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The Printing Machinery Manufacturer Uses B2B Communication of the Future
SEAL Systems has recently set up an interface at the printing machine manufacturer Koenig & Bauer which connects to the SAP Supply Network Collaboration portal (SNC). This offers many advantages not only to the company but also to the suppliers: Faster and more secure communication, time and resource savings, and convenient access to all relevant documents, even when on the move.
At Koenig & Bauer, more than 100 orders are shipped on average per day; several thousand suppliers help the company with this. The top suppliers receive dozens of orders every day. For this process to be successful, a smooth, fast, error-free and, above all, a web-based process is essential.
What Is the Supplier Portal With Support From SEAL Systems?
When Koenig & Bauer’s purchasing staff place an order – for example, parts supplied to manufacture the print machines – the supplier is automatically notified by e-mail. By clicking on a link in the e-mail, the supplier can conveniently view and download all attachments and relevant documents from the SAP supplier portal. This includes parts lists, Excel tables, 3D step models, or drawings. Documents on quality notifications can also be transferred from quality assurance. The supplier portal determines the respective documents in the correct sequence and independent of storage location or link. Suppliers and employees no longer have to deal with an abundance of e-mails, attachments, and data – this is B2B communication of the future!
How Does It Work Technically?
The integration takes place – invisible to the end user – in the SAP message control. The letters and forms that have already been created are tapped there. Afterward, all related documents (object-linked to materials) are searched via the structure resolution of SEAL Systems. Also, the system creates parts lists in the form of forms and machine-readable XML structure files.
Together these objects end up as an output job in our Document Distribution Director (DDD) system. The output job is transferred then to an external output management system. SEAL Systems’ Document Distribution Director is the core product for the management of output requests. There the checkout of the documents and the preparation of the forms takes place with the Cartago Live Engine – an XML-based form management tool. An indicator on the supplier master record controls the output of the letter either via filing in the SNC portal (completely integrated SNC supplier) or via e-mail (document supplier). This mail then contains a link to the portal. The associated documents are provided with stamp information, packed into a ZIP file for each order item, and stored on a network drive.
Using a web service call these files are then transferred to SNC with the meta information (order and supplier number, number of parts lists and drawings, …), where they are made visible to the respective supplier.
Koenig & Bauer has received only good feedback from its suppliers since the go-live: a fast process in the supply chain that is well solved, according to the tenor. Koenig & Bauer is enthusiastic too. There have been few glitches since the go-live, so we really have a smooth running process. Document provision in the supplier portal works the same for everyone, which is also an advantage, ” says Klaus Selle, responsible process manager at Koenig & Bauer. “Since not all documents could be displayed in SAP’s SNC standard, we had to rely on an individual solution. This was implemented very well by Seal together with Koenig & Bauer and SAP!”
About Koenig & Bauer
Koenig & Bauer is the world’s second largest manufacturer of printing presses with the broadest product range in the industry. For 200 years, the company has been supporting printers with innovative technology, precisely tailored processes, and a wide range of services. In the 2017 financial year, the approximately 5,600 highly qualified employees worldwide generated annual sales of over 1.2 billion euros.