„An ERP system that covers all areas of the company is a great asset for controlling and enables up-to-date and, in particular, future-oriented work.“
Sandra Zirngast, Project Manager and Key User Cost Accounting/Controlling at AVI
The products of ALPENLÄNDISCHEN VEREDELUNGS-INDUSTRIE GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H (AVI) can be found on almost all Austrian construction sites. The company, based in Raaba in Styria, produces reinforcing steel products. AVI developed the first standardized structural steel mesh program just one year after its founding in 1948. Today's innovations concern new materials and individual solutions which, thanks to their high and varied qualities, are used on 90% of construction sites in Austria and abroad.
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AVI was faced with the fundamental decision of whether to introduce a new overall ERP system. The IT landscape was heterogeneous and this required a lot of manual data entry. With the old ERP solution, it was no longer possible to optimize and digitize further processes. A new ERP system should be able to completely cover both series production and customer-specific manufacturing with all upstream and downstream areas.
After extensive evaluation of various ERP providers and implementation partners, the decision was made in favor of COSMO CONSULT. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV (now Business Central), COSMO CONSULT, together with the industry solution Advanced Manufacturing Pack (cc|amp for short), offers an ERP solution with which the company's entire value chain can be kept in view and controlled. cc|amp ensures consistent and transparent management of company data at all times. Guarantors for this are industry-specific functionalities like an early and concurrent calculation or the product configuration via the dynamic parts lists. In this way, important corporate goals such as transparency and stability of processes, optimization of results and production planning as well as a reduction in throughput times can be realized even in the short term.
The offer was convincing as an overall package. Particularly positive evaluations were given to the areas of FIBU and production due to the knowledge of the industry, the concept and the spatial proximity, as well as the possibility that key users can also set very many things themselves without the help of IT.
At the start of the project with COSMO CONSULT, key users from the individual areas were defined. Sandra Zirngast explains the objective: "Our key users bring years of experience to the company and were very interested in optimizing the processes and workflows right from the start. We didn't want to stick to our old system and reproduce these old processes one-to-one. Our internal specification for the implementation of the project was to stay as close as possible to the NAV standard."
From AVI's point of view, the early involvement of the users is the cornerstone for the successful implementation of the new solution. Alfred Ernst, project manager deputy and key user work preparation, comments: "The COSMO employees were constructive and know our industry requirements. They responded to every problem and every suggestion from the key users and made solution-oriented suggestions."
The requirement for the new ERP system was that the system should be able to meet all current and future demands on the company, explains Zirngast: "In the course of the introduction, the working method for order entry for one of our most technically demanding products, the AVI thermal basket, was changed. Here, the product components are now entered in a configurator according to the customer's specifications, already when the quotation is created in the system, and specified in detail in the order entry." This configurator consists of two main components: "Checklists" are used by the user to specify an order; this is then transferred to "Dynamic Master BOMs", where calculations such as quantities, setup and processing times are performed using formulas and rules. In this way, the process is now optimized on the IT side and changes can also be easily displayed in the system in the future.
The migration to a new ERP system now enables the optimization of business processes using modern technologies. This gives AVI a significant competitive advantage. In general, the flow of information has been improved across all departments. Starting with contact management, through sales opportunities, quotations and orders, to delivery and invoicing, including production and logistics - all processes are mapped in one system and end-to-end processes simply facilitate daily work, with maximum transparency.
In financial accounting, the program was optimally adapted to the requirements. "The system is modern, transparent and always provides an up-to-date overall view of all business areas of our company," says Karin Kamper, Key User Financial Accounting. The employees now save a lot of time, as multiple entries in different programs are no longer necessary, and transmission errors have also been eliminated.
The purchasing department appreciates the faster processes, reports Nicole Steiner, Key User Purchasing: "Very competent consultants who implemented specific solutions for us. NAV now enables us in purchasing to process day-to-day business more easily and thus more quickly than in the old system."
With the system changeover, truck orders have become simpler and clearer in the shipping department. Bernhard Pflanzl, Key User Shipping, describes the new processes: "The loading slips or goods issue slips have become very clear since the color-coded product group differentiation. Increasing or reducing the quantities to be delivered directly in the goods issue will prove to be particularly positive."
With the introduction of a modern ERP solution, AVI has created the basis for the next steps on the way to the digital future and for further growth. For example, predictive resource scheduling in production using artificial intelligence is being considered.