From Variant Configuration to Supply Chain Optimization, SAP on Azure, and S/4HANA - this is Kennametal's SAP Journey
The cloud foundation in Azure and SAP allows Kennametal to embrace the transformation opportunities provided by S/4HANA.
From Kennametal’s first Variant Configuration implementation in 2005, to their Supply Chain Optimization, migration to Azure, and S/4HANA journey, eLogic has been their trusted SAP partner for the better part of the last two decades.
Supply Chain Optimization
Kennametal’s high mix/low volume manufacturing for many of its product lines is a big challenge for schedulers, with many variables and alternatives to consider when creating an optimal plan. Kennametal was heavily reliant on tribal knowledge to set plans and respond to unplanned events. As Kennametal modernized its factories, their team realized that production routings did not have up-to-date information to represent all the manufacturing alternatives for its products. This limited the effectiveness of any potential optimization solution.
Kennametal worked with eLogic to leverage SAP Variant Configuration (VC) material variants to natively provide the necessary data. This approach uses data-driven modeling rather than programming and represents all variants of an entire product line with one set of data and rules – dramatically reducing the data maintenance and footprint. As a result, Kennametal optimizes its product planning and scheduling in ways that tribal knowledge never could, giving them the ability to:
Optimally sequence operations according to availability of capable machines and tools
Determine delivery times with far greater accuracy and confidence
Handle “drop in” orders and order reprioritization
Make insourcing and outsourcing decisions including cross plant operations
Calculate how many plants and shifts are needed to run the enterprise
Supply Chain Optimization
SAP Migration to Azure
SAP on Azure
Move to Azure
Kennametal was one of the early manufacturers to identify and seize the advantages of virtualizing their SAP system landscape. This eliminated their need to maintain data centers and excess capacity for special projects. Kennametal’s migration to Azure was a three-year journey with the final phase encompassing Kennametal’s 3-terabyte SAP estate running on the SUSE Linux platform. As a result, Kennametal has the agility to spin up system landscapes as needed and then suspend or decommission them when no longer needed.
By using Azure resources and Microsoft Power Platform capabilities, the Kennametal IT team now creates new solutions for the business in a matter of days or weeks, instead of months. The cloud foundation in Azure and SAP allows Kennametal to embrace the transformation opportunities provided by S/4HANA.
The S/4 Journey
Like many manufacturers who implemented SAP R/3 decades ago, Kennametal had functional gaps for specialized business requirements that had to be closed with extensive custom enhancements, such as product segmentation by powder grade (a primary supply in creating their metal cutting tools) and special request management. Over the years, SAP developed numerous industry solutions for ECC, and those have been consolidated into the digital core of S/4HANA. Migration to S/4 presents an unprecedented opportunity to replace R/3 customizations with native S/4 functionality that then affords broader solutioning opportunities that will soon become the table stakes for tomorrow’s manufacturing enterprises.
For the last five years, eLogic has been a key SAP partner to influence the S/4 product roadmap for manufacturers of complex products, and as trusted partner to Kennametal, is advising the company about the opportunities and business case for leveraging S/4 – not just as a technical upgrade but as an enabler to do more in better ways than ever before.
Optimize product planning and scheduling with optimally sequenced operations according to availability of capable machines and tools.
Create new solutions for the business in a matter of days or weeks, instead of months.