leogistics creates holistic solution for logistics processes in the waste disposal industry
In order to make business processes more efficient and, in particular, to optimize order scheduling from quotation to invoicing throughout, STEAG Power Minerals GmbH was looking for an integrated all-in-one solution for its two business areas of power plant by-products and abrasives. For the implementation, the company relied on leogistics. The specialists replaced outdated island systems, integrated a modern order scheduling monitor into the central SAP ERP system, and enhanced the SAP standard with additional functionalities. STEAG Power Minerals was thus able to achieve success after only a short time.
STEAG Power Minerals GmbH
STEAG Power Minerals GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of STEAG GmbH, is the European competence leader in the utilization of by-products from hard coal-fired power plants. As a service provider to industry and the construction sector, the focus is on the takeover of power plant by-products as well as the production and supply of construction materials, blasting agents and industrial minerals. The tasks also include the supply of power plants with secondary fuels as well as absorbents for flue gas cleaning.
Harmonizing business processes in a uniform system world
The aim of the restructuring was to coordinate the two main business areas more efficiently in terms of logistics. This had far-reaching consequences for the company’s IT system landscape. Until then, this had consisted of an SAP ERP system in the power plant by-products business unit and individual software in the abrasives business unit. For the exchange of information and data with the contract power plants, the service provider also used SAP Process Integration (PI). As a result of the heterogeneous IT landscape, the processes in the scheduling department were very different and sometimes cumbersome.
In order to combine all business processes in one tool, the “TOP (Technology Optimization Processes)” project was launched. The goal was to standardize the system and process worlds. This particularly affected freight invoicing, as the bulk of an order is placed with STEAG Power Minerals – because the company does not have its own fleet of vehicles.
leogistics develops all-in-one solution
In order to achieve the goals set, the project team first had to replace the old individual software in the abrasives area and the existing scheduling tool in the power plant by-products area. The next step was to merge the business units into a central SAP ERP system. STEAG is now using a customized order disposition monitor to make its order disposition more effective and transparent. In addition, all sales activities were to be integrated into the system. For this purpose, it was necessary to introduce SAP CRM and to connect the power plants via an IDoc interface. For user-friendliness, a modern user interface (Web UI) was to be introduced.
The blasting agent plant in Lünen was also to be integrated into the new system landscape, which required the introduction of a check-in/check-out function into the processes. This makes it possible to register means of transport when they enter the plant premises and to assign them to the pending shipments for loading (check-in). The registered means of transport are then used to weigh the loaded trucks on exit, create delivery documents and process them accordingly (check-out). With the help of the check-in/check-out system, plant traffic can be monitored and the loading and handling of the means of transport can be fully integrated and effectively organized.
In this way, leogistics succeeded in meeting all requirements, establishing new structures and ensuring greater uniformity. To achieve this, the consultants used an integrative approach that made it possible to link and optimize all the necessary SAP modules. These included the SAP CRM, SAP SD, SAP LE, SAP MM, SAP FI, SAP CO, and SAP BI applications to enable targeted reporting. In addition, the leogistics tools CheckIn and Freight Cost Upload provided crucial functionalities that enabled STEAG Power Minerals to make its own logistics processes leaner and more efficient.
Special requirements in the waste management industry
However, it was not only necessary to integrate and optimize all business processes in the new SAP ERP complete solution. The project team also had to integrate all production sites, such as the blasting agent plant in Lünen, the scales and the cooperating power plants, into the complete system in order to be able to communicate reliable quantity feedback. These are particularly important for STEAG Power Minerals, which is why virtual inventory management had to be integrated in all silo plants. After all, this forms the basis for the entire order scheduling.
A further requirement was the processing of the order on the line. Although external suppliers transport the goods, the responsibility lies solely with STEAG. Therefore, third-party order processing must be included in the scheduling process. In addition, there were technical requirements that are usual for a waste disposal company.
Planning monitor optimizes work processes
leogistics fulfilled this with the introduction of the all-in-one solution for the business units power plant by-products and abrasives. To do this, the team implemented the necessary SAP applications in the existing ERP group system. In this context, it also introduced a container management solution tailored to STEAG Power Minerals. This enables more efficient billing through continuous location tracking and container movement data.
Order dispatching was decisively improved by the development of an order dispatch monitor. leogistics linked this seamlessly with the implemented CRM system. In this way, STEAG Power Minerals was able to standardize all logistics processes – from order entry to freight invoicing – in a single tool.
The freight costs of the approximately 60,000 trucks and about 1,000 shiploads per year can now be transparently mapped and compared. When an order is created, it is already possible to calculate the exact freight costs and incorporate this information into the selection of service providers. Via the Dispomonitor, STEAG Power Minerals can now communicate effectively and in the shortest possible time with all those involved in the process, including external parties. This simplifies and accelerates all process flows, saving the company transport costs. During the implementation phase of the overall solution, leogistics provided continuous support and training for the employees. Even after the go-live, the consultants continue to support the company.
More efficiency after only a short period of time
Following implementation, STEAG Power Minerals can report significant successes. For example, the company has already significantly reduced freight costs. In retrospect, too, all business processes, from order receipt to logistical processing and invoicing, can now be tracked and analyzed precisely. Overall, STEAG Power Minerals is recording a significantly higher throughput in order entry and scheduling and can thus position itself excellently in the market environment.