“Our aspiration is to be a driver of innovation. With the SAP system landscape, we have created the prerequisites for continuously developing not only the performance of our products but also our service portfolio.”
Nils Englund, Managing Partner, PILLER Blowers & Compressors GmbH
PILLER is a global player in a double sense. On the one hand, the company based in Moringen in Lower Saxony is the world leader in the manufacture of high-performance blowers. On the other hand, the products of the medium-sized company are used practically all over the world. PILLER delivers around 85% of its machines abroad.
Just as diverse as the geographical locations are the industries that use the special machines – from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to the food industry. What is special: Each blower produced is unique and was manufactured explicitly according to customer requirements. Thus, the high-end machines meet the specific requirements of the various industries and integrate seamlessly into the customers’ production processes.
It is part of PILLER’s self-image as a technology leader in special machine construction, not only to manufacture first-class products, but also to offer customers an excellent service experience. This strategy is becoming even more important in the age of digitization, as digital transformation is changing the general conditions for companies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves in international competition solely on the basis of the products they manufacture. Accordingly, the success of a company increasingly depends on its ability to occupy newly created digital customer interfaces and to bind customers closely to the company. This requires innovative and competent services that offer customers real added value and meet their increased expectations.
In order to optimize its customer relationships in sales and service, PILLER 2015 has decided to place its IT landscape on a uniform platform. In cooperation with the Heilbronn-based consulting company IBsolution, PILLER has implemented various SAP solutions, including SAP C/4HANA Sales and Service Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform Integration Services and SAP S/4HANA. The new IT landscape replaced the previous heterogeneous architecture, realized an end-to-end integration and created the technological basis to improve operational processes. Gone were the days when the non-uniform database and diverse IT systems had significantly increased the internal coordination effort and made customer-related processes cumbersome and lengthy.
Clearly arranged dashboards give service staff a quick overview.
The SAP solutions can be flexibly integrated with each other, so that there is only one “single point of truth”: The same information is available in all connected systems. This means that the employees in the business departments have a reliable all-round view of the customers at all times. The cloud applications make the complex processes in sales and service much more efficient and enable innovative services and business models. With the new architecture, PILLER is future-proof: The seamless linking of R&D, sales and IT paves the way for a future maintenance solution and an IoT customer portal.
The positive results of the new system landscape − better integration of sales, shorter reaction times − will primarily benefit customers. But PILLER employees will also benefit from the changes. The increased efficiency and automated processes will relieve the burden on technicians and administrative service staff. In addition, the intuitive operability of the applications and the possibility of using them on mobile devices ensure user acceptance.
The sales manager can use extensive reporting functions for evaluation.
The introduction of SAP C/4HANA Sales and Service Cloud was a central element in the transformation of the IT landscape and an integral part of PILLER’s corporate strategy. The solution harmonizes all customer-related processes – from initial contact to the delivery of spare parts. Since PILLER has implemented the software at all international locations, the sales and service staff have been able to serve customers centrally with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. In the case of service requests, an automated ticket generation including feedback to the customer takes place. The ticket system bundles the incoming requests and makes the service processes transparent both internally and externally. In addition, ticket-based work reduces the loss of information and enables a targeted customer approach. Digital checklists generated from the system support the technicians in the field.
The demands on industrial fans from PILLER are high. The most important criterion is permanent availability, because the blowers perform tasks critical to production: If they fail, in the worst case, production stops completely. The high degree of customization of the fans and their distribution around the globe means challenging conditions for excellent service and reliable maintenance. PILLER is therefore constantly on the lookout for technological innovations to meet its own requirements even better. Regular checks and preventive measures are designed to ensure the greatest possible reliability. In this context, Industry 4.0 offers considerable potential. Currently PILLER is consistently orienting its service processes – also supported by IBsolution – towards the Internet of Things (IoT) with the help of SAP Internet of Things (former SAP Leonardo). The IoT technologies will be integrated step by step into the existing IT landscape so that PILLER customers benefit from predictive maintenance and efficient services.
If a ticket is generated via IoT, the responsible technician receives a push notification directly to his smartphone.
The mechanical engineering company equips its blowers with sensors that permanently collect data after commissioning and send it to the SAP cloud via an IoT connection. If the system detects irregularities or target value overruns when evaluating the sensor data, several processes are triggered automatically: the creation of a ticket in the service portal, notification of the customer and a message to the PILLER service, which then initiates the necessary steps. Thanks to the seamless integration, all relevant information is passed on from the sensor signal to the SAP S/4HANA system, and the latest data is available everywhere. Since customers can access the IoT portal at any time, they are always aware of the status of their machines..
With SAP Internet of Things, potential problems with the fans can be detected early on. This gives the service technicians valuable time to replace the affected components, for example, before a failure actually occurs. At the same time, PILLER is able to economically plan the technicians’ on-site assignments and ensure the best possible utilization of capacity. Predictive maintenance based on sensor data minimizes the downtimes of the blowers, which can therefore perform their actual task even better: to contribute to a smooth production process for PILLER customers and to optimize their business.
“Our aim is not only to supply first-class products, but also to enthuse our customers with innovative services during the entire life cycle of industrial fans. IBsolution supports us as a trustworthy partner in making our service processes IoT-capable and in generating additional value through a seamless integration into SAP C/4HANA.”
Thomas Henzler, CIO, PILLER Blowers & Compressors GmbH
Photo: PILLER Blowers & Compressors GmbH