Less Effort, Greater Efficiency: Online PM Solution for Hörmann Logistik (Case Study)

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+++ Hörmann Logistik Switches to Integrated Project Management in only Six Months thanks to TPG QuickStart +++ Less Effort and Greater Efficiency Are the Results of the New Online PM Solution (Project Online) +++

With the design of sophisticated warehouse and conveyor techniques as well as innovative warehouse logistics techniques, Hörmann Logistik GmbH realizes customized intralogistics system solutions for many different industries. The company designs high-bay warehouses and small-parts warehouses ensuring productivity and cost-effectiveness.

Hörmann Logistik takes full responsibility not only for the realization of complex new plants but also for the modernization of existing plants during ongoing operations. The integration of the overall system happens with the “Hörmann intra Logistics System” – HiLIS. HiLIS allows online management, control and monitoring of all processes thus ensuring transparency and plant availability in all functional areas.

Microsoft Project Online has provided Hörmann Logistik with a tool allowing them to manage projects, such as the new construction or the modernization of warehouses and logistics systems, with even greater efficiency.

Thanks to TPG QuickStart, Project Online was launched in only six months. The effort for multi-project and resource management went down considerably. Project management has become more transparent. Efficiency and speed have increased.

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Our main aim was to take the first important step quickly and arrive at a working solution within a short period of time.

Matthis König, PMO (Project Management Officer), Hörmann Logistik GmbH

A Quick Overview of this Customer Story

The Company: Hörmann Logistik GmbH realizes tailor-made intralogistics system solutions for many different industries. The company designs high-bay warehouses and small-parts warehouses ensuring productivity and cost-effectiveness. Hörmann Logistik takes full responsibility not only for the realization of complex new plants, but also for the modernization of existing plants during ongoing operations.

The Challenge: Hitherto, project management had been decentrally organized and time-consuming. A single and comprehensive overview of scheduling and resource planning had been unavailable. The switch to a solution for project management, which was fully integrated from the beginning, was meant to happen within a short period of time. Budget risk was to be kept as low as possible.

The Solution: TPG QuickStart for Microsoft Project Online provided Hörmann Logistik with a preconfigured system at a fixed price. It combines generic processes and best practices. Without elaborate adjustments, it creates a professional working environment for enterprise-wide integrated project management. The introduction was completed on schedule in only six months. As a persuasive proof of concept, TPG QuickStart can be the basis for further specifications the company may require in the future.

The Benefit: The new solution has provided Hörmann Logistik with a fully operational, integrated enterprise-wide project management system. Users can view and manage schedules and resources easily via the browser. They can rest assured that all data is complete and up-to-date. It is possible to access the key performance indicators for the projects’ development status live. Report creation has become much faster, too.

As a Prime Contractor Hörmann Logistik bears Project Responsibility from A to Z

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Matthis König, PMO, Hörmann Logistik GmbH

“Our processes are essentially project-oriented,” explains Matthis König, Project Management Officer (PMO) of Hörmann Logistik GmbH. When constructing automatic warehouse and material flow systems for its international customer base, the Munich company acts as a prime contractor. The project management department takes on operational and performance responsibility, cost and progress control as well as vendor rating. “We are the single point of contact for our customers throughout the entire project lifecycle: from design to assembly, commissioning and acceptance right through to servicing the plants,” illustrates König.

The retrofit of existing plants is also managed by experienced expert teams. It starts with analyzing the necessary steps for restructuring and leads via planning the solution to modernizing hardware and software.

The introduction of Project Online has provided the project teams of Hörmann Logistik GmbH with access to a full-featured online tool. For activities such as scheduling, resource planning, cost control and the control of external service providers.

Microsoft Project Online also made a big difference for these two customers:

 

Reduced Effort

Even though projects dominate day-to-day business: “we went without an integrated software solution for our project management up until now,” König reports. Among other things, this made it difficult to get an overview of the available resources at the company. Now, it is possible to discuss the utilization of the employees and the scheduling based on up-to-date numbers. The communication between the project participants has become much more transparent. Previously, planning was more time-consuming in all areas and made it necessary to check every time if the underlying data was complete and up-to-date.

Reporting was just as taxing: the project managers usually created their reports in Excel. Matthis König had to merge these manually. “That meant it was always a high effort for all involved,” recalls König. “But that’s a thing of the past now.”

Consistently Up-To-Date Reports and Relevant KPIs for Management

TPG QuickStart based on Microsoft Project Online has provided Hörmann Logistik with a cloud solution for integrated multi-project management at the company.

Learn more about crucial success factors for multi-project management in this article.

One advantage: “we are now able to manage all schedules and resources within one database,” says König. Another: the data is consistently available. You can view the statuses of projects live thanks to direct access to the system. As a result, report creation is required less frequently and, if necessary, will occur much faster. Management can consistently access the key figures necessary for decisions online.

Special Download: Benefits of MS Project Server / Project Online to the MS Project Standard

Please click here to download the PDF and learn why you should prefer the server over the client version.

Switching from decentralized processes to enterprise-wide, integrated project management is always a great challenge. This goes both for the company as a whole and for the individual staff members. To master this challenge, Hörmann Logistik had a clear strategy. “Our main aim was to take the first important step quickly and to establish a fully operational solution within a short period of time with the complete range of functions we required,” König reports.

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Figure 1: Dashboards and drill-down functions help to identify problems in the current portfolio

During his research, he discovered among other things the thorough presence of TPG on YouTube. “The numerous webinars in the TPG channel showed us that the TPG experts did not just look at project management in terms of software but as a method; they also demonstrated in detail how to work with the software,” he recalls. He found the TPG QuickStart product particularly convincing. It is a turnkey solution with preconfigured elements and best practices. This permits the introduction of Microsoft Project Online in only a few weeks.

TPG QuickStart also transformed project management for machinery company GEDA.

Matthis König perceived it as another advantage that TPG offered TPG QuickStart at a fixed price. This reduced the budget risk for the introduction of the new project management solution – an important argument especially for budget release.

Added to this, unlike server-based solutions, Microsoft Project Online does not tie up investment capital.

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Figure 2: The central resource pool shows the assignment and workload of the staff members

Johannes Wuthe, TPG project manager for the project at Hörmann Logistik, emphasizes: “QuickStart in combination with Microsoft Project Online is simply very well suited as a proof of concept. It takes project management into a professional work environment – quickly and on clearly calculable terms.”

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Figure 3: Via the Project Web App, the staff members can access their information and report actual hours or the progress made

The Experience from Usage Is the Basis of Future Specifications

Quickly – in the case of Hörmann Logistik, this meant six months. This is how fast the implementation was accomplished from the first request to TPG up to the roll-out. “This also included TPG training all future users at our company,” König reports.

Interested in other customer solutions? Pick one from this list of case studies.

The fast integration of a preconfigured solution into the concrete daily project routine makes it possible to gather experience for further steps in the development. “We get active feedback from the users,” observes König. Alongside a lot of positive feedback, it became apparent that one unfulfilled wish regarding mobile applications still remained: “On smartphones, the browser for Project Online is not exactly practical; we would prefer an app for this purpose.”König sees room for further future improvement in the development of interfaces to better integrate customers and vendors into the project management system. The development of an interface to the ERP system is already under way.

Good Arguments and Intensive Change Management Have Convinced the Staff

Currently, around 40 users are working with the new system at Hörmann Logistik. In order to get them all on board, König practiced careful change management. By means of intensive communication and reasoning, he managed to convince the staff members of the added value of the new solution.

At monthly get-togethers of the staff – the so-called Weisswurst Meetings – König presented the quick and continuous project progress. “What helped immensely was that Johannes Wuthe, our contact at TPG, often took part in these meetings. He was very involved in the discussion and presented best practices.”

He describes the younger members of staff as “hooked” on the new web-based project management anyway. “By now, all colleagues have recognized the benefits: they can rely on all data being valid and up-to-date, and they have central scheduling and resource planning,” lists König.

Above all, and all users agree on this one, the solution saves time. Thanks to TPG QuickStart with Microsoft Project Online, project management at Hörmann Logistik is now more reliable, transparent, efficient and economical – a bundle of benefits which also affects the customers of the company.

Have you ever faced a similar challenge? What do you think of the approach taken by Hörmann and TPG with an online PM solution? We look forward to receiving your comments below.

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