IT systems for your way to digitalisation
Sample areas for IT & Tools in mechanical and plant engineering
Custom Development solutions for the offer management
Offers in mechanical and plant engineering are as complex as the products themselves. The latter are often configured according to the customer’s wishes, meaning that every offer is, ultimately, unique. The offer price therefore cannot simply be taken from a price list but rather must likewise be configured – where applicable, taking special options into account. Numerous offer versions often need to be generated, retained and compared. Under some circumstances, the offer phase may last several months or even years. When you take into account the fact that a hit rate of 20% is considered to be good in mechanical and plant engineering, it is easy to understand that many SAP users in the industry do not model the offer phase in SAP. Instead, they choose to generate the offers in external software tools. That has its downsides: the offer process is naturally dependent on SAP master data such as customer, materials and configuration data. Furthermore, the accepted offers should be seamlessly adopted into the ERP without double entry. The solution: a PIKON Custom Development product for offer management. This is fully integrated into SAP, uses the existing master data and allows for processes with no system and media gaps.
By increasing the use of prototypes, we’ve greatly improved the mutual understanding between developers and sales staff. …The biggest challenge in the ultimate implementation of the project was to get 500 users in our global sales structure using the new software as quickly as possible without losing efficiency by running legacy and new software concurrently.
ENGEL Austria, „e-ViS“ project management“
Non Conformance Costs Management with Data Science
Reasons for non-conformance costs
Non-conformance costs are a challenge in mechanical and plant engineering where complex customer projects must be implemented at a fixed price. The avoidance of NCCs is therefore a significant lever for the level of profit. But how do NCCs occur, what are the “root causes” of cost overruns in project business? Unfortunately, the possible causes are almost unlimited because they can lie with the customer (for example through frequent change requests or imprecise specifications) or in the product or solution (technical complexity). Likewise, the particularities of the market (geographical, climatic or political particularities) or problems within the company (e.g. lack of training, insufficient communication) can be responsible.
Generation of knowledge through data science
Our experience shows that the reasons can often be found in the company’s “treasure troves of data” which lie dormant in various IT systems (ERP systems, CRM systems, expert systems, data warehouses). Until recently, though, we lacked the technical means to exploit these treasures. In the age of “data science”, these means are available, and we use state-of-the-art technical and statistical methods to generate knowledge from your data. We work with you to formulate hypotheses about the cause of the NCC and examine these on the basis of your historical project data. As a result, not only do you gain deep insights, you can also use the system for NCC forecasting for new offers and projects and thus combat NCCs before they occur.
We have put together more information about data science for you on a single page.
Project controlling is immensely important, especially for long-term projects in mechanical and plant engineering. Find out more from an IT perspective:
Automatic material variants in SAP SD
Pros and cons of variant configuration
From a logistics perspective, SAP variant configuration offers convincing benefits such as the massive reduction in master data. Controllers, on the other hand, are sometimes inclined to see configuration as a drawback since the same material number can suddenly be replaced time and again by a wide range of products in their familiar analyses.
Solution for reporting
Of course, reporting can be expanded with other technical features which then must be considered in conjunction with the material number. If this is not possible or desired, then the use of material variants, which ultimately constitute a separate material number again for a specific (common) configuration, is ideal.
So that these material variants do not have to be manually created, negating the efficiency gains made through configuration to some extent, we offer an automatic material variant solution. Based on the configuration of a customer order item, we search for an existing material variant (or create a new one) and simply replace the material number in the item. This does not result in any additional effort for logistics handling and controlling keeps its familiar analyses.
Automatic project creation in SAP PS
Benefits of automation
The creation of an SAP project structure plan for a complex customer project is a tricky procedure which is prone to errors, and correct execution is crucial for the quality of the downstream processes. Owing to the low number of orders in comparison with series production, the learning curve for employees is often not as steep as desired. Automation of the process is therefore desirable.
We offer you the SAP tools needed for this. For example, we can automatically create project structure plans and network plans in SAP PS on the basis of a customer order and PS template identification. Here, the template can simply be used unchanged or can be configured using the properties from the customer order. Regardless, a correct project structure is created in SAP with the press of a button.
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
Visit our blog:
Our expertise for your success! Request your free expert-check.