Very complex configuration, pricing, quoting, and manufacturing business requirements (architectural products) that pushed the envelope of SAP ERP native functionality. Kingspan had received conventional advice from another vendor and had embarked upon an oversimplified design approach that ran into insurmountable performance and usability problems one year into the project.
Specific Design Challenges:
- Modeling and navigating through a very large array (> 4000) of product characteristics
- Summing of cutlist features & dimensions with a means to estimate totals prior to providing cutlist details
- Working with fractional and decimal inches
- Variant pricing that applies to all panel configurations within a sales document
- Delivery and invoicing of panels by bundle
- Splitting and joining of bundles for delivery
Kingspan originally asked eLogic to help resolve issues encountered with the original design which used very large single-level VC models that were very difficult to build, test, use, and maintain. eLogic quickly determined that the original design could never reliably scale to meet the business requirements and then made the controversial recommendation to abandon that design in favor of an innovative multi-level model that extensively leveraged advanced SAP VC functionality. eLogic took the lead to implement this new VC design as well as related functional integration designs that had been deferred until the VC implementation was back on track.
eLogic met with the Kingspan business leaders to fully understand the many nuances of their configuration process. Distinctions were quickly made between sales configuration (which is comprised of 1-to-n cutlist specifications) and manufacturing configuration (which generally applies to all of the panels in a configuration). eLogic then designed different configurable BOM structures for sales and manufacturing with the root level panel configurable material in common. This was the design breakthrough that enabled tremendous simplification and modularity. eLogic then met with the Kingspan IT team to determine what existing VC modeling (primarily the manufacturing configuration) could be salvaged. Throughout the rest of the implementation, eLogic continually encountered additional and specialized functional requirements. Each requirement was analyzed, a design was proposed and explained to the business, and then the solution was implemented.
Outcome & Results
eLogic's new design is scalable, high performance, and dramatically simplified. In addition, many challenges that were not addressed in the original design (like handling of fractional inch dimensions, lump sum and order specific feature pricing, user guidance, and mass configuration data import and export) were addressed in eLogic's new design. Users overwhelmingly liked the new solution better than their legacy system.
- Modeling is far less dependent on ABAP code for routine maintenance
- Characteristics no longer enumerated, thus going from 4000+ to approximately 100 per configurable material
- Dependencies were reduced, in some cases, up to 100 times smaller
- Performance increases of at least 10-100 times
- Powerful new capabilities beyond what the legacy solution offered
The eLogic Difference
eLogic had the expertise to quickly recognize that the original design would never work and recommended changes before further time and money were expended. All of eLogic’s deep VC experience was used to quickly develop an advanced, new design that leveraged as much of the original modeling as practical. eLogic led the implementation of the new design and delivered as planned with all business requirements addressed.