A Mobile Modern Force

Feature Article | January 20, 2011 by Andreas Schaffry & Daniel Hardt

Blindtext (Foto: fotolia)

Though it’s partial to army green, the Bundeswehr also rents civilian vehicles (image: fotolia)

The “Y on the license plates is your first clue: BwFuhrpark Service is no conventional vehicle rental company. In fact, it is the source Germany’s Bundeswehr uses to lease everyday civilian vehicles, freight trucks, special-purpose vehicles, and vehicles with special military equipment. SAP ERP enables BwFuhrpark Service to fully map and implement the business processes necessary to manage a total of 26,000 vehicles, while other SAP software provides additional optimization.

SAP software package keeps troops mobile

BwFuhrpark Service handles everything from rentals and car-sharing to chauffeur services and the Bundeswehr’s old vehicles – both in Germany and around the world. Its previous IT system, however, was no longer able to fulfill its increasing requirements; the system’s heterogeneous structure involved numerous interfaces and was not up to the task of interconnecting BwFuhrpark Service’s employees. In 2007, the company kicked off HELIOS – a project aimed at reorienting its IT based on SAP applications.

Lacking the internal resources needed to carry out the project on its own, BwFuhrpark Service began looking for support from an external IT service provider. The company ultimately opted for a consortium of midmarket firms: weisser + böhle Consulting (SAP ERP, SAP Supplier Relationship Management), basycs (SAP basis software), Mieschke Hofmann und Partner (SAP Dealer Business Management), eXXcellent solutions (DSW), and iProCon (SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP ERP HCM portals).

BwFuhrpark Service’s goal was to build an integrated, high-uptime IT and process platform that would interlink and automate business processes throughout its organization. At the same time, it wanted to fulfill requirements essential to improving its cooperation with the Bundeswehr, which was also carrying out its own comprehensive SAP project.

Next page: Less work, lower costs

Blindtext (Foto: BwFuhrpark)

SAP software keeps Germany’s Bundeswehr rolling (image: BwFuhrpark)

Less work, lower costs

First, BwFuhrpark implemented SAP ERP to handle its business processes in financial accounting, controlling, and materials management. A separate installation of SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) now manages personal data on the company’s employees and 1,800 members of the Bundeswehr.

Meanwhile, integrated SAP add-ons enhance the standard functionality of SAP ERP in certain areas. An automated electronic workflow now processes some 200,000 incoming invoices in six steps instead of 24, which takes less time and reduces the costs involved.

Purchasing through SAP SRM and SAP NetWeaver PI

Since July 2010, BwFuhrpark Service has conducted its decentralized procurement through general agreements using SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM). In this way, the company plans to tap into potential savings and performance gains in purchasing. It has also integrated its suppliers through SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI).

In addition, SAP NetWeaver PI serves as the bridge between the company’s SAP software and a Java-based custom development called DSW, which BwFuhrpark Service uses to run customer-specific processes in vehicle dispatching, rental, billing, and complaint processing. Meanwhile, a tailored installation of SAP Dealer Business Management (SAP DBM) supports workflows in vehicle procurement and registration, as well as deadline management.

Next page: Service and support with SAP Solution Manager

(Foto: BwFuhrpark)

Vehicle procurement and registration with SAP Dealer Business Management (image: BwFuhrpark)

Service and support with SAP Solution Manager

To carry out individual SAP implementation projects in a timely manner, the project managers at BwFuhrpark Service use SAP Solution Manager as their central service and support platform. This tool documents all of the changes made in the company’s SAP systems over the course of its implementation projects, which makes it possible to immediately assess and eliminate all manner of errors.

BwFuhrpark Service’s IT administrators also use SAP Solution Manager to monitor business processes in the company’s live operations and analyze information on further process optimizations and cost reductions.

High uptime, low energy consumption

Thanks to smooth management of its operative business processes and the high quality of its customer-oriented services, BwFuhrpark is able to guarantee a high level of uptime. In this scenario, every live SAP system is equipped with at least two application servers. All of the company’s key software and hardware components thus run on redundant configurations based on Microsoft Cluster Service.

Meanwhile, the BwFuhrpark Service has taken it upon itself to realize an intelligent virtualization concept for its SAP testing and development systems. As a result, its data center gets by with fewer physical servers, which in turn leads to greater energy efficiency.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply