Success Story

Smart Costing at HÜBNER Group: Product cost calculation with ORBIS PCC integrated and transparent in SAP at all times

ORBIS Solutions: ORBIS Product Cost Calculator
Sectors: Automotive supplier industry
Processes: Finance & Controlling
References: HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG

A transparent and efficient product cost calculation spanning across all locations and the entire internal value chain is a strategic success factor for the HÜBNER Group. With the introduction of the ORBIS Product Cost Calculator (ORBIS PCC), the company has taken a significant step in this direction. The add-on seamlessly integrates into the group’s SAP ERP landscape and enables consistent and cross-company code calculations above all.

People are constantly on the move, whether it is due to travelling, commuting to the workplace, or moving from A to B during their leisure activities. Those who use the bus, train or plane often come into contact with products from the HÜBNER Group in Kassel without even realizing it.


Head office: Kassel
Branch: Transportation technology
Production sites: 30 locations
Employees: over 3,500

Specialist in transition and sealing systems

The global group of companies is one of the leading manufacturers of complete innovative and custom-made transition and sealing systems for buses and rail vehicles. HÜBNER has unique expertise in regard to bellows solutions as used in articulated buses or Intercity-Express trains. The company also manufactures passenger boarding bridges for a wide variety of aircraft types, including a groundbreaking new development called the Passenger Boarding Bridge Interface (PBBI) 2.0. The family-owned company is also known for its sophisticated material solutions made from elastomers, polyurethane, and industrial textiles, as well as groundbreaking laser applications and light sources in the field of photonics.

Product cost calculation as a competitive factor

The success of the HÜBNER Group, which is continuously expanding and achieved sales of 438 million euros in 2021 with around 3,500 employees at over 30 locations, rests on several pillars: its high-quality products, its unbridled enthusiasm for innovation with around 1,000 patents worldwide, the globally uniform production standards, and the know-how and commitment of the employees.

Equally important are the efficiency, transparency, and flexibility of business processes in all areas. The company has been managing this for years with integrated functions of the SAP ERP (SAP ECC 6.0) business software. However, there was a need for optimization in product cost calculation: The calculation was carried out using SAP standard tools for material costs and sample calculations, as well as in Microsoft Excel, and was complex and not always transparent. “Calculating the costs of products, some of which consist of several hundred components, quickly, accurately, and across all locations and the internal value chain, in order to immediately identify and optimize cost drivers, and to create offers promptly, is crucial for our competitiveness”, says Fabian Döring, International Cost Estimator in the Finance & Controlling department at the HÜBNER Group.

Clear view of all cost components

Through the implementation of the ORBIS Product Cost Calculator (ORBIS PCC) from ORBIS SE, the foundations have now been laid. The add-on integrates seamlessly into SAP ERP, bringing together all the data required for product cost calculations from SAP ERP and a legacy ERP system, and enables a consistent and comprehensive calculation in SAP in great detail. This creates an unprecedented level of transparency with regard to all product costs, from assembly down to the smallest components. “This clear view of each individual cost situation means real added value. Sales therefore has a reliable basis for price negotiations with customers,” explains Fabian Döring. This is a critical aspect, especially against the backdrop of the current constantly rising purchase prices for materials and raw materials. In order to be able to understand at any time how price fluctuations affect calculations and thus the sales price, those responsible are also considering using the ORBIS-PCC “mass change” function for mass adjustments to the prices stored in SAP ERP.

Cross-company code calculation in one day

The fact that calculations can be carried out in ORBIS PCC across accounting area is another major advantage. For this purpose, the add-on directly accesses current data and prices, as well as internal transfer prices in SAP ERP, which significantly streamlines and accelerates the process.

„Whereas we used to need one work week for cross-company code calculation, it can now be done in just under one work day. The high manual effort of collecting the data from the locations, entering it into an Excel file, and merging the individual Excel files is no longer necessary. For sales this means: They can create their offers quickly and submit them to the customer promptly“ explains Fabian Döring.

Fabian Döring, International Cost Estimator in the finance & Controlling department, HÜBNER Group

Fabian Döring, HÜBNER Group
Hübner Bus Portfolio

In the fast-moving market in which HÜBNER operates, this is an advantage that should not be underestimated - just like the integration of the add-on with the SAP SD module, which simplifies the quotation process: As soon as a customer‘s request for an offer arrives in sales, the offer is prepared, and then the calculation is carried out in the ORBIS PCC. In order to make this process seamless, a button was embedded in the sales and distribution quotation, via which the sales department is able to “jump” into the calculation tool with a single mouse click. The calculated direct costs are then included directly into the offer before it is sent to the customer.

HÜBNER Bus Portfolio, Source Photo: © HÜBNER Group

Bottomline calculation, cost breakdown and more.

In addition, the add-on offers a whole range of other advantages: A bottomline calculation can be used to determine the lowest possible selling price for a product, and to determine whether it can even be produced at a marketable price. Cost breakdown analyses identify the cost drivers within a calculation, enabling participants in an offer meeting to focus on optimizing these specific points.

The transfer of a calculation within the controlling department is now much easier than before. If the per- son responsible is absent due to illness or vacation, their replacement can quickly comprehend the calculation, since each change is marked with a different color. In addition, the data required for a calculation from the legacy ERP system can be imported directly into the ORBIS PCC via an Excel import function – a significant reduction in workload.

Hübner Railway Portfolio

Make product cost calculation „smart“

When implementing the ORBIS PCC, HÜBNER relied upon the process and consulting know-how of ORBIS SE. Thanks to the collaborative cooperation of all those involved - which took place mainly virtually due to the Corona pandemic - all requirements, including the necessary restructuring of existing calculation processes, were implemented, and the introduction was completed quickly. The training of the approximately 20 end users also took place quickly; they benefited from their experience with cost calculations in the SAP standard tool. In the meantime, the add-on enjoys a high level of acceptance, since even non-specialized departments such as design can easily comprehend the calculations.

HÜBNER Railway Portfolio, Source Photo: © HÜBNER Group

The ORBIS PCC was initially commissioned at the headquarters in Kassel, after which it was rolled out in four larger European production plants that work with SAP ERP. It is now to be rolled out incrementally to other locations that also use SAP; it is currently being introduced in China. At the same time, the calculation processes are continuously improved towards Smart Costing. “We are currently working on a solution for group post-calculation. It should be integrated with calculation data from the ORBIS PCC and allow us to have integrated cost tracking for the whole HÜBNER Group,” said Fabian Döring. Further projects are already in the planning stage.

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