ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning is the keyword for modern manufacturing companies. ERP systems automate resource planning, minimise material costs, optimise quality management and reduce logistics costs. The abas Software AG with its headquarters in Karlsruhe is one of the leading developers of ERP software with more than 1,000 employees at 65 sites in 29 countries. More than 3,300 companies worldwide use the modern, industry-specific ERP systems, e.g. in mechanical and plant engineering, in the electrical or metal industry, in medical technology or in the retail sector.
Four years ago, when the software developer was aiming for certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001, the decision was made at the headquarters in Karlsruhe to introduce ConSense IMS|QMS|PMS. "The top 3 of our requirements for a software-supported system were: Display of the handbook in the system, automatic workflows to control all QM documents such as work instructions, lists, templates etc. and a digital display of the release processes", explains Benjamin Trautwein, Quality Manager QM/QA of abas Software AG. The goal was to carry out upcoming audits for 2015 already with the new software. Between December 2014 and March 2015, the processes were transferred to ConSense IMS|QMS|PMS. The process representation in the form of flowcharts helped those responsible to identify inaccuracies or logic errors in the previous process descriptions and to develop clean processes that corresponded to the actual processes - for some business areas in workshops with the employees participating - and to transfer these to the new system.
Meanwhile, the advantages of the software-supported QM system have already proven themselves: The dedicated roles and rights concept, which precisely regulates responsibilities as well as access rights to content and initiates defined approval or notification workflows, ensures a fast, targeted flow of information within the company. In addition, the concept makes interfaces and dependencies between business areas more transparent and provides information about who is the right contact in which case. This creates synergy effects between the departments and simplifies, for example, the start of new employees or the transfer to another department in the company," explains the Quality Manager.
For Benjamin Trautwein, it has proven to be a good idea to involve the employees in the optimization of processes from the very beginning and to make department managers responsible for the technical aspects. It was important that the management level was also supporting the project. At abas Software GmbH, the management board approved the process landscape. "This has a signal effect and it emphasises that the system is taken seriously in the company. This is important, because quality management is not a marketing gag. My tip to all those who are planning a similar project: When introducing a software supported QM system the responsible persons must clarify to their employees that this is not only introduced for the standard or the certificate. Quality management is an added value for the company - this must be communicated in a sustainable way".