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Quicker and better service with the help of SAP

September 9, 2015

“By summer 2015 we successfully completed SAP rollouts in half of our operations globally. Our SAP software now extends to all continents.”

Juha Anttila, Konecranes

What is an SAP ERP system?

Heikki Kajanto: Implementing an effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, such as SAP, is fundamental for improving our operational excellence.  The SAP software is a major investment for Konecranes that lets us manage everything from sales and marketing and procurement and supply to manufacturing and finance.

Juha Anttila: We launched this multi-year software project in 2010.  Following the successful implementation of SAP in key operations in China in June 2015, the system now extends to all continents where Konecranes has key operations.

 

Why did Konecranes decide to implement the SAP ERP system?

JA: Our main goal is to harmonize business processes and reduce the number of various IT systems. Previously we used approximately ten different systems to manage our business functions. It was important for us to find a global software that integrates transaction handling and logistics in an effective way.

HK: We have operations in so many countries with various services and products, and this significantly limits the choices of enterprise application software.

What have been the main challenges in implementing the new ERP system?

HK: The implementation of such an all-encompassing system as SAP ERP has been challenging and we have to some extent been learning by doing. Now it’s going well. Furthermore, in harmonizing operations on a global level, we needed to take all of the different legal systems into account. We wanted to minimize country-based tailor-making. 

JA: The main challenge in the beginning was to learn how to manage such a big transformation as we began to integrate five big IT systems at the same time. This has also been a big transformation for our personnel, and it takes time to make the system run smoothly, but we have worked hard to make improvements. We have also concentrated on making the training as easy as possible.

 

 

What are the main benefits of the system?

JA: Our main purpose is to improve internal operational excellence. In other words, we aim to reduce operational costs and enhance productivity. For the customer, this means improved customer service.

HK: Most of the benefits come from increased internal efficiency, but we are aiming for improved customer satisfaction also. For example, with new engineering and material management processes we will be able to identify and deliver spare parts to the customer more quickly.  Internally, the SAP ERP system allows us to better monitor financial and project management activities and planning globally.

 

Text: Tiia Mustonen
Photo: Niklas Sandström

 

Fast File

  • Juha Anttila (left) is responsible for the global implementation of SAP ERP at Konecranes
  • Heikki Kajanto (right) is in charge of process development in Konecranes’ material delivery.