In 2010, Bernd Wagenhals joined oelheld as Commercial Manager and Authorised Signatory, assuming the task of making the company‘s organisation more transparent and efficient. Due to the company‘s constant growth and increasing internationalisation, the management team alone could no longer coordinate all the various activities, and it was time to establish a robust management structure within the company. As in any modern company, an integrated IT infrastructure connecting business processes across the entire value added chain was therefore essential. „In the past, several employees had to work together to update every pricing calculation, taking hours to collate the necessary information. Likewise, whilst batch traceability was provided, it was not available at the touch of a button. In most other cases, the knowledge was simply stored in employees‘ heads and was not transparent to the management team,“ said Bernd Wagenhals in describing the situation he found.
In order to consistently focus the company on quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction in the future, oelheld decided to introduce an integrated IT platform for its business process management, enterprise resource planning and analysis using a business intelligence system.
The key component was the selection of the ERP system. „We studied the industry-specific suppliers in the market, and then compared Infor Blending and the YAVEON industry solution during the final selection,“ said Bernd Wagenhals. „Without YAVEON‘s industry-specific features, we would have eliminated Microsoft Dynamics, but in this case, the combination of modern systems architecture, office integration and investment security is ideally coupled with a proven industry solution and good references.“ Finally, YAVEON was also able to offer a complete interface to Chem-Ges, the raw material database and safety data sheet system. This allowed an essential legacy system to also be included in the new IT architecture, which reduced the amount of work required in the sensitive area of developing formulas and classifying products.
Implementing an integrated ERP system at oelheld and letting it run automatically from purchasing to sales, from customer requirement to ordering, was easier said than done, due to the nature of its products. „The main challenge is that we sometimes buy in litres, but have to sell in kilos, and vice versa. But changing the formulas, and therefore the
third decimal place of the density, can significantly change the conversion factor, whereas the litre figures are still also dependent on temperature. The consequences of this are significant deviations in materials planning.“
The YAVEON industry solution, with its feature administration, proved to be a suitable system to effectively overcome these inherent challenges.
Overall, the project progressed exactly in line with the plans drawn up by the experienced project team using project methodology. „We were even prepared to wait for a few months at the beginning until the ideal team was ready for us. The trouble-free go-live showed that this was the right decision,“ recalled Bernd Wagenhals. To start with, only very old, oelheld is now able to accurately understand the deviations in its sales resulting from the changes it makes when developing formulas, and to develop appropriate rounding rules which ensure that the flow of materials and
values is always in harmony.
By combining all the business processes into a single ERP system, order processing, logistics, production and quality control are now working hand in hand, and batch traceability is available at the touch of a button. Similarly, all certificates and specifications are administered by the system and can be attached to shipments accordingly. Transparency and accurate cost control have been improved thanks to comprehensive contribution margin accounting. „In the past, we could only evaluate total revenues, now we can accurately measure our sales success,“ said Bernd Wagenhals. Accurate correlations can very quickly be detected by analysing the key figures using QlikView, and the appropriate action taken. „In future, we will be able to visualise the processes and associated key figures even more clearly using the YAVEON BPM module, thereby obtaining a control loop for both continuous improvement and dynamic corporate management,“ said Bernd Wagenhals with regard to the opportunities for managing the company provided by the IT tools.
„With YAVEON as our business IT partner, I have been able to achieve the objectives I set myself for the development of the company, and am well on the way to incorporating all our business processes into our quality management system,“ summarised Commercial Manager Bernd Wagenhals.