ZF Group: ORBIS develops and implements BI solutions for inventory planning and ITR reporting based on SAP
The internationally active software and business consulting company ORBIS AG has introduced an innovative, SAP-based business intelligence solution at ZF Friedrichshafen AG: the Inventory Measure Tracking Tool (IMTT). In doing so, ZF is creating a uniform database for consistently IT-supported, standardized and transparent planning of measures, for simulations to optimize stock levels in its more than 230 locations worldwide and for an efficient reporting of the Inventory Turnover Rate (ITR). This is an important prerequisite to increase the ITR, reduce the capital tie-up in the warehouse and increase the free cash flow and thus the earning power.
The IMTT, which is fully integrated into the central SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), consists of the IMTT Action Plan application based on SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Microsoft Office for the planning and reporting tool “IMTT ITR Reporting”. based on SAP Design Studio. IMTT Action Plan simplifies the planning for inventory improvement at the sites. The fact that the measures can be captured both in numbers and in texts and stored in SAP BW represents a real added value.The management can view them at any time and fully track them. Now that everyone has the same information, the coordination between the main departments and the locations has noticeably improved. Based on the planning for the inventory changes, a simulation is used to calculate how inventory and ITR key figures will develop by the end of the financial year. A comparison of the plan data with the simulation then provides information on whether a location requires action with regard to stock levels and inventory turnover.
As part of the ITR reporting, the management can easily retrieve current key figures for sales, inventory, ITR or simulations at the touch of a button, on a desktop PC as well as on a mobile phone or tablet and is therefore always well informed. On request, only the locations whose ITR key figures are above or below specified thresholds and which have to be prompted to plan appropriate measures are displayed. That’s a big plus - just like the fact that the reporting tool makes it possible to download all planned measures to an Excel spreadsheet.
The partnership-based collaboration between the ZF project team and the experts from ORBIS, who have convincingly solved extraordinary demands thanks to their know-how in the SAP environment and innovative consulting, has made a significant contribution to the success of the ambitious BI project. For example, there is the currency split between the locations that work with local currency and the central ITR reporting, which takes place in euros, or the development of a customer-specific Excel ribbon and Excel forms, which give the action planner exactly the right functions he needs.
The BI solution, which currently employs around 350 users in the main areas and at 150 ZF locations, is constantly being expanded and improved. In the future, it should be possible to track inventory trends broken down by raw material, finished parts and WIP parts and to define target levels at monthly level.
About ZF Friedrichshafen AG
ZF is a leading technology group in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology and is one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. With approximately 140,000 employees at more than 230 locations in 40 countries, the company generated sales of around 36 billion euros in 2017. In order to continue to be successful with innovative products, ZF annually spends around six percent of sales on research and development. The group’s current and future course of action follows a long-term plan: the ZF 2025 strategy. The company has been consistently implementing them since 2013, thus securing its future. With its products, it pursues a Vision Zero, i.e. the goal of achieving mobility without accidents and emissions. With its extensive portfolio, ZF is improving mobility and services not only for cars, but also for commercial vehicles and industrial technology applications.
More information about ZF Group is available at zf.com.
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