Bernd Münstermann GmbH from Telgte, Germany, is a family-run company specializing in special plant engineering with a product focus on drying plants. As a leading full-range supplier of drying and heat treatment plants, including the associated conveying and filter technology, the company has its own MSR as well as assembly department. From planning to commissioning Münstermann offers worldwide service from one source.
The extensive range of services offered - from planning of the machines to commissioning - poses complex challenges for project and resource planning at Münstermann. Not only the production has to be planned, but also the deployment of the assembly workers and the sometimes long occupancy of the hall spaces during the production of a new plant.
Decentralized planning with Excel is error-prone
Microsoft Dynamics NAV had long been used as the company's ERP, but project and resource planning was done outside the system using various Excel spreadsheets that were, according to Markus Wendeler, IT manager at Münstermann, "rudimentarily linked to each other." For example, there was a table for production reports and one for design, which were merged into a project control file. Another table, the planning list, took the individual plans from the other tables.
Coordination between the departments took place at intervals of one to two weeks. Wendeler reports: "The time required to populate the tables was kept within reasonable limits," but the problem was rather that "the data often did not match. Therefore, the results were not accurate and not well usable. This led to inconsistencies and scheduling difficulties."
In addition, this approach also did not provide an accurate overview of resource utilization in the individual departments, which is of course essential for reliable project planning.
So it became clear that an additional planning tool was needed. On the one hand, this tool had to combine the information from the different "isolated applications" and, on the other hand, ideally it had to be integrated directly into the ERP system.
Requirements for the planning tool
Münstermann wanted a project and resource planning tool that
completely integrates with NAV in order to process all data centrally in one coherent system, so that subsequently
errors during transfer are avoided
access to other data available in NAV, such as absence times, is made possible
a transparent and reliable overview of the utilization of resources is gained
deadlines are reliably met
is easy and understandable to use and provides for quick planning
allows individual extensions in an uncomplicated way
NETRONIC VJS fits
The newly created work preparation department had the task to renew the planning system in the company. While searching for a tool with the above mentioned features, they came across NETRONIC's Visual Jobs Scheduler in the Dynamics NAV environment.
In addition to the standard functions of the planning tool, Münstermann needed individual functionalities, e.g. for the graphical planning of the hall occupancy. Wendeler is pleased that NETRONIC implemented these functions immediately and without complications.
Use of the NETRONIC VJS
All employees involved in planning now have access to the VJS, which visualizes the data from Dynamics NAV in a clear graphical representation and enables simple (re)planning via drag & drop. This applies to both the scheduling of projects and concrete resource planning.
The complete integration in NAV also offers, as Wendeler reports, "access to time management data, such as absenteeism", which is also stored in NAV and is of course also displayed in the VJS. The central maintenance of the data prevents transmission errors from the past and makes the planning data more reliable.
Advantages of the VJS
Maintenance of all data in one system
The main advantage for Markus Wendeler clearly lies in the fact that there is now "central planning with one tool that everyone can access, transmission errors are avoided, and thus the data becomes more binding."
Overview of resource utilization
The newly gained transparency also means that "we have an overview of the resource utilization of the individual departments," another basic requirement for smooth project planning.
The overview of resource utilization also makes impending overloads immediately visible: "This means you can take direct countermeasures, for example by buying in personnel and using temporary workers. Thus, you're also prepared for unforeseen situations."
Improved adherence to deadlines
Of course, stable planning with reliable data also means that deadlines can be better planned and met.
Benefits of the VJS for other companies as well
According to Wendeler, other companies in a comparable environment and with similar planning requirements can definitely benefit from the use of a graphical planning board: "In any case, we can recommend the tool and the company. The cooperation worked out great!"
Good cooperation with NETRONIC
Wendeler on the use of the VJS and the cooperation with NETRONIC:
"The cooperation was very good, especially the uncomplicated and direct contact to the developers was very helpful for us, as we needed various adjustments for our individual processes. These were all integrated quickly and well into the VJS."
Want to achieve the same?
Here are some resources how to get going with the Visual Jobs Scheduler:
- Watch a recorded webinar about the Visual Jobs Scheduler or sign up for an upcoming one.
- Book a free demo with a VJS specialist.
- Get your free copy of our comprehensive eBook: