Multiple Project Management System: Full Transparency



Henkel Modellbau GmbH has many years of experience in modeling and tooling and specializes more and more in contract manufacturing of CNC-milled structural and structural components. The ams.erp multi-project management system provides the necessary process support.

Multiple project management system in action: The Hessian company Henkel is a third generation family business with a comprehensive range of model and tool building services. around oneself be crisis-proof for the future, Managing Director Christoph Henkel is constantly working to expand the company’s field of activity. Particular attention is paid to the expansion of its own CNC contract production, for which a modern, 22-station comprehensive machine park offers the best conditions.

Successfully integrate all systems into one

To integrate old and new business activities a solid foundation in process engineering In 2020, the head of the company decided to implement the integrated industry software ams.erp with a special design for unit production and to order. This new ERP system entered into force in April 2021 and replaced the outdated goods management software and another technical data management system from the same manufacturer.

Multiple project management system: Complete ERP reboot

Christoph Henkel describes the result of the inconsistency: “On the workbench, ordering information from the commercial system was not available in the technical system, so it was not clear if and when the required part was ordered and when it would be available. It was also not possible to view order confirmations. ” To rule out such complications in the future, he decided to completely restart the software: “We wanted to set up processes from scratch – with an ERP system integrating data from scratch and mastered both commercial and technical disciplines.”

The decisive factor in the selection was the supplier’s orientation towards unit and small lot production. Tools manufactured by Henkel are either unique or produced in small quantities. The geometry, material and field of application requirements are always different, even between small series. The software vendor could have considered this approach to production right from the start: “It was always clear during the interviews that our contacts on the ams side knew our business model very well,” says Christoph Henkel.

Work without article numbers

The central element of this specialization is the functionality of the “growing bill of materials”. Because, as is usual with piece, made-to-order and variant production, Henkel Modellbau usually does not know the properties of the end product at the time of ordering. It follows that important value-added processes such as design, procurement and production take place at the same time. The growing bill of materials reflects all changes due to ongoing design work in a version-safe manner. As the multi-project management system combines the ERP related postings of the order with the parts list of the order, all involved can check the current status of the project at any time. Purchasing and production employees learn in real time what work has already been done, what steps to take and when. At the same time, the production or delivery status of the parts to be installed is completely transparent. This point becomes even more important when, as at Henkel, certain work steps such as turning and grinding are performed externally.

In addition to the subject of constructional and accompanying production, the head of the company also sees the possibility of not using item numbers as a proof of the supplier’s competence in terms of batch size 1+. It is true that specialized software must also be able to functionally maintain the article data. The software enables the management of special parts throughout the entire order, even without article numbers, which means that maintenance of the article master is limited to parts that are actually reused. So instead of keeping the item master data for a long time, which is mandatory in almost all ERP systems, you can now create new projects with a minimum data set. The system then automatically converts accepted bids into orders so that order processing can begin immediately.

A more structured way of working through a multi-project management system

On the business side, the boss finds it a great relief that ams.erp provides real-time status and progress of all ongoing projects across all departments. As all work areas and projects are networked together, you can accurately assess how the changes will affect a specific current job as well as all others. For example, if delivery times or the profitability of an entire order are at stake, appropriate measures can be taken to prevent financial damage.

Overall, the new system was the basis for establishing a more structured way of working. In addition to minor tweaks, Christoph Henkel bases its process organization on an industry proven software standard. One year after implementation, the desired improvements were achieved, in particular, the transparency of cost structures and the entire project implementation process has increased significantly. This is evidenced, among other things, by the fact that the delivery of materials and the possibility of precise planning of deadlines are now guaranteed at all times.

Image: ams. Solution

Author Paul-Gerhard Schmidt is a leading expert consultant and board member for customer projects at ams.Solution.

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