Quelle: CIO, Asia
An automotive manufacturer that prides itself on a brand name, that is synonymous with excellence, has hardly a choice but to invest in the best of resources and processes, to stay at, or close to, the top in its industry. "Our focus is to provide our customers with a high-quality product and the service that comes with it," says Klaus Felser, the vice-president of IT management for Asia-Pacific and Africa at DaimlerChrysler SEA Pte. Ltd. DaimlerChrysler is the manufacturer of the Mercedes-Benz marque of cars, among other brand names. The company has implemented processes--in its factories, wholesale centres, retail outlets and soon--that have been fined-tuned to the point where it can deliver vehicles to each and every customer, to their exact specifications, anywhere in the world, on time, says Felser. All this, however, has transformed the supply chain between the DaimlerChrysler factories and its customers into a complex one. What adds to the complexity is the fact that DaimlerChrysler has several factories at different locations around the world, all serving global markets.
DaimlerChrysler, as a result, has had to invest heavily in IT. One of its key investments has been in ERPERP. It started to roll out an SAP R/3Wholesale Template in January 2001, to track the movement of vehicles within its distribution network in Asia-Pacific and South Africa. "This solution, [among other functions], connects our dealers throughout this region with our regional wholesale operations in Singapore, which, in turn, is connected with our production sites," says Felser. "So, we know where each and every vehicle is and its status in the production and distribution lines, [in real time]; we're also able to track the movement of components we use in our workshops." Alles zu ERP auf CIO.de
However, managing this system has been a complex job. "This is why we invited [Indian software vendor] Infosys to help us," says Felser. Infosys Technologies Ltd. is India's largest listed IT-service company. "At the time we initiated this SAPSAP solution, DaimlerChrysler had taken on the role of project leader: formulating strategies, planning, hiring and deploying resources, coordinating and administrating the whole project with the assistance of several consultants from several companies." But it soon hit upon DaimlerChrysler that managing the package rollout, its development and support, and upgrade, was not its core competency. "In June 2001, we decided to restructure the initiative and to engage the most appropriate professional service partner to take over some of the responsibilities we were doing ourselves." He adds: "Infosys was selected to rollout and implement the SAP R/3 Wholesale Template in eight countries, take over development and maintenance, provide second-level support as well as upgrade an application called the Vehicle Management System (VMS), that was plugged into the package, to version 3.0, from 2.0." DaimlerChrysler retained the role of driving the strategy and planning, so as to keep mission critical know-how in-hous. Alles zu SAP auf CIO.de
Strutting the stage
DaimlerChrysler made its first contact with Infosys at the time it had invited vendors to bid for this project. "Our target was a dependable partner who would be able to deliver business solutions with strong technical excellence and cultural compatibility in all aspects of the template," says Felser. This partner had to satisfy the following qualifications: necessary regional coverage, depth of practical SAP experience, leadership and programme management capability and, to top it up, it had to deliver these three objectives at a considerable lower total cost of ownership. "Since the wholesale template is a complex project, we chose to evaluate the bidders on the basis of a weighted criteria system. Rather than automatically accept the lowest price, the tender assessment process applied weighting for skills, quality, experience and previous performance, in a manner to ensure value for money."
A comprehensive tender document comprising 82 assessment criteria was sent out to major IT-service providers, "which included the big consulting houses, major systems integrators and smaller niche SAP specialists," explains Felser. "To cover the full scope of the work, some of the companies had formed their own consortiums. Infosys, however, bid for the project as a single total solutions service provider."