Case Study | Ondal Medical Systems GmbH
Implementation of Variant Configuration
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Mastering the balancing act between standard production and batch size 1 with SAP Variant Configuration

Customer demands for products that are precisely tailored to their requirements – in other words, in extreme cases, production with a batch size of 1, on the one hand, and the desire of manufacturing companies for simplification and more standardisation on the other, pose major challenges for companies today. This was also the case at Ondal Medical Systems GmbH, where we provided the solution by switching to variant production.

About “Ondal Medical Systems GmbH”

Ondal Medical Systems GmbH is the world market leader in the development and production of high-quality electromechanics in the medical technology product segment. These include, for example, monitor supports, spring arms and central axes. Ondal’s customers are primarily original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers and system suppliers. Ondal GmbH used to belong to Wella AG, which became part of the Procter & Gamble Group in 2003. The process and systems were adopted from the parent company. Customised products were not envisaged in this scenario. However, a key factor in Ondal’s growth has been and continues to be customised product variants.

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“Together with PIKON, we have managed to build a future-proof variant solution that is easy to maintain, transparent in its mapping, and supports our growth targets with its flexibility.”

 

Fabian Hanske, Head of Controlling
Ondal Medical Systems GmbH

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Initial situation

Ondal GmbH used to belong to Wella AG, which became part of the Procter & Gamble Group in 2003. The process and systems were adopted from the parent company. Customised products were not envisaged in this scenario. However, a key factor in Ondal’s growth has been and continues to be customised product variants. This resulted in a typical problem of classic order processing: each customer request meant a complete redesign of a product with its own master data record and the creation of order-specific parts lists and work plans in order to map all the customised adaptations. There was no overview of whether a product was already manufactured and sold in the same way.

To summarise, we were dealing with

  • A high volume of master data,
  • Expertise focused on individuals and their records,
  • Associated costly coordination between employees and departments.

Our solution

Using the PIKON 3-point approach, in which not only the processes and IT systems are considered, but also the wishes and needs of the people involved are heard, it was possible to work out the individual points of view in particular of the design team, the work preparation technicians and the sales department staff. The problems were as follows:

Sales

The response time to customer enquiries was already too long due to the respective replanning of the customer product and the total processing time was also too long. The sales staff felt the effects of customer dissatisfaction on a daily basis.

Design

Each customer product was elaborately redesigned, even if only individual components were different to previously manufactured products. This tied up a lot of capacity that was not available for the actual core task of product innovation.

Work preparation

Each product needs production to be readjusted. There is no reliable master data to fall back on.

The solution to this situation was, as is often the case, to switch from repetitive manufacturing to variant production: A maximum parts list with the corresponding maximum work plan is created for similar products. The maximum parts list contains all the possible components and product features. The parts and features required for the order-specific requirements can already be selected very easily from this in the sales department. The stored object dependencies ensure that only parts that go together are combined. For example, if a spring arm is to support a heavy monitor, it not only needs a larger mounting plate but also more load-bearing joints than are required for a smaller monitor.

Customer benefits

Thanks to this solution, it is no longer necessary to design and create each customer product individually. The respective individual product is configured from the maximum parts list and the customer can be sent the appropriate quote within a very short time. A material master record can also be created for each specific product configuration after entering the order. PIKON automated this process using an integrated individual product to map the requirements in controlling.

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Martina Ksinsik
Martina Ksinsik
Customer Success Manager
Dominik Fritz
Dominik Fritz
Customer Success Manager