Home appliance manufacturer improves supply chain efficiency and reduces costs

Improved forecasting

and analysis through end-to-end visibility

Eliminated production shutdowns

by providing accurate, real-time information

Company Overview

BSH Home Appliances Ltd is a subsidiary of BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH. The company is the number one home appliance manufacturer in Europe and a market leader in many regions and countries. It has 70 companies in 49 countries, 13 brands, 38 factories and 60,000 employees. In 2020, BSH achieved €13.9 billion in sales.

Business Challenge

Once BSH’s business team begun using Redwood Business Process Automation and SAP Financial Closing cockpit (FCc) to automate and report on its financial close, it realized that Redwood’s automation capabilities were superior to its existing IT job scheduling tool, CA AutoSys. The CA AutoSys scheduler restricted BSH’s ability to scale, forcing the IT team to perform custom AutoSys development to compensate for its shortcomings. This approach proved unstable, difficult to scale, and expensive, which resulted in supply chain disruptions. It was also a development and maintenance nightmare as BSH has five major central SAP ERP systems, 23 additional SAP systems, seven central non-SAP systems and more than 2,000 servers in its datacenter.

We had 250,000 tasks per day and eight million per month. We were running 14 different steps throughout the night across each of our 40 factories. With so many interlinked global transactions, we needed better control over our processes.” Stefan Wiedenmann, Central Scheduling Backend Architect at BSH

Each section of the BSH supply chain requires numerous processes. If these don’t run or run incorrectly, they hold up the next step in the process. Whether the process is for a manufacturer that needs to know what to produce, or a customer service team waiting for the right parts, these steps need to be completed accurately and on time. Processing inaccurate or incomplete tasks stalls workflows further downstream. With AutoSys, Wiedenmann adds, “If there was a problem, we didn’t find out until the next morning when it was too late to fix it.”

BSH could not rely on the processes automated by AutoSys. It struggled to validate the tasks that needed to run, leading to integrity issues. BSH could only schedule activities based on time, rather than scheduling process tasks intelligently based on the quality of information or status of the previous step. In addition, the company had to monitor errors or failed runs manually.

“On more than one occasion, we had to send home 20,000 factory workers as they didn’t get the correct production information. A single 10-minute task had been held up during overnight processing – stalling the flow of information by 12 hours,” says Stefan Wiedenmann, Central Scheduling Backend Architect at BSH.

Solution

After reviewing requirements, BSH selected Redwood to bring together and automate all of its end-to-end supply chain processes, replacing CA AutoSys. Redwood’s event-driven and data-driven orchestration enables BSH to give business teams accurate, complete data, and see results faster than ever. With accurate, real-time data, BSH makes more informed decisions and supports its time-critical activities.

To provide BSH with full transparency into its processes, Redwood displays real-time status overviews. Also, dashboards provide a visual view of the progress of every business process. System administrators get alerts and notifications through email, SMS, or integration with ticketing systems. By eliminating manual tasks, BSH now has a standardized and consistent approach to supply-chain activities. BSH has also been able to build resilience into its processes. It uses Redwood to set flags based on exception results to control the flow of current and future processes. It can use branching paths to skip or repeat steps, take other actions, or trigger other processes to automate its runbook.

Results

Because BSH no longer has to make up for the shortcomings of CA AutoSys, it has been able to reduce costs and eliminate the need for custom development. With visibility across all end-to-end tasks, BSH reacts faster to any challenges. The company can act proactively to prevent activities from stalling.

By moving away from time-based tasks, we now work much smarter. Today, Redwood is automating the process as a whole–and has eliminated the need for manual work. With greater visibility over processes, we see the full business picture and can make better informed business decisions.” Stefan Wiedenmann, Central Scheduling Backend Architect at BSH

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