From hands-on tools to a professional solution

Electrical, sanitary and heating engineering company Klauke chooses cost-effective and flexible solution for sales planning

By Eckart Jung, Mohamed Ramline (Gustav Klauke GmbH) and Dr. Bernd Reineke

At Gustav Klauke GmbH in Remscheid, the requirements of the globally growing market are high delivery readiness, despite the lowest possible stock levels and consistent quality.

Due to the large number of customer-specific products, it is a constant challenge to keep order backlogs to a minimum and to react extremely flexibly to fluctuating customer requirements. The DISKOVER SCO optimization software was a great help in implementing the requirements. In a short project time, the company was able to solve a large number of existing problems and save money at the same time with the help of this ERP add-on module.

Klauke develops, manufactures and distributes high-quality products for electrical, sanitary and heating engineering. The product range comprises more than 10,000 high-quality individual components and ranges from cable lugs to high-quality hydraulic tools and from sheet metal punches to fiber optic testers. Hand tools for industrial and commercial applications are also part of the product range. Short delivery times and high delivery readiness are the promise to the market that Klauke has to confirm every day. However, this promise has not always been crowned with success in the past, despite massive planning efforts.

Back then, simple hand-knitted tools were used to calculate forecasts for sales planning. Without differentiating consumption patterns, uniform methods were used, which were ultimately the cause of the poor delivery readiness with high delivery backlogs and high inventories.

That’s what counts: Forecast quality, low planning effort and flexibility

Klauke set out to find a suitable solution with the aim of significantly improving forecasting quality and reducing planning costs at the same time. Naturally, the search first began in the environment of the SAP® system used at Klauke. However, a solution with SAP APO failed due to the costs and the expected high implementation effort. In-house programming in the SAP system was also ruled out due to the incalculable development costs. During the system selection process, the decision was ultimately made in favor of DISKOVER from SCT GmbH.
The reasons that led to the decision in favor of DISKOVER were:

  • High scope of services
    With a wide range of functions, DISKOVER leaves nothing to be desired. In addition to the simulation, sales planning, forecasting and scheduling modules, DISKOVER also offers a flexible set of rules that enables the sustainable adjustment of articles and planning methods via freely definable decision tables. Depending on the life cycle indicator, this can be used, for example, to control product start-up or discontinuation without unnecessary residual stock remaining in the warehouse.
  • Forecast optimization through simulation
    DISKOVER has a unique selling point that clearly sets it apart from the competition with its simulation, which has delivery readiness and possible inventory reductions as optimization targets. For Klauke, this type of optimization hits the mark.
  • High flexibility
    DISKOVER offers an extremely high degree of flexibility to expand and adapt the program on a state-of-the-art technology platform with the latest development tools. Plug-in technologies can be used to add additional functions or expand options with little effort. As it turned out later, Klauke was able to benefit greatly from DISKOVER’s adaptability.
  • Interfaces to the SAP system
    DISKOVER has ready-made interfaces to and from the SAP system. Within a few project days, the system is ready for use and can present initial results. SAP standard modules are used that take into account all basic principles relating to user authorization and the correct processing of data. Klauke’s IT department was therefore able to determine which data DISKOVER could access or which function modules could be used.
  • Inexpensive solution
    Thanks to the innovative rental license model, no high investment costs are required to use the software. The rental license price is based on the functions and modules used. In addition, there are no unnecessary expenses, e.g. for unused ballast in the software system. Klauke can decide at any time to what extent it uses DISKOVER and at what cost. The investment risk is therefore minimal.
  • Consulting expertise
    The creator of DISKOVER is the successful consulting firm Abels & Kemmner GmbH. With a focus on supply chain optimization, Abels & Kemmner has already carried out over 150 consulting projects and proven the effectiveness of the approach and methods used in almost all industries and company sizes. It was precisely this experience and specialist know-how that guaranteed the successful introduction and lasting success of the DISKOVER SCO software at Klauke.

Short introduction time for DISKOVER

The system introduction was prepared and implemented together with Abels & Kemmner. The system installation and connection to the SAP system was carried out by the system provider SCT Supply Chain Technologies GmbH within one day. As the consumption data in the SAP system was distorted by particular events in the past (e.g. delivery bottlenecks, late deliveries of orders or capacity bottlenecks in production), the time series were reconstructed on the basis of the customer request dates and quantities and recalculated down to raw material level using BOM explosion.

The initial analysis results were quickly available, allowing the company and consultants to move quickly into the conceptual phase. This began with the definition of the logistics business model, in which decoupling points were determined and stockpiling strategies were defined based on the classification properties of the materials. With the help of the integrated set of rules, the SCT programmers stored the logistics business model in the decision tables. The planners and dispatchers regularly update the settings and adapt them to the current consumption behavior of the materials. Regular simulation can then be used to determine the optimum forecasts in terms of delivery readiness and storage costs. This gives the planner the opportunity to check the forecasts and, if necessary, adjust them on the basis of additional sales information. At the touch of a button, the optimized forecasts are transferred to the SAP system as planned independent requirements. In addition to the forecasts, the ERP optimization system also transfers safety stock and classification data to a specially developed SAP master data view, so that this helpful information is not only available to DISKOVER users, but also to every planner and dispatcher.

Klauke achieved success very quickly

Klauke_screenshot_largeThanks to the intuitive user interface, DISKOVER was easy to learn. The interfaces continue to work reliably to this day, so that users can track the current planning situation in DISKOVER every day. They use the software on a daily basis to view updated key figures and changed planning situations. The convenient alert functions allow the user to quickly obtain an overview of materials that have become critical and to react accordingly. But the facts are the most convincing: Despite a 20 % increase in turnover in one production area, Gustav Klauke GmbH was able to reduce stocks by 15 % within a short space of time while maintaining a high level of availability on the market.
The time saved in the planning process was enormous and now allows employees to concentrate increasingly on the critical processes in the planning and procurement process.

Further information on this topic can be found here:

Dr. Bernd Reineke

Dr. Bernd Reineke

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