Are you confronted with the following challenges on a daily basis?
- Offers: You prepare offers for plant engineering projects for which several components are either not yet technically complete and/or known. You want to structure these offers in a customer-oriented manner and appropriately designed in terms of images and texts, and also to use this as a basis for the technical implementation of the machinery or plant for cost comparisons.
- Configuration: When designing a plant or individual machines you rely on experienced-based values in the form of predefined product models and configure certain positions of the offer or products. When taking a holistic view of the management of the order, you want to take into account not only the engineering services but also aspects such as shipping, assembly and the commissioning of the plant or the acceptance of the machinery in order to be able to monitor the after-sales support of the machinery or plant covered by maintenance and service contracts.
- CAD interface: A key success factor for engineering-intensive sales is the in-depth interaction between the worlds of CAD and ERP software. Close integration allows both of these worlds to be merged, resulting in a massive increase in benefits as a result of consistent version management and the use of a common database.
- Material requirements planning: The technical implementation and fulfilment of the order follows the acceptance of an offer by the customer. Your engineering department successively develops and constructs the specific components required. Implementation is planned and managed in the form of a project while, simultaneously, the first materials (i.e. those with long lead times) are ordered and the necessary production capacities are planned both internally and at your subcontractors. This is where standard ERP functions play a major role, namely in consistently managing the inventory and requirements situation in terms of quantities and deadlines, and making these transparent, as well as ensuring integrated quantity and value-based flows and monitoring changes (deadlines, quantities and scope). Long bills of materials increase the challenge and require that you have optimal system support, even across any client-specific boundaries.
- Shipping: After the procurement and manufacture of the modules and components you need to ship these to the customer so that, if required, the machinery or plant can be assembled and commissioned at the customer site. The challenges associated with transport planning and shipment, as well as the planning and management of the assembly and commissioning services, also require end-to-end system-based support.
- Invoicing: All agreed services and additional services are recorded on a project-specific basis – both as a means of monitoring the progress of the project as well as for the purposes of project cost management and invoicing. Customer invoices are based on the original offer and are often extremely complex, including prepayments, stage payments, etc., as well as being based on the costs of time inputs and materials invoiced as incurred.
- Service: Following the acceptance and invoicing of the machinery or plant, this is handed over to your support department and appropriate agreements are reached with regards maintenance and service levels with your customers as a basis for developing your reactive and proactive after-sales and service business. It is clear that you want to be able to analyze the entire lifecycle of the machinery or plant, even from a commercial perspective, spanning the entire lifecycle of the transaction.
- Documentation: In addition to the commercial overview of the machinery or plant you also need complete technical documentation. This includes permanent access to CAD drawings, datasheets, orders for materials or third-party services, etc. You want to be able to electronically hand over a defined subset of these documents to your customer as technical documentation.
Does the above reflect some or all of the challenges with which you are confronted? If so, then please contact us so that we can discuss our ideas about and solutions to address these challenges.