Efficiency Through Role-Based Work Processes
Companies with production sites in different countries increasingly face the challenge of mastering global logistics processes. Global inventory planning and uncertainties in supply and demand place high technical demands on supply chain management. It is therefore essential for companies to standardize and centralize their logistics processes. An international manufacturer of textile machinery has enhanced its existing system with an SAP-based solution for optimizing SAP-controlled processes. By implementing role-based work processes, the Rule Workbench (RWB) and Role Administration Cockpit (RAC) solutions from GIB have improved the company’s inventory management and reduced operational processing times.
Since its founding in 1937, the German engineering firm KARL MAYER has grown into an international corporate group. As an innovative market leader in the manufacture of textile machinery, KARL MAYER offers solutions for the two most important knitting processes, namely warp knitting and flat knitting, as well as for technical textiles, warp preparation and digitization. Today the company has branches in the USA, England, India, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Bangladesh and Switzerland.
This global expansion, however, has posed enormous challenges for the company’s logistics processes. There were no uniform rules throughout the company about how to calculate safety stock. Safety stocks were not checked at regular intervals, but rather only when a purchase requisition was placed. In addition, stock planners did not organize their daily routines according to uniform guidelines.
“With this type of inventory planning, there was a high risk of stocks being too low or too high, and thus a risk of production delays,” remembers Sonja Meyrose, Head of Materials Management at KARL MAYER.
Objective: Structure the planners’ daily routines and optimize inventory planning
“It became clear to us that we needed a uniform solution in the company to better structure the daily routines of the stock planners and thus make work more efficient. The time gained from such optimizations could then be used, for example, to plan the safety stocks more professionally with the help of software,” said Meyrose, commenting on the status quo at KARL MAYER. Since the company had already been using GIB Operations and GIB Controlling modules for several years with great success, they decided to go with the same developer. Based in Siegen, Germany, GIB specializes in the optimization of logistics processes in SAP; as such, its GIB Rule Workbench (RWB) and GIB Role Administration Cockpit (RAC) modules were selected as a complimentary solution for optimizing processes in the logistics department. And because the modules were compatible with the existing solutions, KARL MAYER was able to save time during the implementation as well. It took just six months from project launch to go-live at the various locations.
Apart from a few minor adjustments, the implementation was extremely smooth. Around 100 users now work with GIB Operations, Controlling and RAC at all KARL MAYER locations worldwide. GIB RWB is currently used in Germany only, but a roll-out to China is in planning.
Flawless Software Localization for Seamless International Collaboration
The users were pleasantly surprised by how user-friendly the modules were. The Activity Navigator is virtually self-explanatory, so the required training time was only about half a day. GIB Operations is a bit more intensive, but employees were able to use this solution comfortably after only a day or two of training. International locations were trained either on-site or via video conference.
The introduction has had a positive impact on internal workflows. The Role Administration Cockpit, in particular, eliminates the need for tedious searching and navigating in the SAP system and enables employees to complete tasks in record time. The RAC hides unused functions, making it easier to navigate through the system. Regularly recurring tasks need only be planned once (like with a personal information manager). Users can then see all their upcoming tasks on a personalized screen, which they can access with a double-click. This has been a real benefit for their day-to-day business, says Meyrose: “By establishing uniform standards in the planning department, we’ve increased transparency and reduced variability when employees are off sick or on vacation. Most importantly, it makes our day-to-day business easier because each planner is made aware of what tasks need to be completed.”
Inventory planning has also improved significantly, especially the missing parts display, which has been completely transferred from Excel to GIB. The uniform use of the modules at all locations has significantly increased transparency in planning, because the planners now have an overview of inventories across the entire corporate group, which enables them to better optimize their stock. “We really couldn’t do without the new modules because our planners are now much more organized,” concludes Meyrose. “The success can be seen in all areas. For one, we are better able to track and control critical customer transactions. We also benefit from the convenient generation of key figures in GIB Controlling, which can then be transferred to all locations.”
In summary, textile machine manufacturer KARL MAYER has implemented GIB solutions for its SAP system to improve day-to-day business and increase transparency throughout the group. In addition to earlier detection and prevention of missing parts, the solutions also enable them to select and segment stocks quickly and easily.