Transporter manufacturer optimizes group-wide purchasing with products from Siemens PLM Software

Based in Heilbronn, Germany, the TII Group (TII) is widely regarded as the world market leader in the production of vehicles with hydraulically supported pendulum axles. For the group of a total of four subsidiaries, TII was able to introduce a uniform purchasing management system in the form of Teamcenter Product Cost Management from Siemens PLM Software – with a noticeable impact in terms of cost reductions for supplier components. Teamcenter PCM helps to reduce the costs per vehicle by up to 25 percent and shorten delivery times from six to four weeks, affording TII a decisive competitive edge.

The total of four subsidiaries of the TII Group (TII), some of which used to be independent, are worldwide leaders in the production of vehicles with hydraulically supported pendulum axles such as self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT), shipyard transporters and military transporters, as well as transporters for the aerospace industry. Since the subsidiaries used to be independent before joining the group and they were, in some cases, in direct competition with each other, it was difficult to establish a central purchasing organization without redundancies in the supply structure. TII solved this challenge with Teamcenter Product Cost Management from Siemens PLM Software. The application is supported by the Siemens solution partner BCT Technology.
New structure
“Our greatest challenge is that we come from the project business and that, therefore, this is still how our production control is set up,” explains Hervé Richard, Head of Purchasing at TII. A mind change within the group was required, during the course of which TII introduced Teamcenter Product Cost Management in order to centralize its purchasing setup. The primary objective was to establish a benchmark for assessing offers in order to be able to negotiate accordingly with suppliers and manufacturing partners. “Teamcenter Product Cost Management helps us to map our knowledge about suppliers, their personnel costs, procurement chains, manufacturing processes, machine equipment etc. in a structured form and to check whether or not offers are based on serious calculations,” explains Richard. He also added that manufacturing partners were happy to accept this help to assist with improvements to their processes.

Solid data base
Teamcenter Product Cost Management incorporates various databases, which can be individually adapted. This includes the national database with the average wage costs, surcharges and other relevant data for each individual country or region. Then there is a product database with over 2000 machines, a material database and a process database that can be used to compare alternative technologies with each other. The databases are supplemented with a cycle time calculator for the standard motion sequences in classic processing machinery. These different databases not only enable improved costing calculations, they also offer the option of simulating the procurement of a new machine on the basis of production times and costs or on the basis of the processing parameters for a particular material on the machine. Thanks to the centralized purchasing that is made possible by Teamcenter Product Cost Management, the TII Group has managed to reduce costs per vehicle by up to 25 percent and, at the same time, to shorten delivery times from an average of six weeks to four weeks.

Widening the scope of application
Following on from the successful use of the Siemens PLM Software solution, TII is planning to widen its use of Teamcenter Product Cost Management in future from Purchasing to Controlling, where it will also be used to help with costing calculations for new products. “Although we haven’t quite finished optimizing the new system, we are not far off the target we hoped to reach,” summarizes Richard.