Our company has been aggressively looking at expanding into Welding/Cutting Automation space. This is a high growth area and many of Automation companies though smaller in size, need systems and processes that satisfy Engineer to Order (ETO) business needs. Our key stakeholders in Automation businesses have less than positive view of SAP’s ability to support their needs and are looking at an alternative ERP solution since one of a newly acquired entities uses it successfully. For Lincoln this is now a platform related discussion whether to go to the other ERP or stay with SAP for this subset of business. The preference is towards SAP because all our other Make to Stock type businesses utilize SAP and introducing another ERP only for subset of businesses will need lot of investment. But, due to lack of confidence in SAP from our users, we are facing this decision point.
What the users have specifically requested is to have discussions and demo from few SAP customers who are in ETO space to alleviate their functionality concerns. I am highlighting some of the key requirements that they have insisted they need to see in a demo:
Must Have: Key Functionality being used in Other ERP
- PLM CAD integration with Materials & BOM: Integration of the Engineering Prints to the Structured BOMs – How does the customer link the information on the Engineering drawings to the BOMs / Routers and method of manufacturing. identify this integration.
- Project Management – How does Customer review/update projects during the process? How long are their projects typically? Is data available in BW? Is it possible to build a template that would import data from the SAP tables? Can they update cost estimates by category?
- Project Monitoring: As-Quoted v/s As-Designed v/s As-Built Margins – Demo how a project with purchased materials, labor, and sub-assembly parts get created. Then, how does the project flow through when time is entered, materials purchased, sub-assemblies closed, etc.
Good to Have: Not directly being used in Other ERP today, but could be developed in future
- Quoting and Configuration Process – How customer is using SAP for development of quotes? Walk us through the creation of a quote and then order.
- Scheduling / Capacity Forecast – Is Customer using any scheduling or capacity forecasting?
- Purchase Order Creation – How are PO’s created from the job, and can the materials be charged directly to the project (and multiple projects on the same PO)?
- Time/Attendance – How does Customer enter time into SAP? Another system? Is there a bar code or employee entry option?
- Warranty / Service – How does Customer track warranty claims? Is there a service module?
- POC Accounting / Progress Billings – Does Customer use POC accounting or recognize revenue based on progress billings? Demo how both function. Can it be different between jobs?
The main key is that the users really want a Demo of projects from cradle to grave, if possible to see how user friendly the system is, as well as get comfortable the functionality even exists.
I would be greatly obliged, if any of one out there knows SAP customers that utilize SAP systems to support ETO businesses and are willing to talk with us and provide a demo of the key requirements highlighted earlier. I know it would be difficult to find one company that may be able to provide demo on all the needs requested, but even if there are few out there who can demo the ‘must have’ needs, it would be a great help.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Global Director ERP & BW Deployment & Development
The Lincoln Electric Company