Gebauer & Griller is a leading manufacturer of cables, wires and cable harnesses for the automotive industry, elevators and for special industrial applications. It has nine manufacturing facilities in Europe, the USA, Mexico, India and China.
Gebauer & Griller, with facilities in nine countries around the world, has automated 10 business processes using K2's business process automation platform. Whether they're based in Austria, Mexico or China, employees can now work more efficiently and deliver customer projects on time.
Like all international organizations, Gebauer & Griller has a large number of administrative processes for everything from onboarding new employees and arranging site visits to requesting budget for new projects. The company relied heavily on spreadsheets and paper-based forms for its business administration and wanted to automate as many processes as possible to make them more straightforward for its 4,500 global employees.
At the same time, Gebauer & Griller wanted to improve efficiency within its core manufacturing function by creating more structured and transparent business workflows. In particular, it wanted to transform a key engineering process, called Variant Development, which controlled the design and production of bespoke cables to meet customer requirements. This pivotal business process typically took six to 12 months and involved over a hundred employees at different sites. Managers had little or no visibility into the current status of specific projects, so they had to organize weekly meetings, which took up a lot of time for a large team of people.
Gebauer & Griller evaluated several workflow solutions and selected the K2 process automation platform because of its versatility and close integration with Microsoft SharePoint. “We didn’t want to develop bespoke workflows in-house and had been using SharePoint for a number of years, so K2 was the perfect solution,” recalled Markus Kasteiner, Systems and Network Manager at Gebauer & Griller.
In less than two years, Gebauer & Griller has dramatically improved the efficiency of its internal processes by developing and rolling out 10 business process automation applications using the K2 platform, with support from its local K2 partner, SmartPoint IT Consulting. “We are no longer reliant on as many spreadsheets and paper forms,” Kasteiner said. “Employees don’t have to think about what needs to happen next or update spreadsheets; they can just do their own tasks, which makes them more productive.”
The efficiency improvements are particularly evident in Gebauer & Griller’s finance department, where K2 has accelerated a key financial approval process that handles 400-500 budget requests every year. “Our investment requests process is now 50 percent faster than before,” Kasteiner said.
In addition, the use of K2 has enabled Gebauer & Griller to completely transform its variant development process by automating up to 60 individual process steps for 120 – 150 users across multiple countries. For the first time, managers have clear visibility of the status of each project and consequently spend far less time attending status meetings, making phone calls and sending emails. These process improvements eliminate unnecessary delays and help Gebauer & Griller to meet its customers’ deadlines. “Our new K2-driven engineering process is more transparent and efficient, which helps us to ensure product variations are fully tested and ready for production on time,” explained Kasteiner.
The use of K2 also improves process compliance by making it easy for all employees to follow the correct process, every time. Michael Pachlatko, CEO of SmartPoint IT Consulting observed: “Before K2 was deployed, Gebauer & Griller depended heavily on individual employees and their knowledge of how processes worked. Now, all employees are able to follow the same simple K2 processes, and this reduces risk for the company.”
Looking ahead, Gebauer & Griller expects to develop further K2-based process automations in the future. It currently plans to upgrade to K2 Five and, as Kasteiner says, “see what additional opportunities it brings.”
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