Automotive supplier Yazaki is standardizing its business processes via ERP upgrade
The demands on automotive suppliers are constantly increasing, and this not merely with regard to performance targets of the manufacturers but also within individual brands, whose construction is sometimes entirely, sometimes partially outsourced.
In this case, suppliers who can offer solutions quickly and with absolute flexibility are at a great advantage versus the competition. This means that company IT must also match the permanent evolutions. To set business processes and IT onto an homogeneous technical foundation--this was the task confronting Salim Siddiqi in 2004. To this end, Yazaki Europe's IT chief initiated Project YESS (Yazaki Enterprise Standard Solution), which is to be completed by the end of 2008 with the support of SAP service provider UNIORG. The objective is a Europe-wide unified system landscape with consolidated master data, a central SAP solution for all business administration tasks, along with numerous access modules for data exchange (EDI), design (CAD) or process control. Software systems by J.D. Edwards, among others, will be replaced.
In 2005, following an evaluation phase lasting several months, Yazaki settled on the solution offered by Walldorf's SAP Inc., including SAP Business Warehouse. Uniorg already supported Yazaki in developing the model processes and with the project pilot. Numerous business processes had to be improved beforehand or completely redesigned. The first pilot installation began in early 2006 in Turkey. At present, three additional roll-outs are proceeding in parallel. By the end of 2008, up to 2,000 employees at 25 Yazaki sites across Europe will be working with the new system.
"Today, the production of supplier parts for a vehicle series can be extended or transferred to another plant without any problem", is Siddiqi's comment on the multiple advantages of the new solution. "Precise management of the production chain helps us keep our inventories as low as possible. We can determine exactly when and where each material was used. The new system helps us compress the delivery chain, avoid duplicate work and reduce costs".
Today, Yazaki plans and controls the entire production with SAP; the subcontractors are also integrated into the process, which is a novelty. Admittedly, before YESS Yazaki already worked with standardized solutions and had integrated the table of accounts along with reporting. Yet dissimilar business processes at companies in different countries brought about numerous variants of the programs. Circa 75% are now standardized across Europe. For the remaining quarter, subsidiaries can freely choose from a solutions portfolio, or apply a completely different solution. "It was a conscious decision not to completely impose SAP, but to leave the subsidiaries some play; which turns out to be absolutely necessary to success of the project, and in the final analysis, to that of the company", Siddiqi insists.
About Yazaki Europe
The globally-active automotive supplier's first European branch was set up in 1980. The group has two European headquarters, one in Hemel Hempstead, near London, the other in Cologne. Yazaki produces onboard networks, wiring harnesses, connecting systems and onboard instruments With hundreds of partner companies in 38 countries and over 150,000 employees, the group has a global presence. Yazaki Europe employs about 21,000 people in 19 countries, where it staffs 20 sales offices, 15 plants and 4 research centers.