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Staying competitive in the manufacturing industry is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re running a small, family-owned company up against big corporations and low-cost offshore challengers.
That’s why Deufel has always focused on the quality of its products: medical instruments that require surgical precision.
However, as digital technologies such as automation and robotics become more advanced, more accurate and more widespread, Deufel risked losing that competitive advantage. So the company looked to up its game in other areas.
Keeping pace with change
In the past, Deufel managed many of its business operations using spreadsheets and other manual processes. In an industry that is moving toward intelligent assembly lines, end-to-end automation and high-tech robotics, tracking projects by hand just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
Moving to a centralized enterprise resource planning (ERP) system seemed like the right option, but the company’s first ERP project didn’t result in a sustainable system that the company could rely on for the future.
Deufel worked with IT partner Zimmerer GmbH to migrate to SAP ERP. The project was a huge success: efficiency has increased dramatically, with some business processes now running as much as 50 percent faster. To read the full story, check out the IBM case study.
Moving to the new solution, however, wasn’t a totally smooth process. Running and managing the SAP application was a burden, and the costs associated with regular hardware maintenance and refreshes soon racked up.
That’s where Zimmerer came in, taking the pressure off Deufel’s IT team by providing a fully managed SAP service based on IBM Cloud for SAP Applications.
The big benefit of the IBM solution is that it includes infrastructure and services tailored specifically for SAP environments. That means Zimmerer’s experts can focus on application-level issues while IBM takes care of the hardware and operating system.
Lifting the burden
With its SAP landscape hosted in the IBM Cloud, a weight has been lifted for Deufel. There’s no more on-premises infrastructure to manage and no more time-consuming software upgrades or patches. All the company needs is a secure, encrypted VPN connection, and employees have instant access to their applications.
The managed service saves Deufel a lot of time and effort while keeping costs low. Since the cloud migration, response times are around 25 percent faster than before.
Most importantly, by replacing manual processes with integrated digital workflows, Deufel is increasing efficiency. The company can analyze its project costs and margins more effectively, react faster to changing customer demands, and respond to new industry trends and technologies in a more agile manner.
Gearing up for a bright future
By using a modern ERP platform to manage its business processes, Deufel is well equipped to navigate the brave new world of digital manufacturing.
For example, the company is now planning to deploy state-of-the-art sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to introduce greater levels of automation into its production processes.
This investment in innovation means that Deufel should be able to offer clients a greater level of customization without increasing manufacturing costs. Ultimately, this should help it to outperform even much larger competitors.
Learn more about Deufel’s journey to the IBM Cloud by reading the IBM case study.