By Fabian Ossen, Sihl Group, and Armin Klüttgen, Abels & Kemmner GmbH
Global companies that didn’t grow organically but expanded through mergers and acquisitions don’t need to standardize their ERP systems in order to optimize the processes across their individual locations. Using a unified supply chain management (SCM) system based on advanced planning and scheduling (APS) tools across all locations will suffice completely. APS tools like DISKOVER, which the Sihl Group recently installed to optimize its global supply chain, allow the company to interact with the different ERP systems of the individual locations as if it was one single site.
The Sihl Group is an international leader in printable media for the growing worldwide digital printing market – from photographic paper to wallpaper, art print media, tickets, labels and packaging. Since Sihl is offering its customers a globally unique product portfolio and range of experience, it has quickly established itself as a single source provider. Customers and partners alike profit from the company’s technologically advanced products and innovative process improvement services to optimize value creation. Every day, over 450 employees are working hard at the main company locations in Berne (Switzerland), Düren (Germany) and Fiskeville (near Boston, USA) to achieve this goal. In 2018, Sihl had a turnover of 125 million Euro and shipped more than 65,000 deliveries to over 1,000 customers across the globe.
Excellent after-sales service is one outstanding USP in the consumer electronics sector. Knowing this, MEDION attaches great importance to its supply of spare parts.
Supplying these parts for this range of products is subject to particular requirements, resulting from short product life cycles, expensive spare parts, and an almost unpredictable demand for spare parts.
However, with assistance of the ERP add-on DISKOVER SCO, MEDION uses now an intelligent and innovative solution for stocking purposes.
It’s certainly not news that industrial planning and procurement processes are a highly complex, intermeshed collection of a wide range of sub-processes.
More intelligent and highly developed solutions are becoming better at striking a balance between unequal variables such as availability, inventories and efforts. Serag-Wiessner, a medium-sized company specialising in medical and pharmaceutical products, coordinates the multitude of parameters it needs so that the balancing act comes off.
An increasing demand coupled with a shortage on the raw materials market became a huge challenge in terms of production supply of raw materials for the supply chain of ASK Chemicals, one of the world’s largest suppliers of foundry chemicals.
Capacity reductions were widespread during the financial crisis, which subsequently led to difficulties in supply when orders increased again. ASK was able to respond well to the market situation, since their demand planning process had just been optimized by implementing the ERP AddOn system DISKOVER SCO. As a result, today’s automated and continuous sales and demand planning processes lead to improved availability despite low expenditure.
Within the context of this project, Hansa Metallwerke AG successfully implemented integrated planning. In so doing Hansa showed great commitment and succeeded in implementing all requisite changes that support the holistic and sustainable model. The disorder, caused by unbalanced and uncoordinated supply chain processes, insufficient system support and the use of sub-optimal or manual processes, all of which promoted the “inventory pain”, now are a thing of the past.
A good supply chain performance that provides the desired level of delivery-readiness with minimal stock levels quickly lets the notion of keeping high inventory stock become a thing of the past. The combination therapy was successful, following the motto “Operation successful, patient now totally fit!”
DISKOVER revolutionises planning and scheduling
Thanks to the high transparency of DISKOVER SCO, Mehler Texnologies can now influence logistical parameters much more specifically to improve delivery capability, reduce stock on a lasting basis and reduce the effort involved in scheduling. The new scheduling software DISKOVER SCO is described by schedulers not merely as a tool, but as a “loaded weapon against stock”. Before it could be used, however, there was some preliminary work to be done.
Initially, the objective was clear for the specialist for coated industrial textiles – to reduce stock and simultaneously improve delivery capability. This represented a huge challenge for everybody involved: in the past, procurement and production were planned and controlled across multiple locations based on rudimentary sales figures. One reason for this was the plant-intensive nature of the production processes, which turned out to be anything but flexible. Also, the production locations focused, predictably, on the utilisation rate of the plant and on achieving the highest output possible. These restrictions are renowned for driving stock upwards, and are often regarded as fixed and irrefutable. Upon closer inspection, however, it emerges that this is not always the case.
Improving from hands-on tools to a professional solution
High readiness for delivery, low inventory levels and maintenance of quality levels – that is the challenge the globally growing market poses upon Gustav Klauke GmbH in Remscheid, Germany. A multitude of customer-specific products makes keeping backorders few and flexible reaction to varying customer requirements rather difficult. The Advanced Scheduling System DISKOVER SCO proved to be of invaluable help in this situation. The company could, thanks to DISKOVER SCO, solve many current problems and save costs at the same time in a very short period.
Klauke develops, produces and sells high-quality products for electrical, sanitary and heating engineering. The product range includes over 10.000 high-quality single components, such as eyelets, premium hydraulic tools, plate punching machines and even fibre glass testers. Instruments for manufacturing and industry are part of the product range, too.
A customised solution improves the Oras Group‘s planning and controlling of procurement and production
The implementation of DISKOVER SCO provides the Oras Group with a sophisticated solution for more efficient planning and controlling of procurement, production and assembly.
The Oras Group (headquarters in Rauma, Finland), is the leading brand of sanitary taps in Finland and absorbed Hansa Armaturen GmbH, located in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2013. This step promoted Oras into the league of top brands of sanitary taps in Europe. The 1370 employees generated 245 million Euros in 2015, spread across the four productions sites in Burglengenfeld (Germany), Kralovice (Czech Republic), Olesno (Poland) and Rauma (Finland) plus stores in 20 countries.
A Factory with Industrial Service Levels
While the big industrial mass producers currently try adapting to customers’ demands by use of industry 4.0 technologies, pushing down their lot sizes, factories like Meissen have been realising this method of production for centuries. Meissen now targets the increase of processing time and service level to achieve industrial standards. By use of the advanced planning and scheduling tool DISKOVER SCO by SCT Supply Chain Technologies, major progress has already been accomplished.
Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen produces hand-made luxury of highest quality. Being founded over 300 years ago in 1710 in Dresden, Germany, Meissen has since progressed from Europe’s first hard-paste porcelain factory to an international luxury and lifestyle brand which is highly recognized even in China, porcelain’s motherland. The creations embody a special kind of beauty and sensuality beyond purely functional designs and thus become an expression of an individual lifestyle. An army of collectors worldwide proves the sustaining profit of embracing this lifestyle and the service that comes with it: every item which has been produced since 1710 can be reordered, even today!
How GAH Fills Racks and Achieves High Margin
If suppliers of DIY stores like the GAH Alberts Gust. Alberts GmbH & Co. KG want to provide their customers with full racks and high margin at any time, filling the JIT supply chain 4.0 from the finished goods warehouse or the last machine available will not suffice. If you want to be successful on the long haul, you will need a much more sophisticated material planning strategy which will grant optimal service levels while reducing finished goods inventory and thus saving costs.
Building centres need permanently stocked racks, ideally storing fast-moving items and providing high margin. Suppliers often employ their own rack jobbers or hire sales service companies to present a perfectly maintained range of products any time. Solutions like ‘logistics 4.0’ are supposed to pinpoint sales figures more precisely and enable suppliers to react with lot-size 1 if required. Yet these efforts are in vain if suppliers try to react to the often highly fluctuating demands within 24 hours.
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