This article was first published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Prime
Autotest, based in Lana, South Tyrol, specialises in the manufacture of high-quality injection-moulded components for the automobile industry. Over the last 30 years, it has supplied German automobile groups, especially in the premium sector, with finished bumpers, motor controls and armatures from its factories.
Be it the Audi RS6 or Porsche Carrera GT – components for these and similar models are produced just-in-sequence and delivered to the production lines of the automobile manufacturers, allowing them to produce individually configured automobiles without additional warehousing and provisioning costs.
As a supplier particularly of small-scale series, Autotest is frequently called on to adapt to new specifications regarding labelling, data formats and logistical processes. Using its previous IT environment this caused considerable expense, since these modifications always had to be programmed ad hoc. Likewise the data collection for the fine and production-synchronous calls and further contracting of subcontractors required several hours of manual work per day. Some customers also need detailed information on the supervision of sequence planning (pearl chain monitoring, for example) in assembly so as to recognise deviations early and optimise serial planning.
“We were looking for an electronic data interchange (EDI) and supply chain management solution that minimises these programming expenses and largely automates manual activities”, says Günther Klotz, head of IT at Autotest. “With Yaveon ProE-SCM we’ve found exactly the integrated sector solution for the automobile supplier industry that we need.”
Yaveon ProE-SCM, based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, imports and exports the documents for delivery schedules, just-in-time deliveries and production-synchronous calls according to the VDA 4905, 4915, 4916 and EDIFACT standards. Moreover the calls are read automatically and the internal logistical chains are triggered in the workflow. Thus the software automatically generates and sends orders for coating to subcontractors and initiates production planning.
If there are errors or delays, the people responsible are informed and notified of the specific problem.
Finally ProE-SCM continuously generates the correct shipping labels and the loading proposal for the sequential unloading logic on the line. This means that Autotest can reliably keep up with product-synchronous calls with just six days’ lead time. It can also introduce large-scale automation to communication protocols with automobile manufacturers.
“We save two hours’ work every day in data collection and have succeeded in boosting process reliability”, Klotz says, emphasising the solution’s specific operational advantages. “What’s more, the cost associated with adapting software to new customer specifications has been drastically reduced.”
Autotest can parameter smaller modifications itself. But even larger ones are configured to the standard very quickly, even if this requires a specialist from Yaveon as well.
“Besides the quality of the software it was the sector know-how that was decisive for us,” adds Klotz. “For the first time in Yaveon, we’ve found advisers who really knew what the automobile industry demands. Every SME supplier gets good advice from Yaveon ProE-SCM. With this industry solution you can meet even the tightest deadlines.”
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