“We consider IT the global core model that supports the entire auto glass business.” —Pascal Ober, Director, SAP Competence Center, Saint-Gobain
Combined global ERP and MES platform drives competitive growth
Under increasing customer pressure for product price reductions and performance improvements in the intensely competitive automobile market, the automobile-glass arm of France’s $52 billion glass and construction giant, Saint-Gobain, decided it had to take a radically new approach to managing its plant operations worldwide.
Since 2006, Project Avenir (which means “future” or “going forward” in French) has deployed a unified IT platform for manufacturing and logistics across Saint-Gobain Sekurit, which supplies products to half the cars in Europe and many other markets around the world.
Saint-Gobain Sekurit selected SAP for its ERP system, integrated with FlexNet from Apriso to extend efficiencies to the shop floor. Apriso’s Core implementation program helped the company identify the business processes that comprised most of the necessary functionality for a typical Sekurit plant. This “blueprint” of best-practices processes was packaged and distributed to each location, treating FlexNet as an enterprise application rather than a typical MES system for a specific plant.
The new system is replacing a variety of disparate legacy systems across 45 European sites and other international sites with a single, flexible, global IT platform combining ERP, plant floor, and logistics. These elements were unified to allow the combined deployment of the system in each plant to simplify the installation process and deliver maximum benefits and flexibility as swiftly as possible.
The benefits have been substantial. The new global platform has helped the company establish standardized product cost and KPI calculations and measurements across all its plants, identify areas where yields were best and where time was being lost, capture and share best practices across the enterprise, reduce production costs by up to 30%, and provide greater local operational flexibility around a standardized, unified system worldwide.
“Our customers were asking us to reduce prices by 6% while simultaneously delivering 10% improvements in productivity,” said Pascal Ober, director of Saint-Gobain’s SAP Competence Center. “This necessitated a radical change in both our ERP and supply network solutions. We now have a unified approach worldwide and consider IT the global core model that supports the entire auto glass business.”