Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. only used specialized software for accounting and worked without an integrated ERP system to date. To rectify this as quickly as possible, the management decided to implement SAP R3, which would eliminate costs for the administration of redundant data and make controlling more efficient. The Sycor experts chose to use SAP Activate, the agile project methodology by SAP, and went live with the new ERP system based on Sycor.Automotive within ten months.
Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. – DST for short – was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of Diehl Metall Stiftung & Co. KG based in Röthenbach an der Pegnitz, Germany. The company supplies the automobile industry with synchronization rings for transmissions; one of DST's largest customers is the Volkswagen Group. As with any metal processing company, the entire inventory held by DST including raw materials and semi-finished products has a high financial value. This makes consistent, exact inventory management especially important. However, the company was using specialized software only for financial accounting, and therefore keeping count of the inventory in the production lines became increasingly problematic. With DST's successful growth over the past few years, the diversity of models and customers – and therefore the overall process complexity – had enormously increased. In addition, the steel synchronizer rings, which required additional production steps and outsourcing during the production process, had become more and more popular. In the end, a production planning in Excel was no longer tenable. "Our Excel method was too inaccurate and led to data inconsistencies between departments. Different values were frequently found in different lists," is how Elvira Olipitz, CFO at DST, describes the initial situation and continues: "It was clear to us that we urgently need an integrated system that supplies us with reliable data."
In order to find the best possible solution for Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing (Wuxi) Co., Ltd., the Sycor experts analyzed the company's processes and optimized them according to SAP best practices. In the course of the project, data preparation turned out a special challenge. DST has hundreds of articles that are based on BOMs with up to six levels. Then there were complicated work processing sheets and the employees were not used to working with this kind of master data. All data therefore had to be streamlined and prepared for the migration to SAP before the go-live. Furthermore, the already existing SAP MES software was linked to the ERP system for the necessary production control. "Sycor and our key users did everything they could to prepare the data in time for the go-live, and they pulled it off: We completed the project on time and on budget," says E. Olipitz.
With its new SAP R3 solution, DST is now able to centrally administer its article, BOM and work processing sheets. The procurement and production planning is now based on the sales forecast in SAP. This allows DST to react more quickly to the changes made by the customers, which are common on the Chinese market, and immediately adapt the stock. Furthermore, all departments are now able to view and analyze the status of internal and external inventories. Last but by no means least, DST is now able to better calculate and control both its production costs and the internal and outsourced production processes. "Our goal with the new SAP system was to introduce controlling in Wuxi for both finance and the inventories that comes up to the high expectations of the Diehl Group," Olipitz explains, "and we accomplished that."
"I am very happy that we counted on Sycor and SAP Activate. This made the software visible and usable for us more quickly. We were able to provide feedback directly and respond even during the implementation. I am convinced that the project would not have gone as quickly and successfully without SAP Activate. A great big thank you to the Sycor team!"
Marcus Dobermann, Project Manager, Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing (Wuxi) Co., Ltd.
The Sycor Group has been using agile project methodologies based on SCRUM since 2015. Such an approach leads to results more quickly, especially in larger projects. The Sycor team used the SAP Activate agile project method for the first time in a Sycor China project. "It took some convincing at the outset to get all participants on board for this approach. But everyone was highly satisfied in the end," explains Sycor Project Manager Falk Starke. For one thing, SAP Activate provides all participants with a better overview of project progress. For another, problems can be identified and corrected more quickly thanks to the agile approach. Key users were also involved more closely compared to a classic waterfall method. This led to a greater engagement of all participants. Diehl Project Manager Marcus Dobermann adds: "I am very happy that we counted on Sycor and SAP Activate. This made the software visible and usable for us more quickly. We were able to provide feedback directly and respond even during the implementation. I am convinced that the project would not have gone as quickly and successfully without SAP Activate. Kudos to the Sycor team!"