Companies worldwide are concerned with digitization. The polymer specialist REHAU is also taking digitization seriously and even launched its own initiative addressing it, for which REHAU received the prestigious “Digital Leader Award 2018”. The initiative includes, for example, smart solutions for air pollution, life-saving bumper systems or furniture elements equipped with SMART SENSE – just to name a few of the highly innovative REHAU products.
Digitization initiative launched
The large-scale logistics project targeting fully digitized planning and control processes in transport logistics also serves as a model for future projects. Over the past decades, the REHAU Group has become an international company with an annual revenue of over three billion euros. Worldwide production and distribution locations, offices around the globe and a large supplier network, however, create strict requirements for the implementation of a template for transport management. The aim: The development of a SAP TM template as a central platform for planning and controlling the transport logistics network. With over 170 locations, over 40 plants and over 110 sales offices worldwide, setting up a uniform template is no easy task. REHAU‘s varied product and transport packaging also posed special challenges.
Transport logistics with SAP TM
During a feasibility study, SAP TM became the solution of choice. The main reasons were the modern technical basis, the ability to include future requirements in the template via the standard and the ergonomics. Furthermore, REHAU adheres to an SAP strategy on the basis of which the future system can be optimally integrated into logistics processes.
In short, inconso is a professional partner who quickly understood our problems.
The template developed by the inconso software experts was specially designed to meet the requirements of the REHAU Group‘s logistics network. For example, the technical content covered the requirements of a deliverybased transport planning system, which REHAU uses to process different types of shipping (parcel shipping, general cargo, partial and full loads, transports by sea and air). Planning required the display and use of packing instructions. To ensure that calculations lead to the same results across processes, the rules saved in SAP ERP were taken over. The VSR optimizer (VSR = vehicle scheduling and routing) determines the optimal shipping type. At the planning stage, the combination of package creation and VSR optimization results in a decision that takes a variety of business and commercial aspects into account.
Other features of the template include shipment creation and freight cost management. In addition to classic transport-related calculations, shipment-related freight cost calculation was set up. Deliveries are summarized according to defined criteria and freight costs are balanced accordingly. The calculated freight costs are then passed on to the material level.
In order to obtain information about the requirements of the target system early, an agile project approach (including prototyping) was used to implement the requirements.
In the future, with the template implemented on the basis of SAP TM, REHAU will have access to a uniform solution for planning and controlling its global transport network. The first implementation in Poland in 2017 was followed by further rollouts in Brazil and Austria. The system template continues to grow with each implementation in order to reach the planned, full maturity in 2020. Whereas the first rollouts were implemented with comprehensive support from inconso‘s software experts, the process standardization achieved via the template enables subsequent rollouts to be implemented by the customer. As a strategic partner for updating the template, inconso‘s software experts are currently supporting the implementation of new requirements that arise, for example, due to countryspecific regulations.
Interview: Agnieszka Marciniak, IS Logistics WS/BS/IS/FS at REHAU AG + Co
inconso: Ms. Marciniak, what process areas improved most through SAP TM?
Agnieszka Marciniak: With SAP TM, many areas have improved, especially transport planning. In addition, we have also simplified many process steps in areas ranging from freight billing and auditing to freight cost controlling. This was achieved primarily through standardization measures that interwove processes and classic auditing.
inconso: How did you feel about implementing the project with inconso?
Agnieszka Marciniak: Working with inconso was always cooperative and solution-oriented – the epitome of an agile approach with which a project of this scale could be realized. In short, inconso is a professional partner who quickly understood our problems. This was a good foundation for further collaboration. The team of experts continues to support the implementation of new requirements. We are, however, able to roll out the template on our own.
Working with inconso was always cooperative and solution-oriented.
inconso: inconso: How satisfied are you with the milestones to date?
Agnieszka Marciniak: We are very satisfied with the results so far, especially since a project of this size also comes with certain challenges. Together with inconso, however, we have already achieved a lot at this point. There is still room for improvement in some areas, but overall we are
on an excellent path with inconso as our partner.