Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing in Wuxi was using specialized software for accounting and worked without an integrated ERP system. To rectify this as quickly as possible, management decided to implement SAP R3, which would eliminate costs for the administration of redundant data and make controlling more efficient. Sycor's experts chose to use SAP Activate, SAP's agile project methodology, and went live with the new ERP system based on Sycor.Automotive within ten months.
Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. – also known as DST – was founded in 2004. 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, DST's entire inventory, including raw materials and semi-finished products, has a high financial value. This makes consistent, precise inventory management especially important. However, the company was using specialized software only for financial accounting, and therefore keeping track of 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 increased enormously. 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, 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, described the initial situation and continues: "It was clear to us that we urgently needed an integrated system that supplies us with reliable data."
In order to find the best possible solution for Diehl SynchroTec Manufacturing, Sycor analyzed the company's processes and optimized them according to SAP best practices. In the course of the project, data preparation was 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 Elvira. Olipitz.
With its new SAP R3 solution, DST is now able to centrally administer its article, BOM and work processing sheets. 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 in the Chinese market, and immediately adapt the inventory. 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 inventory, which meets the Diehl Group's high expectations," 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)
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 more involved than compared with a classic waterfall method. This led to greater engagement among 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!"
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