Just because a company is small doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a complex business.
Take a look at Joskin. The Soumagne, Belgium-based manufacturer of agricultural trailers and related tools produces close to 3,000 machines every year. On the face of it, that doesn’t sound like much of a challenge. But consider this: every agricultural machine it produces is unique to the customer, from slurry spreaders and livestock trailers to field aerators and self-propelled cargo trucks. They manufacture more than 70 different types of machines with more than 1,500 options. They then distribute customized orders from their four European factories to more than 40 countries around the world. The family-owned company is fast-growing, with revenues increasing four-fold since 2000 and an employee base that has expanded from 240 to 790 people. And they’re constantly tweaking and expanding their product lines to meet the changing needs of the agricultural customers they serve.
With €107 million in revenues a year, Joskin is a midsize manufacturer without outsized customer service challenges. To support its expansion while still providing outstanding service to a growing customer base, they needed to make detailed information available at employees’ fingertips. They also wanted to streamline other key business functions, including material resource planning, financial reporting, and IT management. So last year, they deployed ERP on SAP HANA.
Now Joskin’s customer service department can respond to the distinct needs of the farmers who contact them. When answering customer service requests, they can pull up an exact view of the individual machine down to its bill of materials that outlines each piece of equipment’s individual parts and assemblies in a single second. They can also immediately modify the install base of the customer equipment if any modifications or repairs were performed after delivery. Thus they can address customer problems and questions on the phone or online at the speed that customers have come to expect in today’s hyper-connected world.
Thanks to SAP HANA’s performance, customer service has improved dramatically. And the company is poised to reinvent other processes throughout the business to take advantage of real-time information. Material resource planning and daily production control reports are processes seven times faster. This means that Joskin can now run MRPs as frequently as needed. Certain financial reports took the accounting department more than ten minutes to run or—worse—often aborted due to a timeout. The accounting staff would have to reload a single report up to six times to get what they needed, taking up an hour of time they could devote to higher level financial analysis and decision-making. Now those accounting professionals can access financial information from general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, and line-item reporting in a few seconds. And closing the books is a lot smoother.
IT management is simpler, too. Backups take 40 minutes instead of five hours. With a database that is six times smaller, recovery takes less time. And, like other users of the system, their total cost of IT operations will decrease.
More responsive systems and analytics will enable company leaders to meet their stated goals of developing a dealer network closer to their users—for increased customer responsiveness and greater customer input into product development—and closer control and optimization of strategic phases of production at Joskin.
To hear from Joskin leaders about their experience with SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA, check out this video.