ALU BOX BUT NO BLACK BOX
Fully transparent data transfer in use at light alloy production specialist ZARGES
Boxes made to protect fragile items and ladders need to be robust. This is why the ZARGES Tubesca group use alloy for their products. In order to deliver the correct product to the customer a transparent transfer of data is of paramount importance. Lobster_data, software created by Lobster in Starnberg ensures this.
For example a large retail company orders alloy boxes from Zarges, however Zarges SAP-system cannot read the order, which is received in the EDIFACT format. Therefore, Lobster_data must ‘map’, which means the information is translated, into an IDoc format. It is only then that the system can import and process the order, sending the order confirmation automatically to the retailer. In order to send the order confirmation Lobster_data must convert the document back to the original format: from IDoc to EDIFACT, so the retailer’s system is able to read and understand the information.
Goodbye Black Box
“When converting our data, we no longer have a black box situation thanks to Lobster_data. Every step is documented and traceable. We even manage to map complex workflows and interfaces ourselves” explains Jens Schaffrath, responsible for SAP Basis and interfaces at ZARGES. Using a ‘wizard’ driven interface the Lobster software guides the user through the data integration in easy steps, allowing ZARGES to keep track of all processes.
No programming skills are required to use the software. “Previously we had to rely on an external programmer. If the system produces incorrect data, it could sometimes take five to six hours until the problem was resolved. Using Lobster_data we need just five minutes,” says Schaffrath. All processes are standardised. Errors within the data structures that are transmitted, e.g via electronic data interchange (EDI) to customers, are detected automatically by the system and are passed on to the responsible person for correction via e-mail.
Where necessary, Lobster_data provides pre-defined database elements from the central SAP system to external service providers: the data structures are available via download in the required format – including a mapping procedure.
In addition, daily management information from Sales and Production are generated by the SAP system and sent via Lobster_data to the relevant managers by e-mail. This way they are always in control of changes in their departments. The Lobster Software also imports customer emails into the SAP-system where they are processed automatically and then archived.
Transparent and easy to use
The previous data converter used at Zarges was outdated, so they decided in early 2011 to change the system and switch to the Lobster product. “For us it was a critical factor that Lobster_data was easy to use, transparent and open. Our employees liked the software from the start,” says Schaffrath.
Stability and flexibility are crucial for Zarges, not just for alloy but in choosing the appropriate software as well. With Lobster, Zarges has found the right partner.
More Use Cases on our blog.