UDS GmbH develops intelligent software for preparing offers for the IBAU HAMBURG silo
The camos configuration software should provide sustainability, security and knowledge management for IBAU HAMBURG, a leading supplier of silo, mixing, loading and conveyance technology for bulk materials. UDS GmbH – as a software partner that IBAU knows well from earlier
projects – was taken on board to implement the company’s own configuration rules and component relationships. The users’ enthusiasm was already great at the test phase and the next rationalisation stage is
UDS GmbH develops intelligent camos-based software for preparing offers for the IBAU HAMBURG silo suppliers.
1975, at the height of the energy crisis, the newly-founded IBAU HAMBURG was ensuring a revolution in silo technology. IBAU made silos with conical bases, which considerably reduced the energy requirement when withdrawing bulk materials. IBAU HAMBURG belongs to the Haver & Boecker Group today and is one of the leading suppliers of silo, mixing, loading and conveyance technology for bulk materials. Every year the company sells more than 100 plants throughout the world.
Highly complex offers
The number of offers that must be written every year is also correspondingly high. But if you want to prepare a correct offer, you need to have plenty of commercial knowledge, technical expertise, sales skills and deep company knowledge at your disposal, as there is an endless number of product variations and an abundance of pricing rules. It is highly likely that mistakes will be made, yet with only limited opportunities for the whole team to learn from such mistakes. In the light of these challenges, the parent company, Haver & Boecker, introduced the camos software in 2013 to model the rules for the technical configuration and regulations for pricing and, consequently, simplify the preparation of offers. With the aid of these rules, camos can already show which plant variations are technically possible at which price in the sales discussion. This enables the company to present various solutions that can be realised for the price offered. The software was presented in the Group subsidiaries, and IBAU HAMBURG could use licenses – but without the set of rules specific to IBAU.
Know-how and creativity
Peter-Alexis Kasten, Managing Director of UDS in the area of software development and intellectual father of the IBAU part list administration (PLA) system, along with another UDS employee, are given instructions in the camos programming system. The combination of IT expertise and knowledge of the facilities and demands from IBAU that was gained in the development of the PLA is now paying off. To portray the relationships between components and parts correctly and completely, both IBAU sales employees and specialists from the engineering department were included in the project team. The structure of the core data and the way forward was determined together with the software experts from UDS GmbH. The software developers first began to work out the rules for the “Feed” group of components – the group with the greatest complexity. They then went onto the “Outlet” component group, followed by the mixing and transport group. There was a total of a good 30 component groups altogether for camos to organise.
Enormous potential already after the first tests
After the training in April 2016, the team around Peter-Alexis Kasten started the programming in May. Cross-company rules such as general terms and conditions and delivery and payment conditions were made available by Haver & Boecker, so that UDS GmbH “only” had to concern itself with the technical engineering relationships. Selected sales employees tested camos with the UDS rules, by preparing the offers manually in parallel and comparing the results. Faces were already beaming at IBAU after the first joint tests. Yes! The solution works!
By the end of 2017, the rules for all the component groups will be implemented for today’s silo facilities and camos will be running in a test environment at IBAU. But the work will not stop with the Go Live. “The system will probably never be finished,” states Mario Raemmele. “We’re always developing new facilities and technological innovations.“
There’s even more behind it
Although the sales team can prepare offers more quickly in future, gaining time is not the most important criterion for Mario Raemmele. “We are improving our documentation and it’ll be easier to locate our projects in future. But the transparency is even more important, as we’ll then be able to compare offers. And the system will also support us with quality and knowledge management. As the sales employees will only be able to select components that actually go together, this generates a powerful learning effect.”
The next stage, the combination of the IBAU PLA and camos, will not be long in coming. Then, as soon as an offer becomes a contract, all the order information is passed on to the parts list management. This ensures that what has been ordered is also what is actually delivered.