Open Door to the Future

Doors can be burglar-proof, water- and fire-proof, given a dark stain or painted bright red, finished with glass or even produced from light aluminum. Not only do the doors look completely different, the processing procedures behind them are also light years apart. Something the co-workers at Dr. Hahn GmbH & Co. KG, one of the top companies for developing and producing hinges for steel, aluminum and plastic doors, are quick to point out.
The unique range of products includes 26 registered brands, with one single article sometimes having up to 1,300 variants. With a 290-strong workforce, the door specialist ships all its goods from its only production location in Mönchengladbach, near Dusseldorf, to the entire world. And, as exports account for over 60 percent of its sales, Dr. Hahn ranks internationally as one of the top brands in the industry.
To meet its own and its customers’ requirements the company decided to completely replace its legacy system – necessitating the transfer of 10 years of data. It didn’t take long to see that the SAP industry solution met the specified requirements for metalworking at IBM Germany perfectly.
An added bonus is the preconfigured software solution: The combination of the future-proof mySAP Business Suite technology and the huge industry know-how of SAP SME partner SerCon guarantees investment security and a high degree of cover. This is something that Axel Koch, head of IT at Dr. Hahn, readily confirms: “The SAP industry solution already covers 98% of our processes as standard. Having this flexible IT system means that we are now much better equipped to respond to the market.”

SAP solution won hands-down

Opting for this new business software was therefore a logical move. One of the main aims at Dr. Hahn was to ensure integrated planning. This is because up until this point there had been no standardized production control. While one department was responsible for mechanical production planning the other was in charge of assembly – and in between the two was the warehouse. Materials Management and Production therefore performed planning in parallel, with one area putting goods into the warehouse and the other taking them out.
“Thanks to the SAP industry solution, co-workers can now view both warehouse stock and production plans at a glance. The long-range view this solution affords means that we have been able to up our planning horizon from two to ten weeks,” says Axel Koch delightedly. Dr. Hahn has therefore been able to sort both IT and organizational issues at one fell swoop. And that’s not all. As well as Production Planning, Materials Management and Sales functions, Dr. Hahn is also using the Financials and Controlling components from the SAP solution. The Excel lists previously in place no longer enabled efficient functioning, data was no longer reliable and comprehensive controlling was therefore impossible. Integrated data has allowed all these gaps to be closed.

SAP solution optimizes response and delivery times

Working closely with Dr. Hahn, SerCon took charge of SAP licensing and IT services and solution for the software implementation. Both companies are German SME subsidiaries of IBM Germany. “The result of this IT partnership is that we have achieved what we wanted, when we wanted, while keeping within our budget,” announces Axel Koch.
“Dr. Hahn is a small firm. Before this, our impression had always been that, in addition to being inflexible and out of the reach of SMEs, SAP had no solution portfolio to meet our requirements. However, our recent experience with the industry solution has completely dispelled these widely held misconceptions. What our old system took about half a year to do, SAP has, for example, achieved in just six weeks.” As such, the change of system was much easier and quicker for Dr. Hahn than updating to a new release of the old software. This speed and flexibility were crucial to a company operating with low delivery stock and short delivery times.
Not least because the niche market player serves two different segments. On the one hand it is a series manufacturer and on the other it produces variants and customized products. In the latter case delivery times are key. Dr. Hahn therefore aims to halve these and provide a quicker service for its customers. Integrated production planning comes into its own here as well, for as soon as a new order is placed, the data is entered in the system and a delivery date immediately issued.

Serving the world from Mönchengladbach

Another goal for the future is to use SAP’s Data Warehousing solution to create a classic reporting structure. Tapping into new potential markets and sales opportunities features just as high on the list of Dr. Hahn’s ‘to dos’. The SAP solution has opened the door to a whole new world of possibilities rendered unattainable in the past by the legacy system with its countless interfaces.