"The use of eCl@ss was profitable for us in less than seven months! A year after the start of the product we had 43.75% fewer spare parts, 20% less capital investment and 47% fewer suppliers."
AT&S is the European market leader and one of the globally leading manufacturers of high-value printed circuit boards. AT&S industrialises leading-edge technologies for its core business segments Mobile Devices, Automotive, Industrial Electronics, Medical, and Advanced Packaging. In 2013, AT&S took the next logical step in the high-tech strategy by entering the IC substrate business in cooperation with a leading global semiconductor manufacturer. As an international growth enterprise, AT&S has a global presence, with production facilities in Austria (Leoben and Fehring) and plants in India (Nanjangud), China (Shanghai, Chongqing under construction) and Korea (Ansan, near Seoul).
As a company, AT&S Group in the fiscal year 2014/2015 employs approx. 8,100 employees, including about 1,200 in Austria, and has achieved a turnover of 667 million Euros and earnings before interest and taxes of 90.1 million Euros.
AT&S is one of the world's leading producers of high-technology circuit boards. In view of the availability of the producion installaions the supply of spare parts, as well as the opimizaion of spare parts management, plays an important role.
In addiion to the increase in producion a large increase of spare parts in stock was recorded as well with a simultaneous lower turnover. This led to a high capital commitment for inventory. In August 2007, spare parts with a value of about 7 million Euros were present at a frequency of 1.4 turnovers per year. In comparison, the value of producion materials was approximately 15 million Euros at an average of 13 turnovers per year. The main cause of this problem were inconsistent names and the diferent classiicaion of spare parts stocks in the various locaions of the company in Europe and Asia. Because of the diicult ideniicaion of exising or missing parts, there was a risk of producion stoppages in case the spare parts were not provided in ime.
In order to consolidate the spare parts the SPICE (Spare Parts Inventory and Cost Enhancement) project was launched and the internaionally acive Paradine GmbH commissioned with the implementaion. The selecion of eCl@ss as a classiicaion system was based on the internaional disseminaion, cross-industry applicability, mulilingualism (inc. Chinese) and the availability of product descripions of properies and characterisics. Exising spare parts were classiied and evaluated based on the eCl@ss properies lists. The feature lists were previously shortened according to the needs of AT&S or extended company-speciically. Suppliers were also included for classiicaion. Ater the classiicaion the ideniicaion and clean-up of duplicates was carried out. Unneeded materials were sold, spare parts transferred as necessary to other plants and the spare parts porfolio harmonized.
The classes and feature lists drawn up on the basis of eCl@ss form the basis of the new classiicaion in the SAP system.
The classiicaion of spare parts as well as the deiniion of the required AT&S classes and lists of properies was successfully completed ater only three months. Next, all the appraisals of the spare parts were implemented, duplicates ideniied and the spare parts spectrum consolidated. In addiion to the implementaion of the project in the English and German language and due to requirements at the site in Shanghai the Chinese language version was also made available at short noice. 12 months from the end of the irst phase the following results have already been achieved:
- 43.75% fewer spare parts
- 20% less capital tied up in spare parts
- 47% fewer suppliers
The successful introducion of eCl@ss in the spare parts management at AT&S shows that long-term beneits and cost reducions are possible through consistent and well-structured product master data.
The return on investment for the project was achieved in less than seven months!