"We needed our new system to cover series, discrete and process manufacturing. COSMO CONSULT was the only vendor to offer all three manufacturing modules from a single source."
Jens Schulze, authorized representative and head of central purchasing, sales and marketing.
BOSIG Baukunststoffe GmbH from Elsterwerda in Brandenburg produces innovative building materials for sustainable construction. This includes accessory products for the pitched roofing sector, insulating construction materials, sealing systems for windows and facades as well as compact balcony floor slabs. The quality of the raw materials and the finished products are monitored by the company’s own laboratory in a constant quality control process. In addition to the company’s headquarters in Elsterwerda, it has a branch office in nearby Bad Liebenwerda. There are also sales branches in Berlin, Shanghai/China and the United States. Its 150 employees generated revenues of 20 million euros in 2016
For the management of the company, it was foreseeable that significant increases in revenue and the number of employees were to be expected in the coming years. "It was clear that the purely commercial business software we had been using so far would not be able to keep up the dynamic development of BOSIG," says Jens Schulze, authorized representative and head of central purchasing, sales and marketing. There were no parts lists or recipes; manufacturing orders could only be created to a limited extent; and there was no overview of the resources. Conclusion: A new, future-proof ERP system was needed. In order to satisfy the necessary prerequisites, the company's processes were documented with the help of the Chair of Production and Operations Management at the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) in Cottbus. The result was a process map that summarized all workflows transparently in a single overview for the first time. At the same time, it formed the basis for BTU's specification sheet and BOSIG’s market research. Project manager Jens Schulze made an initial survey of the market at the Cebit IT fair. His second step was to visit reference customers and gather information about possible implementation partners.
We were looking for ERP software for the upper end of the market for medium sized enterprises The software needed to have a wide scope of functions, cover the existing processes and integrate adjacent systems like document management and the webshop. It needed to have a broad market presence to ensure long-term development. BOSIG also had a list of requirements to be met by the implementation partner: Regional proximity, interdisciplinary references, certified, self-programmed industry modules as well as sufficient personnel resources, for example. Above all, it was important to find a single partner who could offer everything. "We needed our new system to cover series, discrete and process manufacturing. We did not want to work with multiple vendors," remembers Schulze.
The right software, namely Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and the right partner were quickly found: COSMO CONSULT was the only vendor to offer all the three manufacturing modules from a single source", says Jens Schulze. Europe's leading Microsoft ERP partner was able to meet the requirements with its Berlin and Dresden branches for the most part. Schulze adds: "The soft facts as well as personal impression, reliability and professionalism convinced us to go with COSMO CONSULT."
The entire project ran for more than a year and was divided into two phases. "In the first phase, we wanted to reach operational capability - to be able to produce offers, manage orders, generate delivery documents and create invoices. We wanted to have parts lists and recipes in the system in order to calculate and offer articles," said Schulze describing this project phase. For this purpose, the Berlin software specialists programmed three product configurators. They are used to go through a checklist for order entry, in which formulas are stored. They determine material quantities and use, automatically generate production orders and produce sawing and parts lists. Mobile data collection in warehouse management was also implemented in the first phase.
The real challenge was to bring he various independent production areas under one roof so that everyone could work with the programs. "There were also small things, such as questions of understanding. For some, the dates for issuing goods and dates for delivery were the same, but for others they were not," says Schulze. By October the first parts lists and prototypes of the configurators were in the system. After a short test phase, "real operations" followed.
Immediately afterwards, the second phase began, focusing on the introduction of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and the expansion of mobile data collection. Other topics included the graphical PPS and the document management system (DMS). For the future, Schulze plans to network the headquarters more closely with employees in the field: "Our colleagues should always have up-to-date information when visiting clients or should receive live support. Cosmo Consult also offers interesting solutions in this area, and we want to adapt them to our needs."
The new ERP system achieved results in a short time. "Even with the standard version of Dynamics NAV, we had something far superior to the old system. For 15 years we had just been fixing things. Now we have an IT foundation and a partner that we can rely on for the future," says Schulze contentedly. The fact that series, discrete and process manufacturing come from a single source is one of the major strengths of the newly implemented system. But the industry-typical functionalities realized together with Cosmo Consult are among the benefits of the project. "Dynamics NAV provides us with reports that we were able to use to reduce our purchasing costs by more than two percent over the course of the year," says Jens Schulze by way of example.