Higher Transparency with SAP Business One

The six employees of OSRAM Light Consulting GmbH (OLC) have been showing buildings and other objects in a favorable light for over 15 years. Different demands are placed on lighting depending on whether it’s required for swimming pools in Japan or the façade of Munich’s tallest office block. Bringing these technical demands into line with customers’ wishes is the aim of OLC, a subsidiary of the lamp manufacturer OSRAM. OLC’s main focus is to provide comprehensive service in all aspects of lighting. The company offers standard or customized lighting solutions that range from conception, planning, and realization support right through to the actual installation and commissioning. OLC handles on average twelve larger and over 50 smaller projects of between Euro 20,000 and 90,000 each year.

Software optimizes lighting projects

Until the installation of SAP Business One in 2002, employees of OLC used only Windows-based programs such as Word and Excel for project planning and business management. OLC introduced the Quickbooks software for its financial accounting and bookkeeping processes. Then as part of a complete evaluation process, the company decided to abandon the use of various different programs and implement a comprehensive ERP system.
OLC came across SAP Business One, the new SAP software developed specifically for SMBs, at the recommendation of its parent company OSRAM, who has been using SAP for many years. “The user-friendly interface, simple and transparent project monitoring, the presence of all core business functions in SAP Business One and the fact that, unlike other solutions, add-ons do not have to be bought bit by bit were all important factors when it came to reaching our decision,” says Martin Reuter, head of IT at OLC. Additional security for the future is guaranteed by the R/3 interface to parent company OSRAM.

Relieving the workload

Along with SAP and SAP Business Partner itelligence AG, OLC went live with SAP Business One and all modules on January 1, 2003. Support from itelligence was even more important for OLC seeing as it does not have a specialized IT department devoted entirely to hardware and software issues.
After very little time, the employees of OLC were convinced of the benefits of SAP Business One and the fast and flexible support from itelligence and SAP. “Our daily work with Business One mostly centers around sales and purchasing, order processing, stock management, financial accounting and complete project management. With SAP Business One, we can be sure that nothing is overseen or forgotten,” explains OLC Managing Director Michael Reithmeier.
The SAP Business One project management tools have brought a time saving of 50 percent. In the case of staff absence, other employees can easily access current project data and obtain a complete overview of all processes at any time. Pricing and discount policies from suppliers and for customers are far more transparent and can be consistently regulated. Impressive and readily comprehensible structures make the working day easier for the employees of OSRAM Light Consulting. The amount of time and effort spent on administrative tasks such as master data management, the creation of new business processes or data importing can be reduced to as little as half a man day per week.
OLC’s management team is already thinking about introducing mySAP CRM to improve customer service further. “This would enable us to meet the most unusual customer demands consistently, even for smaller orders,” says Michael Reithmeier, explaining his plans for the future.