Building Bridges Between Continents

MeiDa Information Technology, founded in 2002 in Peking, is the first software provider to sell mySAP All-in-One solutions on the Chinese SMB market. MeiDa now offers manufacturing companies the FIStec All-in-One solution in its ChinaMainframe line of IT solutions. ChinaMainframe solutions for the service industry (ChinaMainframe ServiceOne) and the high-tech manufacturing industry (ChinaMainframe HighTechOne) are already SAP-certified and available on the market. ChinaMainframe FIStec-Engineer One expands the company’s range, adding a solution for small to midsize production companies that up till now was missing from the market. All ChinaMainframe solutions contain a Chinese-language user interface as well as Chinese and international accounting functions and meet the specific requirements of the Chinese government with regard to reporting.
According to MeiDa CEO Herbert P. Goertz, the FIStec solution is now available on the market in Chinese with all the country-specific details, including legal requirements and Chinese accounting procedures. “This SAP-certified product enables foreign companies to find their feet in China much faster,” according to Goertz. What’s more, he says, it’s now possible for Chinese subsidiaries of international companies to implement the tried-and-tested SAP solution from FIStec AG in their national organizations in order to reduce costs and improve processes.
The “FIStec-Engineer” mySAP All-in-One package is available in different variations targeted at one-off, project, series and variation manufacturers as well as hybrid forms of different manufacturing types. The standard version for smaller companies contains all functions that are typical for the industry in the fields of financial accounting, controlling, asset accounting, purchasing, materials management, sales and production. The FIStec-Engineer Advanced version also includes additional functions relating to project management and machine capacity planning and, according to Karl Friedrich Schmidt, CEO of FIStec AG, also serves as a template for larger companies in live operation. The rollout procedure is geared to SMBs and their typical circumstances, for example thin personnel cover, tighter project budgets and their high flexibility and commitment to innovation. FIStec already has experience of deploying the product internationally as the mySAP All-in-One package is already being used in the USA and Europe.

China – a land of opportunity

FIStec and MeiDa first established contact with each other about 18 months ago. Professor Ralf Oetinger, co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of FIStec AG and Dean of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Saarland University of Applied Sciences, recognized that the current trend of outsourcing production to China presented an opportunity for his company to launch its business model and products on a global scale. 1,600 German companies already have branches in China and half of them have goods produced in the country, the largest in Asia. As part of his professorship for industrial IT, Oetinger was also intensifying contacts with a growing number of Chinese students showing an increased interest in SAP and SAP solutions. So, the thought of cooperating with a Chinese partner was at the forefront of his mind.
The global SAP SMB Team was instrumental in furthering the project’s development. The team established the necessary contacts in China and put Ralf Oetinger in touch with Herbert Goertz, CEO of MeiDa. On the emerging Chinese market, MeiDa is somewhat of a “familiar face”. The company was the first SAP Business Partner to develop a qualified mySAP All-in-One solution for the Chinese market. Available since 2002, the solution is now utilized by ten customers. They are supported by the 100 or so MeiDa employees in Peking, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In fact, the SAP Business Partner covers the entire Chinese market.
In summer 2003, the project idea became reality – without any notable difficulties. “The benefits of such cooperation are best highlighted using an example. A German company that has production carried out in China is supported by FIStec in Germany. However, MeiDa looks after operations in China. Every party plays a part in the success by contributing their business and solution know-how and is available as a contact for the customer on-site. The close cooperation between both companies has enabled us to successfully develop an end-to-end and comprehensive project planning and support structure for our customers. Despite the distance involved, the customer is still able to draw on the benefits of a contact person,” explains FIStec CEO Schmidt. In addition to the project idea, Schmidt views the cooperation between a mix of German and Chinese project teams during the rollout to China as the key benefit. And in this respect, the FIStec-MeiDa cooperation is already bearing its first fruits. According to Schmidt, you need only think of the intercultural challenges presented by such projects and the fact that overcoming them is often crucial to success.