How HERMA uses Can Do resource planning and demand managementPlease download the case study here
Based in Filderstadt (Germany), the HERMA group is a top specialist in labelling solutions. The company is a technology leader with almost 1000 staff and produces adhesive products on one of the most advanced coating machines in the world as well as labels and labelling machines. With its dynamic growth rates, HERMA sells its products on every continent and generates more than 60 per cent of its revenues of about €322 million outside Germany.
These global activities have produced a range of different customer requirements relating to the speed and quality involved in processing their requests. This development is also reflected in the company HERMA itself, with its IT department being confronted with an increasing number of change and service requests from the line-of-business departments. The IT staff need to be able to reconcile these with their existing activities.
The fact that we can now take skills into account when we’re planning capacity means that we’ve been able to further improve service quality and work more productively,
Detecting resource bottlenecks early
In order to select the strategically relevant projects from the large number of requests, HERMA uses web service technology to give each project a score. This calculates and shows the business value that each requested project would bring to the company. The scoring process is followed by realistic resource planning that shows whether – and when – enough IT people will be available to work on the prioritized projects.
. “Uncoordinated hyperactivity just leads nowhere,” says Josef Marchner, CIO at HERMA. He used to see resentment on both sides – from overworked IT staff on the one hand and dissatisfied business users on the other, as they were complaining about recurring schedule delays. He resolved this conflict by implementing the Can Do planning solution. One of the main reasons the company selected this software solution was its conflict alert feature, based on probability theory, as it already flags up resource bottlenecks during the feasibility analysis phase. “When we’re planning a new project, it’s very helpful to know right from the outset where limitations may occur – and this is particularly the case when we’re planning and working on multiple projects in parallel,” says Marchner, speaking from experience. “With a click of the mouse, Can Do provides a complete overview of available capacity, and that has changed people’s expectations and attitudes. We’ve been able to significantly improve the level of understanding on both sides concerning the timing feasibility of projects,” adds Marchner. Together with his colleagues from the line-of-business departments, he looks at the current and planned workloads of his staff and defines completion deadlines based on the purely objective information provided by the software.
Planning with Can Do has also had a positive effect within the IT department itself. “The team members’ personal worklists are balanced out, in the sense that their tasks are placed in a timeline. This clear overview enables staff to evaluate their tasks more easily and they’re less stressed now,” notes Marchner. He says he would always recommend the software to companies looking for a high-performance project and resource planning tool.
Planning with skills and artificial intelligence
HERMA also uses the option for skill-based resource planning in Can Do to ensure that staff with the right qualifications are deployed on the right projects. “The fact that we can now take skills into account when we’re planning capacity means that we’ve been able to further improve service quality and work more productively,” says Marchner, describing the tool’s added value. The company is also using Can Do’s AI-based risk management feature. “My colleagues use the AI in Can Do and its recommendations for action such as “intervene immediately” or “ignore” – and that helps them complete the large number of recurring tasks faster,” explains Marchner. As the tool gives staff more breathing space, it helps them concentrate on the essentials and actively organize their work.
Can Do functions used at HERMA
Can Do and SAP communicate via web service technology
The IT department has taken a big step forward by replacing the existing, mostly manual, HERMA scoring process with a web service that connects Can Do Demand Management with SAP. This is the first time the web service has enabled the two applications to communicate. The Can Do app sends various risk-related parameters to SAP, such as value in euros, probability of a resource conflict, strategic importance of the project, amortization and more. Five different scoring values are then calculated in SAP and sent back to Can Do. Once project requests have been prioritized based on their strategic importance, they are planned within Can Do. “In this way, we can immediately see when we’ll be able to make the required resources available to work on the project, so we can approve the projects correspondingly,” notes Marchner. The web service used with Can Do Demand Management will be made available to other HERMA departments in early 2018.Please download the case study here