Founded in 1947, the family business has 600 employees and production companies in Switzerland, Germany, North America and China today. Products are manufactured for the sector Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) primarily for the market segments transportation, machinery, automotive and special vehicles. The portfolio includes, among other things, illuminated pushbuttons, key switches and additional services such as mounting kits, illumination, software, cable and connector assembly, mechanical and electronical adjustment as well as labels. The company offers 15,000 sales products and orders 8,000 articles from approximately 200 suppliers. 120 million individual parts are purchased per year.
At EAO, four buyers work in operative procurement. Their work had been shaped by many analogous process steps. This led to a high error rate, time delay and coordination problems at internal and external interfaces. Consequently, the full potential in procurement could not be tapped. Susanne Landolt, Head of Procurement and Material Planning, faced the task of transforming her department into a reliable business partner within the company with the help of new automatized and digitized processes. This also means to optimally support involved internal departments of EAO through smooth processes and without any media discontinuities when it comes to their specific tasks. The implemented changes aim to make the entire organization faster and more effective. Moreover, the onboarding of all suppliers needs to be simple thus ensuring data exchange in real time. Consequently, procurement functions as a moderator at the interfaces and enables new significant contributions along the entire supply chain.
The Netfira solution automates the entire exchange of documents and data, compares documents and saves them in the E-Business Suite. That means: Automated standard processes along the chain of consumer – procurement – accounting – supplier are established. These enable a seamless exchange of data and documents without mistakes or media discontinuities based on cleaned or enriched master data. At the same time, uncomplicated and cost-neutral onboarding of all suppliers is guaranteed. Traditionally, the electronic onboarding of suppliers is a great challenge. Companies often face substantial resistance in practice. In many cases, the optimization of complex processes fails due to lacking acceptance of suppliers. They dread effort and fear high costs. Furthermore, only some of them can handle the demands for EDI. Thanks to the simple supplier apps, Netfira managed to solve a long-standing problem. By integrating Netfira into the Oracle E-Business Suite, which was implemented in 1998, EAO AG and IT consulting Primus Delphi Group, which supports the processes, have realized another important step towards digitization at the Swiss family-owned company.
Results in Brief:
- Automatic reading of suppliers’ order confirmations
- Archiving the order confirmations as PDF files in the ERP system
- Automatic check of data of order confirmations
- Notification of procurement only in case of deviations
- Automatic reading of supplier invoices
- Archiving the invoices as PDF files in the ERP system
- Automatic check of data of supplier invoices
- Notification of accounting only in case of deviations and when required
- Time saving in operative procurement and financial accounting; the system also works when no one is at the office (weekends, holidays)
- Reduction of error rate
- Easy evaluation of mistakes and initiation of measures to increase the level of automation possible
- Information on date of delivery available promptly in system even if there are deviations
- Discount deduction for invoices always guaranteed because process is faster