Putzmeister have been global leaders in the world of construction and mining since 1958. They develop, produce, sell and serve their customers with high quality and high reliability machines for pumping, distributing and applying concrete, mortar and high-density solids, and for preparing, temporarily storing, processing and transporting these materials.
Industry: Machines for pumping, distributing, and applying concrete and mortar
20 locations around the globe
€ 750 M
Number of employees:
Udo Hilbers, Head of Purchasing
Fall 2011: The head of Global Procurement at Putzmeister starts to thoroughly look into the procurement processes and optimize them. As simple their goal sounds, as ambitious it is: digitalize whatever can be digitalized. According to Putzmeister, the complete digitalization of the operational procurement processes should lead to more transparency and significant process automation. This should drastically reduce such tasks and activities of procurement that don't add any direct value.
Already at the beginning of the project, one thing is for sure: everything must run on one central SRM communication platform, which can be integrated seamlessly into the company's ERP environment. At the same time, the team is preparing the optimization of logistics. The complete solution must comprise new processes like vendor managed inventory (VMI), revised delivery plan processing, the integration of involved freight forwarders, and barcodes for precise delivery control.
Great reliability, small storage area.
VMI and delivery plan processing in particular are usually quite important to our customers in terms of their strategy. Delivery plan processing is optimal when the fixed and legally binding order of goods can be managed in such a way that it is placed at the last possible moment. It's almost the same with VMI, which is to provide our customers with reliable access to specific materials well in advance while simultaneously reducing stock. Many companies have learned their lesson during the years of the global economic crisis after 2008 where large stocks have caused great economic problems.
clevercure wins the race.
After Putzmeister have looked into various reference projects of Linz-based SRM software specialist curecomp, they choose clevercure in March 2011. The clevercure software has been used by many companies for several years to the full satisfaction of the users, be it suppliers or the companies' own employees. clevercure adds many functionalities to their ERP systems without generating unnecessary data (entries) or infringing the sovereignty of the ERP system.
Staying in the familiar environment.
clevercure is to fully integrate their suppliers into the ERP system – in this case SAP – while the internal departments continue working with SAP. Nobody should have to leave their familiar ERP environment with the system also providing more information than ever and relieving the employees in a way that only the procurement processes considered exceptions by clevercure require human attention and interaction anymore. The prospects are time savings and accelerated processes. About five years after the start of the project, the project manager takes stock.
Where do you stand today after having revised your SRM?
We've come much further than expected when we implemented clevercure back in 2011. We've connected most of our suppliers around the globe and established clevercure as the communication standard between them and us.
What did you benefit from most?
We've achieved great time savings in the operational management of supplier processes. In 2011, my team was responsible for one entire plant. Today, the same team oversees three plants. We've also managed to increase the quality – and significantly too! While we previously had frequent problems with delivery reliability, we now know well in advance whether delivery dates are confirmed bindingly. This is monitored by the solution. In critical cases, we now know several weeks in advance that we must come up with alternatives. 80% of the procurement runs automatically in the background via clevercure, and my team can focus on tasks where their expertise is really required.
Was it difficult to convince the suppliers to tag along?
Our suppliers really appreciate that they now receive better and earlier information about the overall process. Of course, not everyone was looking forward to the new communication channels at first. However, with reasonable training efforts we quickly reached quite a high degree of acceptance.
What is your recommendation for companies that are considering a redesign of their supplier relationships?
A clear target. Both sides must be able to benefit from the new processes. You might have to be very insistent from case to case. One of our main success factors was the intensive support of the suppliers during the roll-out. Concerning the software, I can only recommend standard software by an experienced SRM partner. Ultimately, curecomp convinced us with the fixed price for the implementation and operation. This makes it easy to calculate everyone's investments. Worldwide availability also decisive. Since our partner doesn't have to provide consulting services all the time but only takes care of the implementation of new modules we order, we can be certain about the budget.
What's next for you?
Now that almost 80% of the entire procurement volume runs via SRM, we'll implement a new process for the tender of new material on the basis of the cleversource module. This will not only standardize the tender process around the globe but also make it completely transparent.
Customers from more than 30 countries have been relying on our eProcurement and SRM solutions for almost 20 years.