Case Study | Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen
Improving efficiency in project business

Process harmonisation for a machinery and plant manufacturer

PIKON analysed, harmonised, and optimised the processes in project business at Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen under the internal project name “M5”, and implemented them in SAP in an initial roll-out at the MR subsidiary HIGHVOLT. In accordance with the PIKON 3-Point-Consulting-Approach, PIKON played a part not only in the implementation, but also in the definition of best practice processes and project communication.

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen - regulated voltage for a reliable power supply

The company operates in energy technology and consists of Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR) as well as 45 subsidiaries and 4 holding companies around the world. In the previous financial year, 3,500 employees achieved a turnover of 740 million Euros. The company’s core business is the regulation of power transformers.

HIGHVOLT - high voltage is our business

HIGHVOLT Prüftechnik Dresden GmbH is the global market leader for high voltage testing and measurement systems with an export share of around 90%. Systems for the testing of devices used to transfer electrical energy such as transformers, cables, and switchgears are developed and manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Dresden. HIGHVOLT also furnishes research and educational institutions with its systems.

“In PIKON, we had a consulting partner with experience in the industry which was up to the complex challenge of this project. The project succeeded on a conceptual and technical level thanks to the business background of the IT consultants. And thanks to the necessary sensitivity to the corporate culture, the new processes are still put into practice today.”


Christian Hengl
Head of Process Design SCM-PLM, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen


The starting point at Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen

In recent years, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen has also been consistently investing in the solutions and project business alongside its core business. HIGHVOLT in Dresden, among others, was thus acquired – a company which designs and implements challenging customer projects in the field of high voltage testing and measurement technology. This resulted in multiple divisions within the group which operate in the Engineer-to-Order (ETO) business rather than the traditional Configure-to-Order business.

However, MR’s SAP system was not designed for the associated business processes, meaning that the project business divisions were working either with workarounds in SAP or outside SAP entirely.
Compounding this problem was the fact that the ETO processes in the individual divisions differed significantly for historical reasons, despite having the same business management task. HIGHVOLT had the classic plant manufacturer’s problem that every system is unique and the maintenance of master data and projects therefore required a great deal of effort.

The management of the MR Group therefore initiated the M5 project with the following goals:

  • Harmonisation and optimisation of the business processes in project business.
  • Selection of an appropriate ERP system for modelling of the business processes.
  • Initial roll-out at HIGHVOLT.

Our solution

  • Support in project communication: the harmonisation of business processes and implementation of new ERP systems always results in changes to day-to-day operations, which is initially a fear-inducing topic for many employees. Our business communication team carried out a 360° stakeholder analysis and conducted anonymous snapshot interviews with the key players right from the beginning of the project in order to find out their attitudes, expectations, and concerns with regard to the project. The evaluation of these interviews flowed into a project communication strategy which, under the motto of “Flourishing. Together. In the project business.”, continuously informed all stakeholders about not only the “How”, but also the “Why” of the project.
  • We took up the relevant business processes (with a clear focus on the customer projects) in 3 divisions at 4 sites. The ACTUAL processes were graphically modelled and discussed with all parties involved in workshops “in real time”. The PIKON consultant subsequently generated swimlane diagrams (using BPMN notation) from this, which work very well as a basis for discussion with the technical side. For each process, its functions including the temporal and logical sequence, the responsible departments, key inputs and outputs, and the supporting IT systems were recorded in the diagrams. Word documents with detailed descriptions and known “sticking points” were also generated for each (sub)process. The process descriptions were reviewed and approved by the specialist departments.
  • In a second step, a potential analysis was carried out in which the actual processes were reviewed for potential for improvement. The following were included here: the sticking points indicated by the specialist departments themselves, organisational, system, and media discontinuities which could be identified from the process models and, of course, best practices in plant engineering from PIKON’s more than 25 years of experience in consulting. The result was a list of potential which allowed the management of the MR Group to give the green light for the next phase of the project.
  • In the third step, standardised business processes for project business were now developed together with the newly appointed global (not location-based) process owners. One simple rule applied for this: there is just one process for an operational problem. These processes were also modelled by the PIKON consultants as swimlane diagrams and approved by the process owners. The target concept included not only processes, but also a controlling concept for project business. In particular, the group controlling requirements (based on series production business) needed to be reconciled with project controlling here.
  • In the fourth step, a specification sheet for the ERP system was developed from the target processes. The PIKON consultants’ job was to subsequently review the implementation options in SAP together with the central MR IT department. It turned out that SAP Standard was largely able to meet the requirements of the specification sheet. Particularly in the offer process, however, the use of an SAP add-on tool which was evaluated during the course of a software selection process was required. SAP was therefore chosen as the ERP system.
  • It was thus possible for MR IT and PIKON to generate an SAP specification sheet. The excellent SAP variant configuration know-how at MR served the project well. Counter to the initial expectations, it became apparent that even supposedly unique systems are made up of configurable systems and assemblies to a certain extent. It was therefore possible to configure offers, customer orders, parts lists, and ultimately even the project structure, which drastically reduced the number of master files and the associated effort for maintenance.

HIGHVOLT was implemented in SAP as the first roll-out project. Here, PIKON provided support in the following points in particular:

  • Design and implementation of a program for automatic structuring and configuration of the PSP elements and network plans, as well as automatic transfer of the calculation from an SAP add-on.
  • Design and customisation in the project system
    Project controlling: project structuring, cost planning, time tracking with CATS, balance sheet valuation, settlement according to CO-PA
    Project logistics: structure of the network plans, scheduling, relationships, transfer of requirements
  • Creation of the migration and cutover concepts for ongoing customer projects
  • Support for tests
  • Support during cutover and go-live

Arrange your free expert check today

In a half-day workshop, we will discuss your specific starting situation and derive an initial target vision and possible procedure model for planned optimisations of methods, processes and systems for your business. This allows you to rub shoulders with our consultants and receive a presentation of how we can support you professionally and expediently in your project.

The added value for our customer

Thanks to the M5 project, MR has standardised best practices for project business which have been successfully introduced at the largest ETO site. The PIKON industry know-how in machine and plant engineering sped up both the definition of the target processes and implementation in SAP. Our 3-Point-Consulting-Approach supported the project in all relevant dimensions:

  • Process: thanks to our industry know-how and our consultants’ solid business background, we were able to set focuses in the definition of the ETO target processes in particular. We frequently also acted as an “interpreter” between the technical side and IT in the process.
  • IT: we designed and implemented SAP processes in PS/CO/CATS which are close to standard. Our project creation program was developed in time & on budget.
  • Human: thanks to our communication approach to accompany the project, we permanently improved acceptance among the users and thus contributed to the success of the project.

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Martina Ksinsik
Martina Ksinsik
Customer Success Manager
Jörg Hofmann
Jörg Hofmann
CFO PIKON Deutschland AG