Manufacturer implements a scalable & efficient low-code way to move to SAP S/4HANA
Thanks to an ‘app development platform first’ approach, Hauni (Koerber Group) has established in-house IT competencies that overhauled maintenance operations. With Neptune Software, they are able to implement requirements independent of both processes and end devices since 2016 and are prepared for a continuous migration to SAP S/4HANA for years to come.
CHALLENGE: Frictionless execution of maintenance operations
As a leading manufacturer of high-quality machinery and equipment for the tobacco industry, Hauni (part of Koerber Group) operates in a challenging market segment. Technical innovations and outstanding customer service is what sets them apart from the competition. Excellent customer service is especially needed to promote spare parts sales but also to showcase Hauni’s added value with their factory customer service in comparison to companies’ internal maintenance teams.
The frictionless execution of maintenance operations and downstream commercial processes is a must. The availability of all relevant data on-site, as well as the digital reporting by the technicians, is a major IT requirement to ensure optimal customer service.
“Since we are very close to the standard in SAP CS, we could have based all our service processes on standard software. However, the surrounding systems and modules are very specialized within our company. The time recording, for example, runs against SAP CS to invoice services, but is also documented in SAP HR for the actual recording of working times,” Hilker continues.
When implementing these requirements, Hauni focused on process stability towards the customer to ensure a complaint-free invoice. Convenience for the technicians was also a key requirement for the reporting application.
APPROACH: An App Factory in your own company
As part of the digitization strategy, the requirements from departments to replace legacy and often paper-based processes with lean and mobile applications is becoming increasingly frequent. To avoid uncontrollable technological chaos, the focus on scalable and agile application development represents a central challenge for modern IT departments.
“At the beginning, we worked intensively with the SAP development tools and even built our first SAP Fiori App. The Neptune DX Platform is much leaner on the architectural side and fit much better to our internally available ABAP know-how. For us, Neptune Software was the ideal compromise between the use of the actual SAP standard and a fallback to proprietary front-end technology,” says Mr. Hütköper, who manages the app development across modules.
In implementing Neptune Software Fiori Apps, Hauni now draws on both internal development resources and external partners. In the beginning, the Hauni team was supported in the development of the first apps by Neptune Software partners. With growing knowledge, more tasks were completed step by step by the internal developers. Today, Hauni IT only relies on external support for special requirements or staff shortages.
“Since we only had a vague knowledge of web development, the ready-made front-end components (code snippets) helped us a lot, especially in the beginning. Today, we use over 100 Neptune Software Fiori applications across all modules and have a wealth of internal experience. In particular, the expansion of our service center in Hungary has proven to be very successful, so that we can now react flexibly and cost-effectively to new requirements”, Mr. Hütköper continues.
While Hauni originally focused exclusively on apps for sales and equipping them with iPhones, the strategy with Neptune Software has been a complete success. Today, the company can implement requirements independent of processes and end devices using a single central platform.
RESULTS: On the way to complete digitization of service and installation processes
The overarching project goal is the establishment of a Technical Service Suite, which includes offline-capable apps for customer service. Hauni is approaching this final project stage step by step by developing individual applications for sub-processes.
“The first requirement we developed was the Inspection App – an application that guides technicians through the inspection process and, as a result, accelerates the downstream quotation process for the modernization of plants. Using the notification and the assigned technical position, checklists are dynamically built up via the parts lists, which sometimes contain more than 900 items,” explains Mr. Hilker.
Currently, many processes at Hauni are mapped in different systems or are still implemented on paper. The digitization of paper processes and consolidation on a platform with central access for technicians and a consistent user experience are the common goals of all subprojects.
“After time recording, an order information app is planned. Here all order-relevant information will be collected. Starting with technical drawings, access descriptions, or private information like hotel recommendations. We also want to support the concept of “One Shift Maintenance” with a documentation list so that the technician can track in an app which activities and installations could be carried out during a production shift,” Mr. Hilker continues.
Hauni’s ambitious strategy of building up IT competencies for app development internally has proven to be a lasting success for the medium-sized mechanical engineering company. Today, complex project plans, such as equipping service technicians with offline-capable apps, can be realized using the internal IT team. At the same time, the close integration of the Neptune DX Platform with the SAP Fiori Design System means that the company is equipped for decades to come for the ongoing migration to SAP S/4HANA. This makes Hauni independent of external suppliers and consolidates competitive advantages through high individualization and quality in the service process.
Customer Industry: Manufacturing / Mechanical / Industrial Engineering
Systems: SAP CS, HCM, PP, SD
Devices: Windows / Android / iOS – mix of different devices
Implementation Timeline: Ongoing, Neptune Software in use since 2016
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