Referencelogo Helm

ERP and ESCM for the chemical industry

for Helm

Read our reference report and learn how HELM have managed to save time, increase their efficency and automatically post consumption based on the recipe.
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Everything at a Glance

YAVEON ProBatch and YAVEON ProE-SCM: Saving time and increasing efficency

Client

HELM AG | www.helmag.com

Focus

Buying and selling of raw materials for fertilizers

Company Size

Approx. 1600 employees worldwide

Operating Model

On-Premises

Countries

mainly USA; North and South America

ESCM and ERP for the chemical industry for HELM AG

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Preview Referencestory Helm AG

Which benefits does the YAVEON solution offer?

Visible Results

Challenge

To process twice as many deliveries per year with the existing team after the acquisition of a company.

Solution

YAVEON ProBatch and
YAVEON ProE-SCM

Use

  • Time savings, as results are reported in real-time
  • Increased efficiency due to automated production posting
  • Automatic posting of consumption based on the recipe

Chemical industry

The Helm AG

How to process around twice as many deliveries as before with the existing team - the acquisition of a fertilizer division of an American company by HELM in 2019 would lead to a significant increase in orders. The declared goal: to handle the additional order volume with the existing team. Would this even be feasible?

HELM AG - a traditional family business with a rich heritage

Based in Hamburg, HELM AG was founded over 120 years ago. The family-owned company is proud to uphold longstanding traditions. It is a multifunctional distribution company in chemicals (feedstocks and derivatives), crop protection products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers. HELM AG is an integral part of the corporate landscape. HELM is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and is one of the largest international chemical marketing companies.

The international positioning of HELM with affiliated companies expands its operating reach. One of these companies is headquartered in the USA and is a specialist in buying and selling raw materials in the fertilizer sector. The company also produces new formulations on request with individual composition of the products as needed. The company is well-established with numerous branches throughout the USA and a reputation for providing experience, expertise, and industry knowledge. The company’s extensive global network enhances its capabilities, and it is currently expanding its product line with additional specialty products.

When your software party knows your company in and out - that’s priceless.

The partnership between HELM and YAVEON goes back a long way. With such a long partnership, the question is what makes the collaboration work. Gerry Wallner, Head of Department - Business Application, and Andreas Lübbe, IT Business Applications, at HELM see it this way: „The decision for YAVEON at the beginning of our partnership was made because of the industry solution. We were looking for batch management, which YAVEON ProBatch provided. Over the years, we developed additional features with YAVEON. Of course, this creates a level of dependency. But that is not the reason that we’ve continued to work with YAVEON for so long.” Gerry Wallner is particularly impressed by the consulting services. „The YAVEON team knows HELM inside out, and that is incredibly valuable”. And of course, we also appreciate the advice. Rather than blindly following instructions, our consultants tell us honestly if they see a more effective route to reach our goals. That’s what I call proactive consulting.” When it comes to project implementation, HELM can trust YAVEON to get it right. „YAVEON takes an active part and works to really understand our requirements.“

"The YAVEON team knows HELM inside out, and that is incredibly valuable. And of course, we also appreciate the advice."

Gerry Wallner and Andreas Lübbe, HELM AG

Integration

Integration of scales into the existing ERP system

When HELM acquired the fertilizer division of another company, it was clear that they’d have to process around 60,000 deliveries a year - this was not possible manually. HELM manages its supply chain with the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV but doesn’t use direct warehousing - only purchasing and sales processes are in use. However, since a scale connection had already been implemented at the acquired company, it was only logical to implement such a connection for the company‘s own ERP system as well. Accordingly, the scale and the ERP system should be connected by an interface. „It was important for us to be able to handle the order volume with the existing team. To accomplish this, we needed a way to connect our NAV to the scale,“ recalls Mr Wallner.

The first step of the project was to add the new company to the system to give users access to all the functions they need. This was easy to implement thanks to the existing combination of various functionalities from YAVEON software and HELM‘s own developments. The scale connection itself was then carried out via YAVEON ProE-SCM.

What is YAVEON ProBatch?

  • An ERP industry solution fully integrated with Microsoft NAV or Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Extends the ERP system with industry-relevant functions, for example, lot management
  • Various apps can be combined as needed
  • Intuitive to use thanks to the familiar Microsoft interface

What is YAVEON ProE-SCM?

  • Fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics NAV/365 Business Central
  • Automates cross-system data exchange
  • Connection of suppliers, partners, and customers
  • Connection of a scale to the existing ERP system

 

„It was important for us to be able to handle the order volume with the existing team."

Gerry Wallner, HELM AG

Making everyday life easier

with scale connection

This is how it works in practice: Though all users work with one system, not every terminal communicates with a scale, so this feature is separate. Depending on the terminal used to ship the goods, i.e., the storage location in NAV, the system now checks if communication with the scale is required. If this is the case, the required information, together with a so-called release number, is sent to the scale and corresponding terminal, ready for collection. When a truck arrives, the driver logs on at the terminal with the release numbers and receives the legitimation to pick up the goods. Once the driver has loaded the goods, he drives to the scale, where the delivery quantity is determined. The weight of the filled goods is then transmitted directly back to the ERP system, together with the associated release number, via YAVEON ProE-SCM. NAV uses this information to immediately post the respective delivery correctly and automatically.

With another function, the so-called „Automatic Blending“, the interface enables the precise mixing of fertilizers directly on site. Once the mixture is prepared, it can be loaded right onto the truck. A notification of the product quantity used is automatically posted in the ERP system - a kind of automated production.

Were there challenges? The entire project was a challenge.

Would the connection of terminals work - especially third-party terminals? Right from the start, it was clear that this was not a standard project. „Building an interface is always more complicated than it first looks. There are peculiarities in other systems that aren’t apparent in the beginning. You don’t see what needs to be adapted until you start working”, explains Andreas Lübbe. There was also the unusual alliance between the four involved companies. The shareholders included YAVEON and the US HELM subsidiary, but also the German parent HELM AG and the acquired US company. Different time zones and working mentalities compounded the challenge of coordinating the four parties involved. Thanks to targeted planning and a well-designed organization, the joint project came together. „Right from the start, everyone pushed hard to get the system ready on time. Despite different time zones, working cultures and companies - we stayed right on schedule,“ says Andreas Lübbe.

After on-site appointments at the US headquarters, the live launch took place entirely online - with great success.

„We did have some doubts at first as it really was a challenge. However, we were incredibly pleased when everything worked out. With YAVEON, we made it work."

Gerry Wallner, HELM AG

Results

Time-saving, increased efficiency, direct posting

Thanks to the interface between the scale and the ERP system, the US HELM subsidiary sees significant time savings as measurements are fed back in real-time. The automated production posting eliminates the step of having to create and postproduction orders, which lightens the workload. Recipes are created directly in the system, and consumption is recorded basis on this recipe.

60.000 orders with the same team? No problem.

Processing twice the number of orders as before with the same team sounded like a monumental task. “We did have some doubts at first as it really was a challenge. However, we were incredibly pleased when everything worked out. With YAVEON, we made it work,” Gerry Wallner sums it up.

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