"The introduction of a new standard in master data management has made it possible to reduce complexity and redundancy in data maintenance. It also makes it possible to maintain master data quality at a high level."
AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing technology of powertrains (hybrid, combustion engines, transmissions, electric drive, batteries and software) for passenger cars, trucks and large engines.
• AVL is active in the following business divisions:
• Development of powertrain systems: AVL develops and improves all kinds of powertrain systems and is a competent partner to the engine and automotive industry.
• Simulation: In addition AVL develops and markets the simulation methods which are necessary for the development work.
Engine Instrumentation and Test Systems: The products of this business area comprise all the instruments and systems required for engine and vehicle testing.
The AVL group is built up by 45 companies which use CAD, PDM, CAE and SRM and CRM systems in addiion to the globally available ERP soluions. In order to meet the challenges of a high growth rate in the recent years, the group concentrates on a coninuous harmonizaion of the global process and system landscape.
Missing rules in the creaion and maintenance of material master data lead to approximately 400,000 inconsistently and unstructured master records in the systems. This meant that a great deal of efort had to be expended on decentralized maintenance as well as a large number of duplicates.
The basic requirement at the start of the harmonizaion project was a clear deiniion of the material master informaion which takes the local language variety into account. The decision to use eCl@ss for this purpose was based on three main reasons: irst, the high number of companies that use eCl@ss as classiicaion and product descripion standard, second, the availability of diferent language versions and third, the extensive, ever-evolving porfolio of standard features.
A comparision of several eCl@ss-ceriied solui ons was carried out which resulted in the selecion of the product eptos™-product master data repository from Paradine GmbH. Based on this, AVL and Paradine created the AVL MMD portal for which the main task is the structured, clear and system-independent deiniion, creaion and maintenance of the material master informaion.
To allow the highest global accessibility possible, the system runs via intranet on web browsers and provides real ime data out of SAP. The eCl@ss release 7.1 comes with 39,000 classes, but to describe the standard material porfolio of AVL only 550 of these standard classes (4th level) were necessary. 50 new classes were created to describe the very AVL-speciic material by its own properies and value lists. For each class a template was deined, which is used in the material master creaion and maintenance process. It speciies which properies are mandatory and which are opional to describe a material. To ensure the completeness and correctness of the local language variety in material master texts, clear text generaion rules for automaic processing were deined. This makes it possible to create mulilingual (EN/DE/CN) text blocks out of the property values.
The acivaion of the new AVL MMD portal was accompanied by the introducion of standardized organizaional material master processes and the introducion of the new role of globally responsible component managers.
The following results have been achieved:
- Duplicate check implemented when material master data is requested or maintained
- Extension of already existing material masters with classification information
- Implementation of a clear and standardized process for the migration of material masters in SAP rollout projects
- Management of the supplier and manufacturer information via the AVL MMD Portal
- Building up a globally applicable terminology database for the specification of material masters
In addiion, the implementaion of the eCl@ss standard makes it possible for AVL to easily implement new requirements for the master data by adding new properies.