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Case Study - BLANCO Professional

Simone Käser, André Mahr and Rebecca Weyhersmüller (from left to right) from BLANCO Professional GmbH + Co KG receiving the GIB SCM Award for “the best optimization of stocks and readiness to deliver” in May 2019.

BLANCO Professional, System Provider in the B2B Sector for Commercial Kitchens and Supplier to Industry, Optimizes Supply Chain Processes in Its Three Business Divisions with a Holistic, SAP-Certified Software Solution:

A Three-Pronged Solution

The internal supply chain processes of manufacturing companies require constant revision and restructuring to keep abreast of rapidly changing requirements. Flexibility is the order of the day – particularly when it comes to organizing and managing value creation chains. Additional solutions are often needed to cope with the workload. The same is true for providers of systems and components in the capital goods sector. In addition to characteristic customer requirements, solutions must also be capable of mapping internal company structures in multiple different business divisions. This applies to tasks such as sales planning, operations and controlling especially. Software suites that take a holistic approach with SAP integration provide the right solutions for these challenges.

The BLANCO Professional Group produces capital goods for the “Catering,” “Industrial” and “Railway” business segments as part of a production network. Its Catering business unit provides economical and customer-oriented solutions for processes in food logistics – including food distribution, front cooking (display cooking) and food presentation for commercial kitchens such as clinics, schools, canteens and catering providers. The Industrial business unit provides consulting, engineering and production expertise in the pressing and welding of stainless steel. The Railway business unit focuses on the design and production of galley kitchens for high-speed trains.

One Group – Three Different Business Units

To establish efficient and comprehensive supply chain processes in these three business units, BLANCO Professional chose to invest in additional software to enhance and customize its standard SAP system. In doing so, the group hoped to overcome the challenges that a tripartite structure poses to the organization of internal business processes, such as deviating budget assumptions within the business units.

BLANCO Professional identified three key areas that it felt would benefit from an additional software solution: sales planning/forecasting, operations and controlling. Each area has its own portfolio of requirements. In sales planning and forecasting, for instance, there was an issue with nontransparent and time-limited primary and secondary demand planning. Furthermore, the narrow time frame of less than two weeks between receiving an order and the delivery date led to a lack of planning reliability.

In the area of operations, BLANCO Professional primarily focused on streamlining its routine operational business. The aim was to complete daily tasks more quickly and standardize decision-making bases to allow for quicker responses. The group was clearly looking for an “all-in-one solution” for all its operational interfaces.

Standardization was also one of the requirements in the area of controlling: By reducing its previously separate pools of basic data down to one controlling dashboard with a single data basis, the group hoped to provide significant clarity while maintaining a holistic approach. This was to be achieved through analysis and interpretation across various dimensions: with ABC/XYZ analysis and an analysis of service classes and the product lifecycle. A replenishment time and range monitor for tracking internal targets was another requirement. 

Holistic Software Solution for Sustainable Success

To meet this broad range of requirements, the BLANCO Professional Group introduced the GIB Suite in 2016. GIB Suite is the core system of the software manufacturer GIB mbH, which specializes in the optimization of supply chain processes in SAP. The software solution comes with full SAP integration and certification.

The group has been using the GIB Forecast application for sales planning and forecasting since then. GIB Forecast assists with the decentralized planning process and provides a central planning monitor. The application offers the opportunity to set up a clear and stringent planning strategy and present target values with transparency. It also lets the group incorporate every party involved in or responsible for the process, enabling the comprehensive, collective optimization of planning and forecasting quality based on a number of different classifications.

GIB Operations now ensures that targets are jointly defined and approved across all sub-departments, which also improves its key operational performance indicators. The development of procurement and production strategies based on rolling sales planning figures is another one of the core functions that GIB Operations handles. GIB Operations also takes care of material and sales classifications. In addition, BLANCO Professional can now break targets and strategies down into operational influencing factors and processes, which lets the company focus on sustainably achieving its targets in its operational activities. Ongoing monitoring of operational KPIs (for instance, exception message rates or risk items within replenishment times) and a rolling revision of MRP fine-tuning are some of the other features provided by GIB Operations. 

GIB Controlling is the third application from the GIB Suite that BLANCO Professional deploys. It does so with the aim of monitoring the collective definition and approval of targets by all the business units and improving the operational performance indicators for stock turnover rates. The application also adjusts replenishment times and revises the economical batch sizes and all MRP fine-tuning. Using the sales figures as a basis, GIB Controlling continuously monitors the reach of products and independently initiates measures and optimizations. The application focuses on additional savings potential during the necessary stocktaking, and on how inventories can be further optimized.

Optimized Inventories – Greater Ability to Deliver – Maximum Transparency

The figures that BLANCO Professional managed to achieve in the first quarter of 2019 point to a hugely successful project: Since implementing the GIB Suite, planning quality has more than doubled to over 90%. Forecasting quality is also now over 95%, an almost equally impressive improvement. BLANCO Professional is also now reaping the benefits of a rolling sales and turnover forecast and a rolling capacity check. Furthermore, the company has been able to reduce missing parts and backlogs within the supply chain. Inventories have been optimized so that they now reflect demand much more closely. In doing so, they have sometimes been reduced but also increased in some areas. This optimization can also be felt in terms of readiness to deliver, which now stands between 94% (to the customer) and 96% (intercompany). The requested replenishment time monitoring system and integrated budget and simulation planning complete this holistic optimization. “What is clearly the biggest benefit to us in implementing the GIB Suite, however, is the transparency it provides,” says André Mahr, Head of the SCM Department at BLANCO Professional. “We can now make operational processes transparent by understanding the results behind our core processes, instead of just letting the processes play out. GIB therefore provides a clear competitive advantage.” For its success with the GIB software, BLANCO Professional also received the “GIB SCM Award” in May 2019 for the best optimization of stocks and readiness to deliver.

However, the continuous improvement of processes is not yet complete. BLANCO Professional will continue to focus on sustainability and continuous optimization in the future as an incubator and innovation driver within the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding companies. BLANCO Professional fully intends to follow this path together with GIB. “In GIB, we have a strong partner by our side, and the GIB Suite helps us to continuously improve our organization around the process. Especially because the suite challenges us time and time again,” says Simone Käser, Demand Planner at BLANCO Professional, who continues: “In our opinion, GIB is on a good route for the future in terms of S/4HANA and integrated planning, and is set to continue tearing down planning silos. That’s why the choice to continue working with GIB on our future projects is an obvious one.” 

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