With the iXworld platform, the INDEX Group is taking full advantage of the opportunities of customer process digitalisation. Their stated goal is to offer customers a useroptimised customer experience and clear economic advantages. The iXworld interface unites four elements: iXplore, iXshop, iXservices and iX4.0. These components offer everything customers need in order to quickly get their bearings, select the right product or replacement part and experience comprehensive service – from self-service to remote service and on to IoT functions. The platform is built around the latest SAP technologies, which are seamlessly connected with each other. Sybit, an SAP Gold Partner, accompanied the project from initial consulting to introduction of the SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud as well as the SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP AIN all the way through to the system integration and UX design.
While the digitalisation of its own machine tools was already in full swing, the system landscape comprising INDEX Group’s marketing, sales, service and e-commerce was still heterogeneous, not completely integrated and partially no longer in line with state-of-the-art technologies. It did, however, have important information to offer, containing roughly 1.5 million relevant data sets. Therefore, the first step was to migrate these into the SAP Sales Cloud.
The old CRM solution had reached its technical limits. The system did not allow for mobile use and was unable to display documents, support efficient sales processes or be used internationally. The service area also required significant manual effort. The customer service of INDEX Group receives a ticket every three minutes on average, and employees had to manually enter these into the SAP ERP up to now. The lack of an interface between the ERP and the old CRM system resulted in the technical field service not having access to all relevant information when conducting on-site customer visits. While the INDEX Infoshop
had proved effective, it was also not sufficiently integrated into the system landscape and technologically obsolete. INDEX was thus unable to keep up with the requirements of a modern e-commerce system.
In order to maintain its market position for the future, the manufacturer of CNC turning machines decided on a comprehensive and consistent digitalisation strategy based on the SAP C/4HANA solution suite combined with SAP AIN and SAP AE from the SAP Leonardo portfolio.
The biggest technical challenge was to integrate all systems so that they would interlock in the best way possible. In doing so, it was crucial to ensure that employees be able to work efficiently with transparent information provision. The customers should need only a single platform to receive all information and services that they need to learn about the products, make purchases and perform maintenance and upkeep on their machines.
To ensure their ability to work transparently and efficiently in the future, all customer processes were to be precisely analysed and digitally mapped in a transparent manner. In addition to internal sales requirements, such as lead and opportunity management, and service-oriented functions, such as service ticket management, a main objective was the integration of all information on the platform. The planned SAP-ERP connection was designed to enable comprehensive search functions, access to replacement parts and parts lists, including availability and price information, as well as digital machine management.
Over the course of the twelve-month project, iXworld took shape as a cloud platform with all functions relating to the machines of INDEX customers. It thus establishes an interface between the different customer processes and the digital INDEX world, enabling all employees to work efficiently thanks to transparent information provision. The platform consists of four components that interlock seamlessly on the basis of SAP C/4HANA and thanks to ideal integration:
- iXplore holds all important information on companies, products and services and enables machine and offer configuration
- iXshop is the online shop for accessories and replacement parts as well as machine-related services
- iXservices enables the administration of all customer machines, including third-party products for fault and maintenance management, maintenance planning and remote access via data glasses and teleservice
- iX4.0 is the IoT platform for integrated machine diagnostics and process monitoring and reports information directly on mobile devices
Data handling for the global cloud platform was also configured in accordance with data protection directives. The collected data is stored in the INDEX area of the SAP Cloud and only transmitted after being released locally when it is needed for customer apps.
"Mit der iXworld bauen wir eine Plattform auf, die unseren Kunden hilft, die Produktivität unserer Maschinen deutlich zu verbessern und damit den Geschäftserfolg nachhaltig zu steigern. Sybit hat uns dabei von der strategischen Planung über Implementierung und Integration bis hin zum UX-Design maßgeblich unterstützt und damit dem Projekt zum Erfolg verholfen. Wir freuen uns auf die weitere Zusammenarbeit."
Werner Bothe, Head of Digitization INDEX Group
Now that all INDEX processes have been consolidated on the iXworld platform, the next step is to enable access for more user groups. The plan: a procurement platform for machinists. Before long, machinists will be able to order and manage all the products they require, such as tools, accessories, replacement parts or operating equipment, across manufacturers – so including non-INDEX products. Transparency and efficiency will be guaranteed with endto- end order handling and processing.
About the INDEX Group
With its brands INDEX and TRAUB, INDEX Group is among the largest and most successful manufacturers of turning machines. The Esslingen-based company was founded in 1914 and is now active globally with over 2,000 employees. Their quality, reliability and technical edge are reflected in their highly innovative product portfolio and in the comprehensive services on offer to ensure the perfect solution for
Industry: Mechanical engineering
Revenue: €470 million in 2017
Solutions used: SAP C/4 HANA with 700 users (SAP Sales Cloud, SAP, SAP AIN, SAP AE, SAP ERP)