Automation Solution for Bank Integration in SAP

Many organizations deal with multiple house banks and process pay-outs such as salaries, utility bills, supplier payments and customer payments through these accounts. Reconciling all these transactions in back end ERPs such as SAP is time consuming and prone to errors.

Envecon has a ready solution for automating this process and has implemented it for its customers. The solution uses SAP PO middle-ware and secured FTP (SFTP) for automation.

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Payment process is completely automated and initiated from SAP. Bank statement data can now be electronically retrieved from banks using Bank Communication Standard (BCS).

Why SAP Process Orchestration for Integration?

SAP Process Orchestration (PO) is simple, scalable and versatile middle-ware. It is a strategic integration platform of world’s leading organizations.  Several clients ranging from high-tech to global manufacturing firms to major European Postal Services use SAP PO to process over half a million messages per day.

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Envecon uses MT940 format to transmit bank data to customer & has configured SAP to pick up electronic bank statements and do automatic reconciliation of data received from the bank. Envecon is using SAP PO (Process Orchestration) as middle-ware platform due to its robust scale-ability and ability to integrate processes across SAP and non-SAP landscapes.

Key Benefits to Customers

  •  Pay-to-reconcile process across applications and systems.
  •  Improved control and compliance over the release of payments
  •  Increase operational efficiency & eliminated manual errors
  •  Standard, secure payment gateway with multiple banks
  •  Streamlined communication with house banks via single communication channel.
  •  Significantly simplifies payment process.
  • Increased payment flow transparency through status Monitoring of payments
  • Bank statements enhanced compliance through multiple approval levels for outgoing payments.

Explore Envecon’s SAP Service Portfolio

Faster ROI of IFS Applications with Oneview

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An intuitive and graphically rich solution created out of IFS Data sources to provide real time, at-a-glance visuals of organization performance with “A Single Version of Truth” for all business functions.

OneView captures and integrates business critical information from IFS Applications, Work Force Management and other niche local systems used in industries like Ports and Terminals, Manufacturing, Energy and Utilities, Aerospace, Offshore, EPCI, Aviation and Inland Terminals.

Collaborative excellence with integrated view of all functions

Business driven solution to get OneView of all organizational functions working on IFS platform like, Operations, Supply Chain, Sales, Projects,  Production, Engineering, Financials, HR, CRM to provide real time input to business for quicker decision making.

It provides cutting edge by offering total insight in main business pillars like,

Operational excellence

  • To track real-time operational performance at a glance

Commercial excellence

  • To get trend analysis to show short term and long term health of business

Decision excellence

  • Helps in real time decisions and access information from any-time anywhere any-place

OneView will give you the tool to make your decisions faster by giving a real-time visualization of organization performance at a single glance.

Click here to get into Oneview world  also explore Envecon’s IFS Service Portfolio

How effective is Repeat failure analysis for terminal equipment’s ?

Repeat failure analysis  means analysis that  handle multiple failures within an item. In a terminal there is a failure occurring on a  same equipment  repeatedly in that particular period ( i.e.  Number of  times the same breakdown happened  which stopped the operations). As equipment failure frequently occurs, therefore a Repeat Failure Analysis is carried out.

How it is useful?

Let’s start an analysis of Quay Crane

  • How many maintenance related failure occurred ?
  • How many times there was a requirement to perform a replacement?
  • The primary thing  here is  how many times did  they fail repeatedly?

For example , in a QC there was a consistent failure every month and 15 times it has to be repaired (Refer below Fig 01 for month of July on an electrical drive) .

The failure was  of an electric drive, we need to analyse how many times a same equipment fail repeatedly in that period, how many breakdown or damage happened  that stopped the operation one after another.

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Fig 01

The number of repeat failure in QC where repair has to be done is quite high,now what?

Further analysis is done and the information received  based on repeat analysis is that number of times there is a repeat failure in QC, which needs  to be  repaired  and  it was found many times its maintenance failureFurther analysis is  done in that period to know what was performed action, to understand how the problem is fixed. It was found that terminal has to repeatedly make repair on an electric drive. (Refer below Fig 02)

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Fig 02

Whenever Technical  Department  find there is a repeat failure more than  acceptable limit for a particular component  in a month, they have to set-up a corrective maintenance action along with the next two Preventive  Maintenance. Reliability engineers are suppose to execute Corrective Maintenance work orders. These work orders need to be created in ERP application planned along with the maintenance,such Corrective Maintenance work order involves.

  • Conditional checks
  • Ultrasound and other high technology inspection
  • Analyse the RPM (Rotation per minute) check the circuit

(These are specific to an electric drive, for the example being considered.)

The Reliability engineer will also schedule additional Corrective Maintenance  work order for applying the decisions made out of the above analysis, which is either replacement of repeated failure( component replaced) OR a modification of the electric drive is suggested, on all such equipments within the terminal.

By looking at these analytical reports ,by doing a good root cause analysis and by referring  the number a maintenance manager can analyse why there are repeat failure which are maintenance related most of them are electrical failure & have an operational impact ,

Thus,

  • Increase the bottom line(i.e. to reducing expense in future ) OR
  • Invest in training the employees on doing better maintenance related to electrical circuit and wring the equipment OR
  • Check if there is a requirement  to buy better quality spares and many more.
Check out Envecon’s IFS Service Portfolio and Case Studies too

Managing change in an ERP implementation

An ERP project, whether it’s a pilot, roll-out or an upgrade, will bring in multitude of changes within the organization. It’s important for the management to fully assess the impact of the change due to an ERP implementation decision.

Some of the several challenges a company faces in an ERP implementation are Change Management, Project Management and Cost Management along with its associated escalations, Risk Mitigations to Customizations and Expectations management.

Change in an ERP Implementation could be of various types:

  • Change in Processes – being brought in global business practices

  • Change in Roles – being brought in due to segregation of duties

  • Change in Effort to Input information – being brought in due to the higher level of details required by the new ERP

Address these changes, by listing each of them and working out with the product experts to ensure that only Business driven changes are applied. Super Users or Core Users, who plan for these improvements as a periodical and continuous basis, are better able to manage their user community, than those who just worry about maintaining what is delivered as a package.

The “owner” of the implementation has to be an in-house individual, who is not only familiar with the various departments and the user community, but also has the support and mandate of the Top management, to be able to suggest and manage the expectations.

An ERP implementation does not just bring in the perceived changes, it brings in a sea of opportunities to do additional things under the ERP umbrella:

  • Don’t just use PCs and Laptops, enable wide screen displays in workshops and control rooms. Get Status reports and Pending Tasks Queries to be displayed at appropriate areas, to drive work completion.

  • Evaluate tasks performed manually, and if these can be automated to reduce the data entry effort. The thumb rule, is to identify all those interaction points, where a single user interacts with multiple applications, to deliver or manage a feature. Automate these data entry , and get the user to monitor accuracy than just efficiency.

  • Use the “Ease of Use features – GUI Functionalities” of the product to reduce as much effort and make day to day working

  • pleasant for the end user.

Share your thoughts on Change Management during ERP Implementations and we will let you know of some of the best practices we have seen.

Feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn  and check out our Case Studies too.

How an integrated ERP system will improve terminal performance

Most end-to-end processes in ports and terminals typically span multiple systems and integrations.

The typical landscape of a terminal is an integrated solution of Terminal Operating System (TOS), financial system, Procurement and Inventory, Enterprise Asset Management, HR Management, Payroll Management, Workforce Management and several more to ensure synergy and smooth functioning at a terminal.

The difficulty begins when all these systems need to work in tandem to pass information to each other in order to process transactions seamlessly. That is precisely when the need for integrating systems together becomes necessary.

Integration of multiple systems, in most cases, is not only effort-intensive, with respect to both cost and time; it requires continuous support and management. And the biggest disadvantage for terminals is that it locks them down from upgrading existing systems with newer features, functions and technologies that help enhance and improve productivity.

Having learnt from the innumerable challenges, the trend has now shifted to a single system solution that can meet most of the needs of a terminal. Using a system with integrated architecture takes away key pain points out of IT management as well as overall business administration, especially through updated and newer versions of systems that are aimed at streamlining business processes.

Leading ERP products (ie SAP, IFS) with their integrated architecture are a one-stop shop solution for terminals that can meet most of its inherent business needs. Even global Leaders in this business, having multiple terminals worldwide, use ERP to gain global control to manage terminals.

To summarise, the key benefits of adopting an integrated architecture are:

  • Single version of truth in terms of master data information for customers and materials; thus avoiding all the issues relating to duplication of information and loss of data integrity.

  • Faster processing of information due to real time integration; that in turn ensuring timely decision making at all levels.

  • Powerful BI framework to enable intelligent analysis and mining of the vast volume of data to ensure optimisation of operations and better management of KPIs.

  • Operational cost reduction due to more advanced forecasting tools ensuring better equipment availability and better planning and scheduling capabilities.

  • Better workforce management due to automation of processes, work load monitoring and faster cycle times to closure.

Feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn  and check out our Case Studies too.

Delivery Lead Time, Suppliers Lead Time analysis

In any purchasing/materials management system, the materials, delivery, supplier lead time plays a critical role for the timing and sizing of purchase order decisions. Many purchasing professionals have recognized this importance, and major efforts have been made to accurately predict lead times and to develop strategies for coping with problems created by lead time variations.

The length and reliability of lead time has a significant impact on the total cost of services, because it is important to make tools and spare parts available at right time for prompt response to breakdown, planned maintenance. The recent emergence of time-based management concept attests to this effect.

For example, the lead time length and reliability influence the capacity and manpower requirements, work load, safety stock level, and productivity

Different BI reports helps to analyze time gap between PO release date, delivery lead time, supplier’s lead time and design supply chain strategy.

The main purposes of this report are:

1) To identify and analyze the major characteristics of Supplier and Delivery lead time.

2) To review the potential impacts of supplier and delivery lead time on the system’s performance

3) To suggest several positive strategies for managing supplier and delivery lead time and to make tools and equipment’s available at right time to avoid breakdown of running assets.

Feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn  and check out our Case Studies too.

BI tool prevents Ports and Terminals from Inventory blockage

Senior management understands that inventory is regarded as a ‘black hole’, absorbing cash and resources. With appropriate business intelligence, ‘black holes’ can be effectively addressed, and the company will realize a direct effect on bottom line profit.

Some of the challenges faced:

  •  To improve visibility of data that can help to identify inventory positions and potential stock out issues.
  •  To reduce the non-value added labor dedicated to the management of physical inventory.

A flexible, powerful Business Intelligence system is worth, where you need to understand current inventory levels, plan for a seasonal buying frenzy, find out the status of inventory for internal consumption and predict required inventory.

 BI reports are very important for Inventory Management, manager:

  • Ports and terminals can increase the opportunity cost, inventory accuracy and reduce the non-value-added costs by seeking out an integrated inventory solution that joins business intelligence tool.

The Inventory Manager, can share different BI reports and his analysis with management, other managers, end-users and establish metrics, goals so that every user sees and uses the information and be aware of critical issues like stock shortages.

Inventory Aging Report:

Inventory aging helps to drive down stock level, fast moving items, slow moving items and helps to monitor value of money/capital blocked in inventory.

The fact majority of businesses have their capital tied to their inventory. What this means is that the business will delve into an inventory aging analysis too often, there will be a lot of money that cannot be used. Where there is too little inventory, it might cause delay in container maintenance work, repair of equipment, and might cause delay to attend breakdown maintenance calls, which eventually affects heavy loss due to machine/Crain shut down. If the company is caught in-between an inventory balancing act, the company will only take guesses on the types of inventory it requires.

 We have to keep in mind that:-

  •  If we have too much inventory of a particular part, it would block working capital. Increased expenses associated with interest on loans, taxes, insurance and storage costs. Cash will be tied up and thus profits will be stilled.
  •  If we have too little inventory stock of item which is regularly used, it would end up with the increased occurrences of insufficient stock of inventory for repair and maintenance work.

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 It’s recommended that one should consider an inventory aging analysis at regular intervals. BI Inventory aging report helps to identify parts which are in stock for relatively longer period of time.

Feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn  and check out our Case Studies too.

How BI helps in reducing unplanned downtime and manage asset safely?

Port Asset Management is becoming increasingly important, whether as a simple means of recording assets and maintenance works or as part of a larger scheme to fully optimise the management of all Port assets and resources.

Enterprise Asset Management solution contains information regarding work order cost ,work order execution details , work order downtime.“Maintenance” is the core feature, helps to minimize downtime reliably and integrate asset-related data, business processes, and analytics.

Asset Maintenance solution captures details about work order cost, work order execution details, work order downtime.Downtime can be a planned event or an unplanned event.

A strategic alignment between “Higher Productivity ” which is (operation KPI) and “Total Preventive Maintenance” which is (Maintenance Organization KPI) is brought in by:-

  • Reducing Unplanned Downtime.
  • Optimizing planned downtime

A good Business Intelligence tool , should provide :

1. Analytical capability to perform frequent failure mode analysis.

2. Comparative cost between periods for cost of break-down when planned downtime is performed on “TIME” V/S Cost of Break Down when planned downtime is delayed per day.

3. Comparative reason for analyzing what factors caused the delay in performing planned Maintenance.

  •     Weather or such external factors.

  •     Operational Pressures.

  •      Maintenance Inefficiencies.

Graphical decision tree:

Through Graphical analysis, the reasons for increase or decrease of unplanned maintenance cost can be analyzed by drilling down to core reasons, especially delay in performing maintenance delays. By carrying out preventive maintenance inspection and servicing on time, or within organization permissible limits, we can mitigate the risk of equipment failures and bring cost under control.

As can be seen in the below example of analysis, cost of repair tends to increase when the previous servicing schedules have been postponed ,and tends to be lower when servicing schedules delays are within certain limited delays. 81% of the QC repair Costs are when servicing schedules are delayed for more than 12 days, and this in consideration of the fact that QCs (in below example) contributes to 77.75% of repair costs overall.

 Unplanned 01

The analysis and the number generated by above 3, should definitely be a guiding factor for ports and terminal to:-

  •      Get Operations and Maintenance to agree upon planned downtime schedules.

  •     Execute Planned preventive maintenance ,under agreed schedule and variances.

  •     Improve upon Operational Productivity and Production Efficiency due to reduced breakdown.

 In practice, while TPM cannot be 100% implemented , the effort to perform any planned service (Preventive Maintenance) “ON TIME” reduce the cost of break down (unplanned downtime) by a significant margin. For ports, unplanned maintenance equals unscheduled downtime and a significant hit to the bottom line, not only in terms of reduced throughput and revenue, but also in terms of managing relationships with shipping lines.