Focus on customer requests: wittig Electronic GmbH uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 and synko GmbH

Every year, wittig ELECTRONIC GmbH supplies almost one billion electronic components to customers all over the world: passive or electromechanical components, semiconductors, buttons and switches, batteries and other vendor parts. The customers are from automotive electronics, telecommunications, medical and building technology and aerospace. The following principles apply to all of them: The customer is the focus of our attention.

In addition to a reliable trade in electronic components, customers value wittig ELECTRONIC above all for its individual solutions, which are precisely tailored to customer requirements. In this way, engineers develop technical assemblies from which customers without their own electronics division in particular benefit.

To this end, the company also works closely with research institutions at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Zwickau and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. Today, the company is one of the top companies in Europe in the electronic component manufacturing sector. wittig employs 45 people at its Brand-Erbisdorf site and 20 skilled workers in a Czech subsidiary in order to be able to serve the eastern market more specifically from there. There is also an office in Shanghai, China, in order to be able to communicate better with suppliers and customers in Asia.

Satisfying customer wishes: An ageing ERP solution has been replaced

The old system was soon no longer able to manage the growing order volumes and customer requirements. Above all, the incoming goods inspection urgently needed to be accelerated. So a new solution was wanted. With the barcode software from synko GmbH, the inspection and storage process could be shortened from two days to two hours: package-by-package inventory management, high accuracy, fewer errors. Complaints due to wrong deliveries dropped to less than 0.01%. The first step was taken. Based on the first successful project, the introduction of synko Components on the basis of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Microsoft NAV) followed, in which the scanner system synko Mobile is fully integrated as a module of Business Central. In the process, the data stock from the old merchandise management system was imported on the key date, so that the company was able to start with Microsoft Dynamics in autumn 2006 without any downtime or parallel operation. Since then, the IT solution has been continuously developed and updated.

Highlights of the new application: Time saving, better traceability and reduction of human error sources

By changing to the integrated industry solution, wittig was able to increase its sales from 65 million to 340 million components in the very first year. Today, sales amount to 800 million components annually. A switch to chaotic warehousing also allowed for more space and reduced costs.

“I see a significant advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in its modular structure. The company can decide which modules it needs at the beginning. If the business processes change, you can add module after module,” says Michael Wittig, Managing Director since 2016, describing one advantage of the software.

Over the years, numerous improvements took place. For example, after the introduction of the IT solution, the focus was on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). The framework contracts and delivery schedules in sales often go over two or more years. The customers notify the planned delivery quantities via EDIFACT. In the past, employees had to manually reconcile the delivery schedules, which were sent by e-mail with many A4 pages (delivery earlier, later or even cancelled) – with all the errors that can be made. Now the matching is done automatically and error-free by the system.

Via EDIFACT (DESADV), all communication is electronic – from the order to the quantity call-off from a blanket order to invoicing, and the goods are labelled the way the customer wants them.

“Now that we have an ERP system that can be designed according to the customer’s wishes, everything works the way we want it to. And that is already very efficient,” resumes Andreas Kirsch, the responsible IT manager at wittig.

Introduction camera system

In 2018, the employees in the incoming goods department could no longer keep up with the inspection quickly enough; the processing of incoming goods was simply too extensive. For one customer, for example, it took him three days to add labels to about 20 pallets. With the help of the camera system, this can now be done in five hours. Two conveyor belts and the camera recognise 1000 labels per hour. The camera system from ASinteg GmbH for automatic incoming goods inspection offers many advantages from which the customers also benefit: Time saving, better traceability and reduction of human error sources. Based on barcode, 2D label and OCR character recognition, it can automatically record all incoming products and store the data in Microsoft Dynamics. This means a faster, smoother flow of goods. By recording complaints in detail, wittig was also able to significantly improve quality management and complaints due to incorrect deliveries fell.

The stock management has also been improved by the introduction of containers: Previously, each package had to be scanned when a pallet was moved. Now they are scanned and assigned to the pallet only once and can then be placed in a specific storage location with the pallet (container). As the company grew, new warehouses were added. The new scanner solution from synko now allows paperless working. Scanners with a graphical user interface were introduced during operation, new functions were added and receipt printing was eliminated. Everything happened during ongoing operations through an agile project model – step by step without “big” project management, “learning by doing” so to speak – no training was necessary either.

synko reference customer wittig ELECTRONIC uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 and synko Components

Successful partnership: wittig ELECTRONIC GmbH and synko GmbH

The two companies have been working together for more than 19 years. Not common these days. Existing ERP solutions and IT partners are exposed to constant competition. Of course, wittig has looked around from time to time and dealt with other solutions. But in the meantime it is not a pure IT partnership, a personal relationship has developed, one has a different connection to each other.

“The cooperation is unique because synko know us and our processes. They know what we do, what we want and what we need because their industry expertise is in technical trade. Everything is implemented very, very quickly. You don’t have to pull a ticket, like you do with bigger IT companies, and then it gets processed at some point. I know my contact persons. The decision-making processes and implementation phases are short. The upgrade went smoothly. The schedules were met, what more could you ask for?” Michael Wittig sums up with satisfaction.

And the IT manager is also satisfied: “synko impresses with a lot of personal commitment and you can feel a certain heart and soul. The experts there have a profound knowledge of the industry, a detailed insight into our way of working as well as requirements – that is unparalleled. Among our suppliers, it’s the best collaboration we have.”

Looking to the future: investment security and increased turnover

Michael Wittig wants to continue working with Microsoft Dynamics and the industry solution synko Components: “You can be sure that the software will be developed further and will still be on the market in twenty or thirty years. No specification is necessary for updates and this can save costs.

With Microsoft, we have a great partner in the background, and with synko, we have a partner who understands our processes and the industry.

He explains further: “My goal is to make 25 per cent more turnover with the current staff through automation and digitalisation, to digitalise various ordering processes in such a way that the order works automatically with a kind of AI. This way we can use the staff differently or also give them more free time. Good staff are a limited and in-demand resource.”