Göttingen - 12/5/16
"IT is crucial to the future of companies"
Interview with Klaus-Dieter Laidig, Chairperson of the Advisory Board at Holder GmbH
Mr. Laidig, you have been active in the IT sector for many years. What has changed?
Klaus-Dieter Laidig: What has changed? A lot! In brief, IT systems were formerly used mainly for data processing and management. That is also what the systems were designed for. We have been observing a paradigm shift for a few years now: data management is increasingly being automated and IT is being used for more in-depth analyses and planning. This leads to very exciting possibilities. I personally am convinced that IT is crucial to the future of companies – also in surface engineering.
Are German companies even ready for this paradigm shift?
Do not underestimate German SMEs! They may not be the most eager to experiment, that is certainly true. But when modern solutions make sense, midsize enterprises are ready to embrace them. You see, some time ago we still had a heterogeneous IT landscape at Holder GmbH, with numerous subsystems that were not integrated. We no longer felt comfortable with that for quite a while. This was viewed as an opportunity to implement a new, highly integrated SAP solution to make us fit for the future.
You took the plunge and implemented a new system. How did that go?
We replaced all of the old systems. It was a tremendous change since it affected virtually all parts of the company. Naturally we approached such a change process strategically. First we defined the requirements for the solution. It had to map the entire supply-change chain including container management, various production processes, quality, quotation management, and cost accounting. External systems such as the quality management system IQS and the EDI solution SEEBURGER had to be integrated into the system as well. Then we searched for a suitable implementation partner.
And that was the Göttingen IT service provider Sycor.
Yes. We had known Sycor for nearly six years and were aware that the industry solution Sycor.Surface had proven itself for several competitors. In the course of exploratory discussions, we quickly realized how much industry expertise has been incorporated into this solution. The Sycor experts made a proposal to us for a combination of the SAP industry solution Sycor.Surface with parts of Sycor.Automotive on the basis of SAP Business-All-in-One. A clear benefit was that the solution could be adapted to our needs with little effort. That was an important argument for us since we wanted to implement the project quickly. It all worked out really well: Sycor rolled out SAP FI/CO within six months and mapped the logistics in SAP ERP within twelve months. I have managed quite a few SAP implementation projects in the course of my career, and I have to say that this one went more smoothly than ever. Sycor's total implementation costs stayed within the budget as well. That is remarkable!
What did you learn from this experience?
Searching for a suitable implementation partner pays off!