Compressed air systems specialist migrates global process automation to the cloud

Ensured reliability

global business processes 24/7

Eliminated IT interventions

with autonomous process automation

Company Overview

Kaeser Compressors is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of products and services in the field of compressed air. The production sites of the family-owned company, founded in 1919, are in Coburg (main plant) and Gera, Germany. The global SAP S4/HANA® system is in and centrally controlled from Coburg.

Business Challenge

When SAP announced in 2019 that further innovations or improvements for SAP Business Process Automation powered by Redwood (SAP BPA) were no longer planned, it was not difficult the Kaeser IT team to choose a new solution.

Solution

The Kaeser team had 10 years’ experience working successfully with the Redwood on-premises solution. The arrival of the cloud-native, Software-as-a-Service Redwood Business Process Automation solution came at just the right time because Kaeser wanted to rely more on the cloud.

As a result, it didn’t take long for Kaeser’s CIO to make his decision. After a brief cost/benefit comparison, it was clear that the company had everything to gain. The modern, future-proof software offers an excellent price/performance ratio. The savings potential of Redwood’s SaaS platform is high, as investments in hardware and maintenance needs are eliminated.

Migration to Redwood

The Kaeser team was well-prepared for the migration, as Redwood had explained the procedure in detail in advance using best practices from other customers. In addition, an isolated sandbox environment was set up for the IT staff, enabling them to put the solution through its paces without affecting the existing automation. After this test, any doubts about feasibility were eliminated.

Now that the IT team at Kaeser knew what to expect, they went into the migration with great expectations. The migration to Redwood’s SaaS solution was smooth and stress-free. The lion’s share of the work was completed by Redwood Professional Services consultants, while Kaeser IT took care of housekeeping and fine-tuning activities. Among other things, the project included preparing the legacy system for migration, changing authorizations, and making minor adjustments across processes.

 

Automation Use Cases

Kaeser uses a central SAP S/4HANA system where data and processes for the entire global company converge. This is advantageous as everything can be controlled from Coburg; however, there are no set rest periods and the system must run reliably around the clock. Redwood ensures that the following critical core processes run automatically, error-free, and reliably for Kaeser:

Logistics (Sales and Distribution)
Somewhere in the world, work is always being done at Kaeser. Redwood controls the jobs which provision labor supply to eliminate idle time.

When Kaeser’s automation tasks need to be postponed for any reason, the Redwood system calculates and adjusts customer shipments in real-time to accommodate the change.

In sales, Redwood is used to orchestrate order-to-cash processes. Here, speed and accuracy are essential, ensuring questions about material availability or delivery dates are answered reliably.

Global Trade System (GTS)
This system and Redwood are used to securely manage all exports. Among other things, Redwood carries out and automatically updates monthly customs preference processing.

The software also orchestrates cross-system processes in SAP S4/HANA and GTS calculation.

Accounting
All periodic reports, such as account statements, reports, sales reports, and work lists of defective materials, are run by Redwood. The process automatically generates 10 to 15 lists per country and distributes them to the appropriate contacts.

This solution, developed by Redwood consultants, minimizes system load through a centralized process and parameter control in Redwood. Execution is dynamic, without the need to create separate processes for each country. With only one process chain, 40 to 50 countries can be reliably supplied. Comparable solution in the SAP system would have been far too costly to implement.

Results

 

Automation with Redwood ensures Kaeser’s global business runs smoothly. Redwood coordinates load distribution, considers time zones as well as holidays, enables role distribution and is available 24/7. Even maintenance is carried out smoothly during ongoing operations.

Branches, departments, and trading partners can unconditionally rely on up-to-date, accurate data always. The reliability is almost legendary. Dirk Fischer says, “Since the migration, the Redwood system has always run stably. With a lot of manual effort, we could also regulate some things differently, but many things cannot be mapped without Redwood.”

While monitoring was previously decentralized and spread across many teams, a relatively small core group can now centrally manage the automation and intervene quickly in the event of problems.

In addition, Redwood’s proactive support provides confidence, as competent help is available at any time.

For Kaeser, Redwood Business Process Automation is cost-effective, ensures permanent availability and at the same time relieves IT of routine tasks such as updates, upgrades, and maintenance.

Top marks for support

Dirk Fischer from the SAP Scheduling department at Kaeser was deeply involved in the migration, and particularly appreciated the support from Redwood’s consultants, “The overall very good cooperation was characterized by quick reactions and problem resolutions. I strongly advise all companies that are currently facing a migration decision not to think too much and just go for it.”

The support Redwood provided was not only impressive before and during the implementation but continues to this day. As an example, when Kaeser IT had to manually restarted the production process, Redwood support contacted them to ask what had happened and if there was a problem. Dirk Fischer says, “You can’t expect that kind of proactive behavior everywhere. Period.”

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