PM Automotive GmbH
PM Automotive GmbH

Ready for the future!

PM Automotive GmbH

founded in Wilkau-Hasslau, Saxony, in October 2001 employs in the meantime 85 people in development, production and administration. The product portfolio of PM Automotive comprehends large-scale press parts and welded assemblies in the bodywork sector for domestic and foreign system suppliers and car manufacturers, including customers like VW, the Magna Group, BMW or Porsche.
Also the production and further development of prototypes to series-production readiness are parts of the enterprise’s services.

Ambitious objectives

From the beginning it has been the declared target of the company to become, step by step, a well-established and efficient supplier for the automotive industry. In order to compete in this high-demanding environment, PM Automotive especially focuses on flexibility and efficiency when it comes to solutions regarding production or development problems as well as on highest quality.

At an early stage PM Automotive invested into a high-quality measuring machine, state-of-the-art, large and small presses and a welding department. Part of these future investments in 2003 was also the decision to introduce an ERP system for controlling business processes. Directly after the company was founded, the handling of procedures in Purchase, Sales and Production was performed with Microsoft Office; especially external documents were created by using Microsoft Word and Excel. Financial accounting was managed by external service providers. Soon, this solution, however, could no longer meet the requirements of the continuously growing company.

The requirements of the executive board of PM Automotive were clear:
They wanted to introduce an economic, scalable and future-proof solution with as little effort and expense as possible, a solution to grow along with the company and to support its expansion. It was searched for a renowned standard solution for ERP and financial accounting with industry-specific functions. Decisive demands were the permanent mapping of all logistic processes in the company, the VDA and CAD data exchange via EDI, an article-related series/batch management and the VDA document generation.

Due to these aspects, the responsibles at PM Automotive dealt in detail with available solutions on the market. Four ERP providers were shortlisted. After the selection phase, which took approximately 6 months, PM Automotive opted for FOSS by ORDAT. The decisive factor for ORDAT was that the software house, located in Giessen, was able to provide a one-stop and completely integrated automotive solution without any further development expenses.

All necessary functionalities for the module suppliers were already available in FOSS Standard. Another key point in favor for ORDAT was its many references in the automotive sector.

Smooth implementation

The starting shot for the FOSS launch in Wilkau-Hasslau was in March, 2003. At the same time, the staff members of PM Automotive were trained. Financial accounting could start its productive run as early as four weeks after signing the contract.
In May, 2003 the first successful, complete run was performed; one month later the second. In July, 2003, after only a four-month implementation period, the system went successfully live including financial accounting and EDI. Since May, 2004 the reporting and analysis system FOSS Information Server (FIS) and Asset Accounting has been applied. Since 2010 PM Automotive has also been using the company data acquisition FOSS CDA.

Demanding functionalities

Being a supplier in the automotive sector, PM Automotive imposes particularly high requirements on its ERP system. In order to manage the supply for car manufacturers and system vendors efficiently, a global series/batch-related inventory management, for example, is necessary. This way, especially the documentation of delivery batches on external bills of delivery and the complete series/batch tracking are possible. This is also significant for the planned certification according to TS16949 which is a comprehensive quality management standard of the international automotive industry determining detail quality requirements on design, development, production, installation and maintenance of products integrated in a motor vehicle. Also, the executive board attached great importance in view of the document design. Via the FOSS Information Server PM Automotive is able to generate documents flexibly and can adjust them in an individual way.

Another challenge was the container management. For the transport of the products, customers provide their own containers. Given that different customers very often have the same container types, a customer-related container ID was introduced for the inventory separation.

In addition, it occurs quite frequently that the same articles are delivered in different containers. Depending on the stock, it has to be decided operatively which containers are available and can be used for articles to be delivered. The option to mark operative container changes in FOSS with reference to the process ensures that all external delivery documents contain the correct container indications.

Company Data Acquisition with FOSS CDA

The company data acquisition with FOSS introduced in 2010 enables a realtime overview of active machines, the status of shop orders, working times per operational sequence and of the quantities or scrap quantities which have already been produced. The respective data register the employees in the production with the help of touchscreen PCs (Hygrolion) with barcode scanners.

All production documents are equipped with barcodes so that quantities have only to be entered manually. Furthermore, bill of material components are deducted from the provision warehouse supported by a barcode. In doing so, FOSS can map the current warehouse inventory and the transparency as well as the process effectiveness is increased.

The right decision

Despite of initial doubts that a complete ERP system like FOSS could be too complex and powerful for such a small amount of users at PM Automotive, they are very satisfied in Wilkau-Hasslau. "The decision for FOSS was the right one," said Frank Krautwer, managing director at PM Automotive. After ten years PM Automotive tested the performance and functionality of other ERP providers and, at the end, felt confirmed in the decision for the ERP system FOSS and ORDAT as its service provider. "With this system we are well prepared for future challenges in the automotive supplier environment."

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