The analysis instruments and controllers for water softening, reverse osmosis, filtration and desalination, and the conductivity and pH value meters from Heyl Analysentechnik are used by all manner of companies, from boiler house and power station operators with cooling towers to water conditioning and water supply companies. The company, which was founded in 1958, is renowned above all for Testomat, an analysis instrument that has been used for 40 years in most of the world’s water conditioning plants to monitor water softness. The company’s other line offers products for determining the substances in water samples taken from e.g. water resources and swimming pools. The SME, which has around 50 employees, develops, produces and markets its products independently worldwide through the Gebrüder Heyl sales company and also provides a full range of services. Heyl Analysentechnik has a branch in France and sales partners in Poland and Switzerland.
Won over immediately
To date, the Hildesheim-based company has mapped its financial accounting, warehouse management, production, purchasing and sales processes using Comet software. “However, the manufacturer stopped giving us support,” explains Fritz Schüssler, IT manager at Heyl Analysentechnik. “This led to serious problems, especially when we had to make large-scale adjustments to our financial accounting to bring them into line with new laws.” As a result, the company began the search for a new software supplier. Initially, it was only on the lookout for a financial accounting solution. IT manager Schüssler took time to consider a variety of programs, during which he attended a presentation to which he had been invited by SAP Business Partner Unirez. That is when he was first alerted to the complete business solution SAP Business One.
Fritz Schüssler was immediately won over by the SAP solution and asked Unirez to present the software to Heyl’s financial accounting department. “We wanted to involve the eventual users in the decision from the outset, because user acceptance is critical to any IT project,” he says, in explanation of the procedure. Not that he need have had any worries. The staff were also highly impressed by the user-friendly interface and intuitive operation of SAP Business One.
During the presentations, Schüssler realized that the complete business solution SAP Business One had the capacity to manage all the business processes at Heyl Analysentechnik – from purchasing and sales to warehouse management and billing – in a single system. After further demonstration of the system to specialist departments, the decision was taken to “replace our existing system completely with the standard SAP solution,” reports the IT manager.
Well within time and budget constraints
The project began on January 19, 2005. By February 2005, the Unirez team had already begun to transfer data from Comet. As well as master data, Heyl also wanted to migrate key information, relating for example to sales and purchase orders – to SAP Business One. This was possible thanks to special export and import programs written by Fritz Schüssler and Unirez respectively. “We transferred the data three times in total. Firstly for training purposes, then for the test and parallel operations, and then finally for live operation,” says Stephan Putro, Project Manager at Unirez. “This procedure enabled us to ensure that all original data records and field contents were transferred correctly.”
It was impossible to map the unique production processes at Heyl Analysentechnik using the standard solution, so the SAP software had to be customized during installation. These modifications involved entry of work operations for posting to cost centers, online posting of time tickets, and preliminary and actual costing, for example. To enable Heyl Analysentechnik to print collective invoices, Unirez also programmed the necessary enhancements to the printout function.
In March 2005, the SAP Business Partner, which is based in Detmold, split the some 30 users into groups of six to eight people for training sessions on Heyl’s own premises. Employees at Heyl’s sales company have been working with the new system since the start of April 2005. It went live at Heyl Analysentechnik a month later. “As a result of the outstanding cooperation with the Unirez project team, the installation ran smoothly,” says IT manager Schüssler. “Not only were we able to go live with SAP Business One on schedule, we also kept within our budget for the project.”
Switch to SAP paid off
The switch to SAP Business One has already paid off for Heyl Analysentechnik. The SAP solution provides transparent mapping of all its business processes and manages all relevant data. Whenever queries arise about a delivery note, invoice or order, the SAP solution’s drill-down function can be used to display the required data on screen within a matter of seconds. In addition to greater speed, this results in significantly higher information and service quality and improved customer loyalty.
Posting transactions in financial accounting is also much quicker than before. “That cuts time and costs,” explains CEO Tilman Heyl, “because we can extend our assets accounting without adding staff.” In future, the company intends to create its own financial accounts. The CEO has witnessed another positive effect since introducing SAP Business One. “Paper-based processes are now a thing of the past.”
As a next step, the company wants to manage its serial numbers and batches in SAP Business One. Heyl Analysentechnik also plans to extend the SAP solution eventually by adding a state-of-the-art archiving system. For CEO Tilman Heyl, one thing is already assured. “We’re in our element with SAP Business One – it’s helping to make our future a successful one.”