teamtechnik Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH
The teamtechnik group, whose headquarters is in Freiberg am Neckar, is an international market leader for assembly plants and functional testing systems. The family business is known for flat hierarchies, for giving its employees great liberties and for offering good career opportunities. The hidden champion operates in the future-oriented industries electromobility, medical technology and renewable energies with production sites located in Freiberg and Ludwigsburg as well as in Atlanta (USA), Krakow (Poland) and Suzhou (China). Renowned companies from the automotive, medtech and solar industry are customers of the automation specialist in Freiberg. The teamtechnik Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH was awarded the certificate „Top Employer Deutschland 2019“. Recently, procurement has also improved its image: operative procurement has been transformed. New competence: automated document flows, flexible document recognition and digital onboarding of suppliers. The new technical processes are based on solution modules of Netfira GmbH.
19 employees are responsible for a procurement volume of 70 million euros with 80,000 purchasing positions per year including 60% purchased parts, 35% drawing parts and 5% general demand. Economical systems, highest plant availability and short delivery periods – procurement is required to support all involved departments as a reliable business partner. At teamtechnik, 70 of the 1,000 active suppliers lead to 80% of the documents. Christian Bauer, Head of Operations, had to make procurement at teamtechnik fit for the future. So far, procurement at teamtechnik has been characterised by manual tasks.Christian Bauer intended to implement sustainable modules in the company which ideally integrate all supply partners and offer them tangible advantages. Moreover, he was ready to think outside the box. That is why an uncomplicated connection possibility for suppliers – preferably without being committed to traditional solutions such as OCR and EDI – was an essential goal and a significant prerequisite for the success of the transformation. So far, 18 EDI connections had to be maintained. A task that was hardly manageable because only a fraction of partners was willing to participate which is also often the case in other companies. Well-known reasons against the use of EDI (particularly small companies have often complained about the shortcomings of EDI but mostly without success) are: data formats and transmission paths are dictated by customers, high outlay paired with high complexity and high costs. Furthermore, contracts of third-party providers are often rejected. “Significant process and cost benefits are only possible if all suppliers are willing to participate,” stresses the head of operative procurement.
Project manager Bauer and his team chose Netfira GmbH (Walldorf/Munich) and its flexible system “Enterprise Buyer” which has already proved itself in other companies and industries. The goal was: Creation of automated standard processes along the chain from consumer, procurement, accounting to supplier with error-free and seamless exchange of data and documents based on cleaned or enriched (master) data – combined with uncomplicated and cost-neutral onboarding of suppliers. Now, with the “Netfira Enterprise Buyer” and the module “MailConnect” teamtechnik offers its suppliers – the small ones too – a solution that is independent from the respective supplier management system. Moreover, there are no long project terms and no high initial investments on both sides necessary. The suppliers are onboarded within minutes via apps which can be tailored to the needs of the partner. “It’s good that documents can still be sent via e-mail. For instance, this concerns y-component contracts and special contracts,” Bauer emphasises. The buyers only use the ERP system and the document management system. With Netfira, documents such as order confirmations, shipping notifications and invoices can be sent directly from the supplier’s own system. teamtechnik also exchanges drawings and other documents. “The solution is like an intelligent postman,” Christian Bauer says. He emphasises, among others, the translation of documents into data sets and the document processing without the involvement of in-house IT. Today, Christian Bauer reports a reduction of manual and non-value-adding tasks. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), Netfira eliminated input errors, makes information almost in real time available, and supports the team and involved consumers with electronic workflows and warning systems.
The next steps with Netfira are: electronic requests, delivery notes (pre-acquisition for goods receipt posting), shipping notifications (above all from Chinese suppliers) as well as the automatic tagging of works certificates for storage in the product data management system.
Outcomes in brief:
- Multiple use of the system for different processes, not limited to procurement
- Complete electronic document processing and filing for procurement and the entire company
- Flexibility: all data are generally available
- Easy onboarding of suppliers without additional expense
- No change in the supplier system needed