Tier 2 automotive supplier Schlemmer has chosen to implement IFS Applications business software in Germany and 15 other international locations. One of the leading providers of cable protection systems, air & fluid and mechatronic systems for the automotive industry, Schlemmer is looking to plan and control its global business in a single coherent management system. The company is also seeking to automate significant parts of its supply chain management with IFS' automotive supply chain components. It expects the solution to lead to more up-to-date and transparent information, shorter lead times, and lower process costs. The anticipated value of the contract with IFS is approximately US $2 million.

Schlemmer chose IFS for a number of reasons. To start with, the Swedish software company has a presence in all of the international markets in which Schlemmer operates. Schlemmer will utilize that presence, integrating business processes across all of its sites with the help of IFS Applications. The wide variety of functions offered by IFS Applications, from product development, manufacturing and logistics through accounting and human resource management to production-plant maintenance, was also an important factor. The large number of processes covered by IFS' standard products makes them ideal for automotive suppliers.

Thorsten Selner, CIO at Schlemmer, said, "Working in partnership with IFS, we can expand in all of the markets we serve. That is a vital prospect for us because, as a supplier, we can only be successful if we are close enough to our customers. In addition, the flexibility of the product and vendor, and the bright outlook for both, played a key role i n our decision to go with IFS."
Wilfried Gschneidinger, managing director of IFS Germany, added, "Schlemmer's decision confirms our strategy of providing industry-specific solutions that give medium-sized international enterprises the flexibility they need to enhance their international competitiveness and increase their market share."

Step-by-step rollout
The software rollout will kick off in March with the design phase. Schlemmer and IFS will define the target processes for the company's worldwide operations using the IFS Business Modeler, a graphical tool for modeling business processes. The rollout will then get underway, first in Morocco with the logistics, manufacturing, and accounting components. In Germany, IFS Applications will be rolled out gradually, starting with accounting and human resource management components. The remaining implementation projects will follow a year later. Schlemmer will make use of IFS Applications' component architecture to divide t he rollout into a series of subprojects, enabling it to enjoy the benefits of a standardized, demand-based, step-by-step implementation.

Automating communication within the supplier network
In order to automate electronic data interchange within its supplier network, Schlemmer will also be implementing IFS' new automotive supply chain solution. The software fulfills the recommendations of Germany's VDA automotive industry association on delivery handling and will guarantee Schlemmer swift and precise material and value flow at all levels. To that end, customers, suppliers, international production sites, and subsidiaries will all be integrated into the system. The automation of the data interchange process will help Schlemmer to meet ever-increasing market requirements and ever-tighter delivery deadlines.

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