Epicor ERP | Martin Yale International

Case Study: Martin Yale International
Industry: Manufacturing
Location: Markdorf, Germany
  • Global streamlining of corporate data as well
    as business and production processes
  • Replacement of all existing enterprise
    applications with big bang approach
  • Central ERP solution for enterprise
    management and production control at sites
    in the U.S., Germany and France
  • Epicor ERP
  • Integration of business processes from order
    entry through production and logistics to
    customer and financial management
  • Business process management based on
    performance indicators
  • Simplified deployment and customization by
    service-oriented software architecture
  • Single system for the complete global value
    chain including finance
  • Internationally consistent master data management
About The Company
With more than 150 distributors worldwide Martin Yale International is well known globally for its large data shredder systems. Its solutions for privacy-compliant information disposal and print finishing are targeted at professional users as well as private consumers. The product range includes not only paper shredders for traditional information materials such as printouts, computer lists or complete folders, but also machines to destroy data on digital media such as CDs, floppy disks, hard drives and solid state media.
Martin Yale International is part of the Martin Yale Group. It resides in the ‘office equipment and graphic products’ unit, within the parent group Escalade Inc. The NASDAQ-listed Group is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, United States. The German subsidiary of Martin Yale International is located in Markdorf, Baden, and together the seven subsidiaries have a total of 159 employees.
The Situation
Due to its global market presence it was essential for Martin Yale to streamline its international production processes using lean inventory principles and high delivery reliability to be able to sustain its competitive edge. Optimizing global sourcing and logistics is a key aspect for improving overall economic viability.
However, Martin Yale had a very disparate IT environment that did not allow for site-wide process control or planning, and international strategic decisions could not be supported by IT.
The Solution 
Martin Yale started consolidating its business processes in their U.S. headquarters. After inadequate results with other Tier 1 platforms, the decision fell on Epicor as a global central system for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and production management. An important criterion was that the features of Epicor ERP for financial reporting allowed automated data and information management that met the compliance requirements of the listed parent company in the U.S.
Following the successful implementation of Epicor ERP in the U.S., the business units in Germany and France went live on the solution. With that, all existing individual applications were replaced by Epicor ERP. Because Martin Yale is an industrial, export-oriented manufacturing company, key processes include areas such as engineering, production management, purchasing and supplier management, product lifecycle management, order management, order fulfilment and logistics, forecasting and sales planning, as well as customer management, finance and reporting.
Results & BeneFits
“With Epicor ERP we provide our international locations with their required functionality in a very efficient manner,” says Marko Dietenberger, vice president of operations at Martin Yale and responsible for the ERP implementation in Germany. “At the same time we create a comprehensive management system for the entire company worldwide with a central database and integrated processes. The uniform system provides an overview of the entire supply chain, whereby we are able to fine-tune processes much faster, ensure that they are more targeted, and we can plan ahead more precisely.”
A major key in the selection of Epicor ERP was its business process management functionality. “To have quick access to key performance indicators, create ad-hoc management reports with real-time information, and keep track by role-based dashboards, is crucial for predictive enterprise management,” says Dietenberger. “Furthermore, business activity queries (BAQs) were integrated in the system worldwide, allowing users to create database queries in a very simple way.”
Data cleansing and conversion was one of the most important phases of the project for Martin Yale. “There are some critical selection criteria for strategic software solutions like ERP. In our experience, one of those critical criteria includes the ERP vendor’s tools and templates for data conversion. They have to work efficiently to clean up all corporate data and transform them flawlessly,” says Dietenberger. “With Epicor ERP, we now have globally consistent master data management, allowing us to avoid system gaps and minimize manual processes.”
To use ERP as a management tool, mobile access is vital. “VPN connections and a transparent management of rights for individuals or groups provide the necessary security and flexibility to ensure that users are supported in the same way when they are out of the office as they are when located on-site,” says Wolfgang Verheyen, senior director consulting for Epicor in central and eastern Europe.
Cost reductions with Epicor ERP start with simplified system maintenance and adaptation due to its service-oriented software architecture (SOA). For Martin Yale the benefits they have realized from the unified and automated reporting across subsidiaries and national boundaries are so far the most important. Thanks to the improved reporting employees at all levels can focus on what matters, because Epicor ERP automatically signals critical values. This is one of the striking differences between modern, active
systems and passive, outdated solutions. “Epicor ERP automatically
displays bottlenecks and exceptions based on individually defined key performance indicators, for example, from the material warehouse, the production or the suppliers. This means that employees can act immediately and develop alternative solutions,” explains Dietenberger. “Manual search is a thing of the past. The transparency along the value chain and the active support of Epicor
ERP has led to significantly higher productivity, which makes it much
easier to fulfil requirements such as delivery reliability and lean
The SOA architecture makes it easier for Martin Yale to integrate third-party applications and service providers. “In Germany, for example, we had to integrate the customs clearance system, ATLAS, as well as Intrastat, for reporting obligations to movements of goods in the EU,” says Dietenberger. “We have implemented this through Service Connect, a pre-designed interface in Epicor ERP that allows you to integrate external software solutions without any code changes.” In the same way Martin Yale has integrated its external service providers for commissioning and storage of finished goods directly in its workflow. Thus, the processes with the logistics provider can be changed and adjusted at any time purely through configuration.
“Although it created some tensions in the management, for us a ‘big-bang’ introduction was the most efficient way,” says Dietenberger. “Using the old and new ERP system in parallel would have been extremely difficult for both the IT department and the users, and it would have quickly led to inconsistent data. Especially as parallel operations does not guarantee that the final conversion runs without error. A strict change to the new solution from one day to the other can be successful when the external IT team works closely with the in-house IT department and the business departments communicate openly. We have had very good experience with the big bang approach - the transition went smoothly without the loss of even one single day of production or any interruptions in operations.”
“Compared to the situation before with the outdated, stand-alone solutions the improvements with Epicor ERP are tremendous,” concludes Dietenberger. “We are now able to easily identify relationships across all business areas and international locations, to identify optimization potentials and we can also quickly implement them. After the initial implementation of Epicor ERP we are now
looking at updating the system to gain further benefits.”