END-TO-END INFORMATION FLOWS: THE ERP SYSTEM FOR MECHANICAL AND PLANT ENGINEERING
The successes enjoyed by Germany’s mechanical and plant engineering industry have a long history. And the situation today is no different: an estimated 1 million employees working in over 6,000 companies generated revenue exceeding EUR 200 billion in 2013, according to a report published last year by the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA). Some 97% of the companies interviewed are innovation leaders or early adopters. The outlook for the future is also outstanding – always assuming companies can adjust themselves to changing conditions affecting the industry.
CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS AND AFTER-SALES BUSINESS
Customers are increasingly expecting more from plant and machinery makers, with demand steadily rising for customer-specific system solutions to tackle complex tasks. After-sales and service business is another growth area, where many new opportunities beckon for those capable of meeting demanding requirements. For plant and mechanical engineering firms, one important strategy here is focusing on standardisation and modularisation: only in this way can they offer bespoke solutions over a short time frame and at competitive prices. Innovative processes (see ‘Industry 4.0’) can also offer a competitive edge in terms of quality, cost and delivery reliability.
INFORMATION FLOWS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PRODUCT LIFECYCLE
All of this can only work if companies in the mechanical and plant engineering industry master the management of information flows throughout the entire product lifecycle. Here, an ERP is required that can coordinate all of the business departments with one another – from Development to Production and After Sales.