Modern ERP system with web services
About the company
Kompressorenbau Bannewitz GmbH develops and manufactures exhaust gas turbochargers for use in shipbuilding and locomotive construction as well as for industrial engine construction. The company, which has been part of the Luxembourg-based Ogepar S.A. since 1999, can look back on a tradition of decades. Exhaust gas turbochargers have been manufactured at the site since 1953. Today, the company employs over 170 people. A high quality standard is the basis of the production. In addition to the ISO certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001, the products from Bannewitz are approved by the international ship classification societies and meet the prescribed quality and safety standards of the industry.
Until restructuring of the software landscape, the company worked with various individual systems, which, however, could not guarantee a continuous flow of information. The primary reason for the ERP implementation was the discontinuation of further development of the inventory system by the previous ERP provider. KBB was the only remaining customer for whom the system was kept "alive". In order to ensure future security, the replacement investment was therefore made.
These were the primary goals:
- To find an integrated end-to-end solution for the business management issues, which offers all functionalities and leads to an improvement of transparency in the business processes.
- To replace the existing outdated Product Lifecycle Management System ( PLM ).
- To guarantee a continuous flow of information - to avoid media discontinuity when exchanging data between the design department ( product data in CAD and PDM ) and the corporate planning department ( logistics data in the ERP system ).
- Integration of the previously separate financial accounting software into the ERP system.
- To achieve faster and better evaluations in the corporate key figures.
Decision for Infor
The decision to choose Infor was based primarily on the fact that the product had already been successfully used in other sister companies of the group. A great advantage is the broad functionality, which gives the user full control over all areas of corporate management. From the customer's point of view, the most important points in choosing Infor were:
- Investment in a future-proof product from a leading software manufacturer
- Process improvement by combining previously existing isolated applications ( PPS, financial software, etc. ) in one integrated solution
- Improvement of the service process through integrated powerful service module
To achieve better visibility and analysis of business and corporate indicators, the company decided to implement Infor BI as a business intelligence solution for comprehensive analysis and performance management of the company in addition to the ERP system.
Decision for SIGMA as service provider
After choosing Infor LN as the future ERP system, SIGMA Chemnitz GmbH was chosen as the service provider for implementation. The reason for the decision was the more than 20 years of competence of SIGMA as an ERP service provider and Infor partner with experience and references in various implementation and service projects for Infor LN and the previous versions Infor Baan 5 and Baan IV. Another positive aspect was the geographical proximity and thus the fast reaction time of the service provider.
Intensive workshop phase
In order to achieve optimal results and make the implementation as smooth as possible, an intensive workshop phase was held together with the customer in the run-up to the introduction. During these workshops, the customer's key points and requirements were defined and recorded. Together, a document was developed which served as the basis for the introduction. "This is a very intensive process in which the future users and we as service providers work very closely together. Only through this intensive work we can ensure that the customer will be able to improve his processes with the new system as he imagined them", says Mario Ettelt, who was responsible for the introduction as project manager at SIGMA Chemnitz GmbH. Dirk Laubert, project manager of Kompressorenbau Bannewitz GmbH, adds: "These workshops laid the foundation for project planning and brought service providers and customers to a common level of technical discussion. The fact that we worked in such detail in the workshop paid off for us later".
Interface PLM - ERP via WebServices in real-time
With the implementation of the new ERP system, PTC Windchill was introduced at Kompressorenbau Bannewitz GmbH as the new Product Data Management ( PDM ). A manual transfer of articles and parts lists as well as their meta data and the associated multiple, time-consuming and non-synchronized data storage was ruled out from the outset in order to avoid inconsistency of the data and the associated high error rate. In order to be able to realize an efficient data exchange between these two systems, SIGMA Chemnitz GmbH designed and implemented an interface via WebServices ( SOA = service-oriented architecture ), which guarantees the transfer of article data and parts lists into the ERP. WebServices take over predefined tasks of the business logic in real-time and can be used universally. Thus, if necessary, further third-party applications can be connected with little effort. This creates consistency of information and improves transparency in daily work.
Fit for Business Intelligence
With the introduction of Infor BI as a useful supplement to the ERP system Infor LN, customer employees have the opportunity to create their own reports and analyses after a briefing, thus achieving a high degree of flexibility.
Achieved goals / Conclusion and outlook
- With the introduction of Infor LN as a modern ERP system, existing isolated applications were eliminated and an integrated end-to-end solution was created that covers all areas of the company.
- A powerful interface to the new PDM system was created via WebServices to ensure a continuous data flow and data consistency.
- The prerequisites for a more efficient provision of business figures, analyses and key figures in monthly reporting were created by the introduction of the Business Intelligence solution.
Dirk Laubert, the project manager for the customer's implementation, summarizes the benefits as follows: "With the new system and the improvements it brings, we have achieved a better overview of our processes, a better data and decision-making basis and also reduced heterogeneity in the software landscape. We are therefore well prepared for the challenges of the coming years. Now we can continue to work on this basis and permanently improve our software landscape and our processes".
Picture source: Kompressorenbau Bannewitz GmbH