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Diehl Metal Applications GmbH

Replacement of Notes workflows by modern process management

Optimised process flows, shorter throughput times, more transparent procedures and more satisfied employees: this is what Diehl Metal Applications GmbH hoped for from the introduction of a new solution for the processes in the company.

Diehl Metall Stiftung & Co. KG is a globally operating industrial group with a long tradition. In 1902, the company was founded as a foundry in Nuremberg. In the meantime, Diehl stands for trendsetting products and technologies in the field of metal processing. And this all over the world: there are a total of 60 locations in Europe, Asia, South America and the USA. More than 17,000 employees work there in five subgroups. This also includes Diehl Metall with its strategic business unit Diehl Metal Applications based in Berlin.

In order to optimise its process flows, shorten throughput times and remain at the cutting edge of technology, Diehl Metal Applications GmbH decided to replace its outdated software. Various applications programmed and operated under the old application thus had to be replaced by new developments or solutions on alternative platforms.

The decisive factor for Diehl Metal Applications GmbH in selecting a new provider was the possibility of migrating the existing applications to the new system. Inspire Technologies GmbH was able to convince with great know-how in this area and was finally commissioned for the project.

The task was then to transfer selected applications, to adapt an MR.KNOW solution template for idea management and to redevelop two solutions on the basis of model-based application development with MR.KNOW - BPM (formerly BPM inspire). For this purpose, the old application was first analysed, the detailed concept was developed on the basis of the service description and then agreed upon together with the customer. An important part of this was the development of an optimised entity-relationship data model.

The new developments are two applications for sales. The application VKT (= sales parts), later SSP, is used for the manufacturability evaluation and processing of enquiries, change requests and drawing changes that concern the area of manufacturing parts / stamped parts / plastic parts / surface and are received by the company. The application can be used to record, evaluate and calculate the incoming enquiries. The application is required to check whether the requested parts/articles can be manufactured technically and economically. Various departments of the company are involved in this process, which are integrated by the developed process workflow. After the evaluation and calculation are completed, the employee has all the information he or she needs to prepare the offer.

In addition, the workflows are also used for subsequent drawing changes if sample orders are received after completed enquiries or even if series production has already begun. All drawing changes are controlled via the workflows.

Furthermore, not only the enquiries/quotations are monitored with the application, but also all internal and external correspondence that follows after the quotation has been created. The applications thus not only offer the possibility to monitor the status of the enquiry, but are also necessary to manage documents and notes that follow later and to be able to trace processes.

The workflows also make it possible to trace whether and to whom the company has already offered identical items before and at what prices and conditions. The workflows are therefore not only used for managing and processing enquiries, but also for comparing enquiries and offers.

The application ACL (= quotation checklist), later JP, is used for the manufacturability evaluation and processing of enquiries, change requests and drawing changes that concern the area of surface/provided parts and are received by the company. Like VKT, ACL is used for the general recording, evaluation and calculation of enquiries.

After the successful development of the new applications, the data stock from the old application could then be transferred to the new data model. A special challenge in this step was the processing of the numerous rich text fields. In the course of this, file attachments also had to be separated and the rich text contents had to be converted into a new form in order to make them usable for browser applications. In total, over 100,000 records were migrated.

Before going live, the system was extensively tested and has now been successfully used since the end of 2019. Diehl Metal Applications GmbH was very satisfied with the new applications and sees itself as a pioneer in the industry with MR.KNOW's modern BPM platform and well prepared for the future.

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