With support from SAP Logistics integrators IGZ, Hansgrohe has set a new standard in logistics: From autumn 2011, SAP EWM/MFS (SAP Extended Warehouse Management/SAP Material Flow System) is now managing all of the processes at the company's existing highly-automated logistics centre in Offenburg.
In the sanitaryware segment, Hansgrohe enjoys the reputation of being an innovation leader in technology, design and sustainability. And these efforts have paid off: in 2011, the Hansgrohe Group posted new record figures for sales and earnings of approximately €764 million. This success can also be attributed to a logistics setup precisely tailored to the needs of the markets. "We call it 'customer logistics'," explains Volker Weisenhorn, Head of Customer and Distribution Logistics at the Offenburg Logistics Centre (OLC). "It is an important lifeline for a company such as Hansgrohe and must therefore be kept in good working order."
An important milestone was the introduction of SAP EWM. "The old subsystem had grown alongside our business for many years," says Weisenhorn. Yet continuous growth had regularly forced Hansgrohe to patch its processes – sometimes extensively – in order to continue to meet the expected standard for its deliveries. "Some 98% of Hansgrohe's production value chain is already managed by SAP. Accordingly, the new warehouse IT had to offer full integration into the overall SAP system architecture."
Factors influencing the award of the project to IGZ included the quality of consulting services and project methodology.
In addition, SAP Special Expertise Partner IGZ was also able to offer a SAP EWM reference project portfolio that was almost unique on the market.
In the course of the "Customer Validation Programme", it became clear that SAP EWM 7.01 would be able to meet all of the current and future requirements with the standard software suite.
Integration testing took place as early as September 2010 – usually one of the company's strongest revenue periods. Not that anyone had any worries about the go-live date: "We'd gone through all of the risks beforehand and developed a set of IT risk management strategies," says Weisenhorn. Accordingly, the "big day" went according to plan within the scheduled time frame. Today, SAP EWM/NFS now manages and controls all of the processes in the OLC.
Hansgrohe benefits from a homogenous SAP system architecture, as well as reduced interfaces and sources of error. "One key benefit is that we are now working today at the maximum level of integration," says Weisenhorn, visibly pleased. At the same time, the Head of Logistics also praises the solid commitment of the IGZ project team, who were continuously on-call for Hansgrohe during the "hot" commissioning phase.
"IGZ involved us actively in the project throughout, also passing on the necessary SAP expertise. As a result, we are now in a position where we can handle SAP EWM administration in-house and can deploy new applications ourselves."
Head of Customer and Distribution Logistics
Hansgrohe AG, Offenburg
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