Transformation of Operative Procurement at the Plant Manufacturer teamtechnik
teamtechnik group, whose headquarters are in Freiberg am Neckar, are an international market leader for assembly plants and functional testing systems. The family-owned business is known for flat hierarchies – giving its employees great liberties and offering rewarding career opportunities. In 2019, teamtechnik Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH was awarded the certificate ‘Top Employer Deutschland’. The Netfira Platform has allowed the procurement department to improve its operative processes through automated document flows, flexible document recognition and digital connection of suppliers.
Procurement at teamtechnik
The procurement team consists of 19 employees responsible for a procurement volume of 70 million euros with 80,000 purchasing positions per year. Procurement must support all involved departments as a reliable business partner to achieve high plant availability, short delivery periods and economic goals. Christian Bauer, Head of Operations, was charged to future proof the procurement at teamtechnik by automating the primarily manual tasks that plagued the department’s workload.
Projects and aims in operative procurement
- Implementation of a document management system
- Optimised storage utilisation
- Reduction of positions
- Reduction of manual and non-value-adding workload
- Reduce input errors
- Speed up the availability of information
- Electronic transfer of information with standardised workflows and warning systems
- Simple electronic connection of suppliers
The Netfira Platform
The Netfira Platform allows Bauer and his team to achieve an error-free and seamless exchange of documents through cleaned and enriched master data. This exchange facilitates standard automated process along the supply chain from the consumer, through procurement and accounting, to the supplier. Notably, the supplier connection is both uncomplicated and cost-neutral.
Added value at a glance
- Multiple uses of the Netfira Platform for different processes, not limited to procurement
- Seamless automated document flows
- Complete electronic document processing and filing for procurement and the entire company
- Flexibility: the Netfira Platform’s built-in business logic allows data transformation, data enrichment and tolerances
- Easy connection of suppliers without additional expense
- No disruption to existing supplier processes
Connection of suppliers: without additional effort, costs or EDI
At teamtechnik, 70 of the 1,000 active suppliers create over 80% of the document intake. Bauer was prepared to think outside the box to implement sustainable modules that integrate all supply partners and offer them tangible advantages. An uncomplicated connection for suppliers that did not rely on traditional solutions, such as OCR or EDI, – was a significant prerequisite for the success of the transformation. At the commencement of the project, 18 EDI connections had to be maintained – a challenging task given the low percentage of partners willing to participate. Well-known reasons against EDI use are: customers dictate data formats and transmission paths, high outlay paired with increased complexity, and it’s simply too expensive. “Significant process and cost benefits are only possible if all suppliers are willing to participate,” stresses the head of operative procurement. In contrast, the Netfira Platform allows seamless supplier connection with no change to their existing processes or additional cost.
How the connection of suppliers and invoice capture work
Thanks to the Netfira Platform, teamtechnik offers suppliers of all sizes a solution independent of the respective supplier management system. The solution does not require long project terms or high initial investments from either side. teamtechnik can connect suppliers within minutes via the Netfira Onboarding App, tailored to the partner’s needs. Buyers only use the ERP system and the document management system.
“It’s a relief that documents can still be sent and received via e-mail. In particular, this helps with y-component contracts and special contracts.”
– Christian Bauer, Head of Operations
With Netfira, documents such as order confirmations, advanced shipping notices and invoices can be sent directly from the supplier’s system allowing automated document flows. teamtechnik also exchanges drawings and other documents. “The solution is like an intelligent postman,” Bauer draws parallels between the Netfira Platform and an “intelligent postman” as he highlights the benefits of translating documents into data sets and document processing without the involvement of the in-house IT.
Conclusion and outlook
Today, Bauer enjoys a significant reduction of manual and non-value-adding tasks. With the help of artificial intelligence, the Netfira Platform supports the procurement team by eliminating input errors, providing information in real time and supporting involved business partners with automated workflows and document flows and warning systems.
Next steps with Netfira
The Netfira Platform’s ability to scale allows partners to increase both the volume and type of documents processed, including:
- Electronic requests
- Delivery notes
- Advanced shipping notices (including Chinese suppliers)
- Automatic tagging of works certificates for storage in the product data management system
Automating the procurement processes allows the operative sector to support strategic procurement in value-adding tasks, making this department more attractive to prospective applicants.
teamtechnik operates in the future-oriented industries of electromobility, medical technology and renewable energies. The company’s focus is on developing and manufacturing customised automation solutions for automotive, new energy, and medical technology. Founded in 1976, today, the company has production sites in Freiberg and Ludwigsburg as well as in Atlanta (USA), Krakow (Poland) and Suzhou (China). These sites are supported by the worldwide distribution and service network from Argentina to South Korea.
Purchasing departments are met with a flood of order confirmations and need to manually enter this important but often unstructured information into their system. Intelligent digital solutions help automating this process.
The Netfira Platform offers a unique alternative to OCR solutions. The cloud-based SaaS solution processes data of all document types quickly and reliably.
There is a dramatic increase in order confirmations as the ongoing disruption is forcing suppliers to provide multiple order confirmations for each purchase order. Purchasing needs to implement intelligent solutions allowing automated processing of order confirmations.
Learn in this webinar how you can automate the processing of documents like purchase order confirmations with the Netfira Platform.