A successful and rapidly expanding medium-sized enterprise based in Villingen-Schwenningen, Fritz Kübler is one of the world’s leader producers of counting and sensor technology. Its IT is in excellent shape for current requirements, but managers at Kübler realize that computer systems have to be geared to new, larger set-ups and greater complexity. To set the ball rolling, the company turned to the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Innovation and Organization (STZio) in Eislingen. The Steinbeis experts introduced Kübler to the STZio CompactCheck, a stocktaking tool that pinpoints the current status of computer systems.
Whether a company’s putting out fires or overstretched by the number of contracts, there’s always a reason why internal projects can be put off. Kübler found itself in a similar situation to many small and medium- sized enterprises in Baden-Württemberg; they’re enjoying enviable growth at the moment. As a result of growth, a lot had been done to improve processes and procedures, but Kübler had basically muddled through IT issues, exacerbating shortcomings in the modernity of its technology. Computer systems had shot off in different directions, with too many isolated solutions and Excel being used to cut corners or multitask. There were also disconnected systems and ERP was being used as a process backbone and central database.
Central to the analysis carried out by the Steinbeis experts from Eislingen were issues with a strong impact on engineering: processing, IT, products, documentation but also marketing. The team also looked at organizational issues and HR, as these had a bearing on engineering processes. “In businesses with products that can be sold in catalogs, the interface between engineering and marketing can be key to the efficient definition of products,” states Oliver Brehm from the STZio. As a result of the CompactCheck analysis, Kübler was provided with two alternative scenarios and a roadmap including key actions for the next five years. The plans included an analysis of current weaknesses, including causes with effective solutions, taking technical systems and process dependencies into consideration.
Kübler management was impressed at the way the STZio consultants leveraged their many years of experience and their detailed knowledge of IT systems to identify where the key dependences were and the best way to deal with this specific situation. The results of the CompactCheck enabled Kübler to lay the foundations for a systematic upgrade of its IT landscape. This immediately allowed the company to react more flexibly again – and not just stay ahead in terms of product technology, but also with its computer systems. For a relatively small outlay, it has established a vision for its IT systems and defined steps to be taken to achieve its goals. Depending on how things develop at the company, it can now gradually start addressing each area.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Frech
Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Innovation und Organisation (STZio, Eislingen, Reutlingen)
The CompactCheck analysis developed by the STZio provides a quick overview of the situation at a company aimed at pinpointing current status, identifying causes, defining suitable actions and taking dependencies into account.
What areas does CompactCheck look at?
Which systems does it scrutinize?