Reference report -
WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH

Reference report - WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH

Important milestone in achieving the company's goals

With over 500 employees, WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH offers a wide range of services for the textile and clothing industry at 8 locations worldwide. These include the inspection of yard goods, the technical washing finishing and repair of garments as well as laboratory tests and raw materials logistics. Around 48 million meters of outer fabric and 29 million finished parts are processed each year. The head office is located in Wilsum, Lower Saxony, on the Dutch border.

"Like update texware, we also offer specialized solutions for a wide range of companies in the textile and clothing industry," explains Jörg Brune, Member of the Management Board and COO (Chief Operations Officer) at WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH. "We are practically a 'millipede' and support other companies at many links in their value chain."

The strong focus on constantly changing customer requirements makes the automation of processes and procedures much more complex than would be the case in purely manufacturing companies. This is why there was no ERP system in place when Jörg Brune joined the company's management team as Head of Organization and Sales in 2005. "Although IT is not actually one of my core competencies, it was clear to me that the goals and challenges of WKS could only be solved with the help of an ERP system," says Jörg Brune, who is now also responsible for the company's IT. "At the time, we were working with a kind of 'fast typewriter' based on a Unix solution".

Although work commissioned at the time could be completed to the satisfaction of the customer, there was no real transparency, it was hardly possible to make evaluations or recognize capacity utilization or an order status via IT. The same data was sometimes recorded in up to 6 different places - despite the support of the "fast typewriter", this meant a high workload with a simultaneous increase in the potential for errors.

The company's ambitious growth targets could not be achieved in this way; in addition, customer orders were becoming increasingly complex and the customers themselves more demanding. As a result, the decision was made to introduce an ERP system in 2005. Jörg Brune was responsible for the project.

Professional needs analysis and provider selection

For Jörg Brune, the creation of an exact requirements profile was a crucial prerequisite - even before talking directly to an ERP provider. This also includes clearly defining which goals are to be achieved with the solution. He appointed an IT-savvy employee as project manager and prepared an overall business process analysis in February 2006.

First of all, it was clearly documented what was really important: Minimal data collection and data maintenance / Efficient evaluations / High operational flexibility / Minimal dependence on insider knowledge / High transparency.

"We only wanted to record identical data once, store all data centrally and carry out immediate evaluations after defining the criteria once," recalls Jörg Brune. "We hoped that this would allow us to compare work steps with a high level of transparency." The solution was to be based on standards and largely do without individual programming.

Even trivial things have been taken into account, for example, different units are stored for invoicing depending on the order. Roll goods are billed by the meter for goods inspection or processing, while finished parts are counted in pieces. All user requirements were included in the process analysis, and the project manager used this as the basis for programming a "functional model" of the optimal ERP system for WKS.

This functional model served as a functional specification and was sent to five pre-selected ERP providers in April 2006. Among these providers was update texware. "Thanks to the very precise specifications, we were able to see which offer came closest to our ideal model," says Jörg Brune.

Weighted evaluation catalog for ERP providers

To ensure that the decision was as objective as possible, he decided to create a weighted evaluation catalog. Different criteria were to be given points and then multiplied according to weighting. The criteria also included provider-specific features. These criteria were, for example How stable is the provider's company? Number of employees in Germany or installations? Of course, there were also IT-relevant criteria such as: How high is the standard share? Is the solution browser-based? Does the solution include simple interfaces, integrated document management or integrated rules? What about the response times?

"We scored each individual point from 0 to 10 points and multiplied them by our weighting," summarizes Jörg Brune. "Then it was like the Bundesliga: whoever has the most points becomes the champion. And that was clearly update texware".

Before the final decision was made, Jörg Brune discussed the result and the procedure with external consultants and ERP experts, who confirmed that this evaluation process was highly professional and perfectly thought out. In October 2006 texware/CS ordered in the basic configuration, all other components were not relevant for WKS at the time.

Rapid implementation without communication problems

Implementation began almost immediately and the first areas went live in January 2007. Although some employees initially had the expected problems accepting the new solutions, the benefits that could be achieved were very quickly apparent to everyone and "the new world" became more desired than feared in other departments during the gradual installation.

"On the hardware side, only a new server would be needed for the texware/CS database, but we were modernizing our IT landscape at the same time anyway and virtualizing all servers," recalls Jörg Brune. "The implementation went very quickly and I was impressed by the customer focus of the update employees in realizing our special requests".

Working together in close partnership

"update texware has become a real partner of ours," states Jörg Brune. "In the 10 years of cooperation, there have never been any difficulties because we treat each other fairly and like partners". For example, WKS helped its software partner update texware with product development: an individualization request for the creation and printing of a wide variety of lists or forms resulted in the additional product texware/CS.EasyPrint, which had not previously existed. Jörg Brune particularly appreciates the quality and flexibility of update texware when it comes to customer requests. What is promised is also kept. Jörg Brune: "We are completely satisfied and glad that we chose update 10 years ago".

Advantages for the entire company

The original goals were largely achieved and the entire company is now benefiting. The system is being continuously developed and, according to Jörg Brune, is now the IT backbone of WKS. New inquiries from WKS customers constantly give rise to starting points for changes that need to be addressed individually. This involves, for example, interfaces or direct integration into a customer system. In most cases, the solution is developed in close cooperation with update texware. WKS is now able to create various data evaluations without much effort or can, for example, make order-related customer data available to its customers, which they can use as a basis for a supplier evaluation, for example.

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Jörg Brune Former COO of WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH, Wilsum

"update texware comes from the textile world and lives in it. They can therefore very quickly understand what we want and deliver a suitable solution straight away."

Jörg Brune Former COO of WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH, Wilsum

"Over the years, update texware has become a valuable and reliable partner that acts like a true Hanseatic merchant and always delivers what it has promised."

Jörg Brune Former COO of WKS Textilveredlungs GmbH, Wilsum

"We have no regrets about choosing update - on the contrary. texware/CS is now like the backbone of our corporate IT."