metrics-driven culture in service and a strategy with the goal of lean transformation in service. The focus is on increasing customer satisfaction and reducing costs, as well as promoting personal liability among middle managers to ensure that a performance culture is successfully embedded in the organisation.How can a lean transformation be successfully implemented? We see a three-phase approach: Phase one: Strengthening the strategic foundation to ensure that Lean measures meet business objectives, that leadership ownership is lived, and that the urgency of Lean transformation is clearly communicated throughout the organisation. If credible communication fails, there is a very high risk that lean transformation activities will go nowhere. In phase two, goal setting, the current situation is assessed and quantitative goals are formulated using a top-down approach. The metrics for the success of the transformation must be transparent and verifiable. In phase three, the actual operational development and implementation of the lean management measures takes place using the PDCA method (Plan-Do-Check-Adapt) and nominating cross-functional teams.
thyssenkrupp Materials logistics concept
In February, thyssenkrupp Materials Services laid the foundation stone for the construction of the new Logistics Centre North. A state-of-the-art logistics centre is being built, which is scheduled to go into operation in mid-2021. admoVa played a key role in designing the new logistics concept and is providing support throughout the project in the form of project management and process consulting.The optimised material flow ("goods to truck") as well as the use of driverless transport systems will ensure faster and more efficient loading and unloading and thus also a significant reduction in the idle times of the trucks.Despite restrictions caused by Covid-19, work on the site and preparations for operations (procurement of equipment, relocation planning, IT implementation, etc.) are continuing according to plan.Further linkshttps://www.home-of-steel.de/news/thyssenkrupp-baut-innovatives-logistikcenter-in-rotenburg-330https://www.thyssenkrupp-materials-services.com/de/newsroom/pressemitteilungen/grundsteinlegung-in-rotenburg--innovatives-logistikcenter-von-thyssenkrupp-materials-services-soll-mitte-2021-eroeffnen-15680.html
Dr. Christoph Wunn