Hunter Douglas

Leading the Industry 4.0 transformation

Challenge

Hunter Douglas urgently needed a new partner with the expertise to rapidly deploy SAP Manufacturing Execution and SAP MII at its Mexico plant and roll out to its other North American facilities. On SAP’s recommendation, it chose Fujitsu to drive plant stabilization as it was affecting the plant’s capabilities for order fulfillment.

Solution

Fujitsu began at the Mexico plant where it quickly designed the environment to work with SAP software and to gain efficiencies in existing processes, providing a best practice blueprint for further implementations across North America. Fujitsu and Hunter Douglas spent 14 months migrating 20+ plants to the new SAP solution

Benefit

  • Total visibility of inventory across multiple businesses
  • Improved on-time delivery
  • Optimized inventory levels by 30%
  • Increased stability delivers better availability
  • Access to accurate, real-time data and reports
Hunter Douglas recruited Fujitsu to stabilize our SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing deployment across 20+ facilities in 22 months, enabling an Industry 4.0 approach that reduced costs, boosted efficiency, and streamlined manufacturing

Stephen Katsirubas Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Hunter Douglas

Customer

Hunter Douglas is the world’s leading manufacturer of window coverings, as well as a major manufacturer of architectural products. It develops innovative, high quality, proprietary products that can be found in millions of homes and commercial buildings around the globe. The Hunter Douglas Group is made up of 132 companies, employing 23,000 people in over 100 countries around the globe, with a combined revenue of $3.2 billion.

Products and Services

  • FUJITSU systems integration and manufacturing capability
  • FUJITSU India Global Delivery Center

Introducing Industry 4.0

Hunter Douglas has grown consistently through acquisition, leading to 17 distinct ERP systems in use across the group in North America. The company therefore wanted to migrate to a standardized SAP S/4HANA® and SAP Manufacturing solution to reduce costs and boost efficiency, as well as to introduce SAP Manufacturing Execution and SAP MII. However, it needed to find the right systems integrator (SI) partner.

Hunter Douglas produces 40,000 made-to-order products every single day so the need for a flexible, agile ERP platform that could handle the complexities of such a high level of customization was pressing. Hunter Douglas, before starting this ERP transformation, realized that quicker information availability in decision making is vital for the business to outsmart the competition, and, apart from harmonizing core ERP processes, it needed to gain meaningful insight from the real core – its manufacturing plants.

Fujitsu was recommended by SAP as an experienced manufacturing specialist. The lead within Hunter Douglas had also worked with Fujitsu previously and was confident it had the skills to deliver. The objective was to convert 20+ manufacturing facilities across North America to SAP Manufacturing Execution and SAP MII, and thus usher in a new era of Industry 4.0.

Building a smart factory

At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the smart factory where machine intelligence, advanced networking, and real-time controls enable manufacturers such as Hunter Douglas to respond to disruptive trends, enter new markets, deliver better products, and get ahead of operational challenges such as equipment maintenance and factory downtime. The SAP Manufacturing solution deployment was central to enabling these abilities by connecting the four ‘Ms’ of manufacturing – man, material, method, and machine – to Hunter Douglas’ extended supply chain.

Fujitsu began at the Mexico plant where it quickly redesigned the environment to work with SAP software, providing a best practice blueprint for further implementations across North America. It also developed a plan to stabilize manufacturing within the facilities to enable it to get products out of the door more effectively, to meet the requirements of its customers.

From start to finish, Fujitsu and Hunter Douglas spent over 14 months migrating 20+ plants to the new SAP Manufacturing Suite. Fujitsu continues to provide support from its Indian Global Delivery Center as needed while the plants get up to speed with the new technology.

Improved visibility, better customer service

Hundreds of employees across the group now have access to the tools, dashboards, and data that make their jobs easier. At the same time, complete visibility of the supply chain has been extended to customers so that they can track their order at the click of a button. Moreover, on-time delivery has improved, boosting customer satisfaction.

Perhaps, most importantly, the new platform has provided enhanced stability and reliability with downtime greatly reduced. This means Hunter Douglas can focus on its business and manufacturing priorities without wasting resources on system maintenance.

With Industry 4.0 very much on the agenda for manufacturing firms in 2020, this ground-breaking example shows how Fujitsu has the industry expertise, global reach, and local presence to lead the way in smart factory deployments.

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