Integrated ERP for a Midsize Company

Product images courtesy of Kleiner Stanztechnik, Photo: Kleiner Stanztechnik GmbH

Whenever you operate the power windows of your car, you hear a brief click. This comes from something called the snap dome: the part that creates the contact with the car’s electronics, allowing electricity to flow to raise or lower the window. Many of these snap domes are made by Kleiner Stanztechnik.

A New Building for 300 Employees

Kleiner Stanztechnik is based in Pforzheim in southern Germany, and develops, manufactures, and markets punched parts for the electrical systems of vehicles. The company was founded by Thomas and Joachim Kleiner in 1985, and hasn’t stopped growing since. In fact, it has grown so fast in recent years that it had to find larger premises. Three years ago the company and its 300 employees moved to a modern new building in Pforzheim.

Kleiner’s range of products has also expanded. Its new lines of business require new business processes. Besides snap domes, Kleiner’s product portfolio includes microstamping used in medical devices, such as the electrical connections in hearing aids, plug-in contacts, bonding parts, and lead frames as an alternative to traditional printed circuit boards. They also offer solutions for high-current contacting for hybrid or electric vehicles and photovoltaic systems.

All Processes under One ERP Umbrella

To help meet its business strategy, Kleiner implemented the SAP Business All-in-One integrated solution. “It allows us to have all flows of goods and money, from when we prepare quotations, to manufacturing and billing, right through to shipment, under one ERP umbrella, giving us consistent data and enabling us to connect these processes seamlessly,” says Norman Probst, manager of Kleiner Stanztechnik’s SAP project.

Assessing and Improving Business Processes

The ERP implementation was the perfect opportunity to assess and revise the company’s business processes, and make them fit for the future. Doing so has given Kleiner a competitive advantage too – supplier audits in the automotive industry are getting tougher. One of the benefits of SAP Business All-in-One was that typical tool manufacturing processes are preconfigured. Kleiner Stanztechnik could simply adopt these processes, keeping the effort required to modify the software to their specific processes to a minimum.

Read on the next page: Sales Orders Handled Automatically

Frank Chojinski (right), director at Kleiner Stanztechnik, and Norman Probst (left), Kleiner Stanztechnik’s SAP project manager, and Tobias Wahner (center), managing director of implementation partner ITML, can look back on a successful SAP implementation. Photo: Kleiner Stanztechnik GmbH

Kleiner didn’t have to look far for a suitable implementation and consulting partner for its new software solution: SAP system reseller ITML GmbH is also based in Pforzheim. Kleiner went live in three stages, which gave users the chance to familiarize themselves with the new ERP software and increased their acceptance of it.

Sales Orders Handled Automatically

After the company went live, the new software helped purchasing teams, production teams, warehouse staff, and management accountants to standardize their day-to-day work processes, making them faster, more reliable, and more efficient. Largely automated processes have made many tasks simpler. For example, the sales organization can work through a worklist of sales orders and send the orders on to the material requirements planning team. After a work order has been completed and the product is ready to be shipped, the system generates the delivery notes.

Business Transparency

The company now has transparency on all data and business processes. The purchasing and production teams can check inventory levels at the press of a button, and compare them against order requirements. The sales team can check order status at any time, and monitor progress.

The company’s accountants have up-to-date expense and revenue data that they can analyze at any time. Management accountants receive consolidated expense and revenue information for all sales orders carried out by one stamping machine.

Kleiner does not intend to stop there. They want to use the solution to handle returnable packaging and to document performance and inspection data and inspection results for quality management. The sales organization is to use SAP Variant Configuration (LO-VC) to make producing preliminary cost estimates for sales orders easier.