thyssenkrupp Materials Services is continuing its digitalization offensive with the introduction of a flexible IT infrastructure for smart, agile management of all processes along the supply chain. Material deliveries, customer purchase orders, order execution, transportation logistics – the digital accelerator DESCA can process and forward millions of datasets in seconds. And it’s customers who benefit the most: With DESCA, Materials Services is shortening order lead times, optimizing warehousing logistics and paving the way for new supply chain services. So the system truly lives up to its name: DESCA stands for Digital Extended Supply Chain Accelerator.
Driver of “Materials as a Service” strategy
DESCA is an important element of thyssenkrupp Materials Services’ strategy. Under its “Materials as a Service” approach the western world’s biggest materials distributor guarantees its customers access to global supply markets combined with in-house process expertise in the form of tailored supply chain solutions. So in addition to its core materials distribution business,
Materials Services is systematically expanding its portfolio of services.
“We see major growth potential in supply chain services,” says Materials Services CEO Klaus Keysberg. “With Industry 4.0 environments such as DESCA we can significantly reduce complexity in global production networks and help our customers focus fully on their core business.”
Pioneering role in the aerospace industry
DESCA is based on SAP HANA. Unlike conventional ERP systems DESCA allows flexible integration of data from various internal and external sources. For example, order information can be compared with processing data from Materials Services’ connected machinery – in the future also in real time and via an app. This is a particularly attractive option for sectors that place high demands on a flexible supply chain such as the aerospace industry. That’s why DESCA was first put through its practical paces at selected branches of thyssenkrupp Aerospace in North America.
“Smart data integration is the key to greater efficiency and customer service. Our new ERP system creates the technological platform for this,” says Patrick Marous, CEO of thyssenkrupp Aerospace. “We’re playing a pioneering role as one of the first major users in the aerospace industry to switch to the latest SAP environment. The first phase showed that DESCA helps us significantly strengthen our core capabilities in smart supply chain management.” Visualizations display the relevant data at a glance. “DESCA has a dashboard that shows us what we have to do in the next few hours and helps us systematically align our management model to the future,” adds Marous.
Engine of digitalization
DESCA is the engine of the digitalization offensive at Materials Services: The data gathered from all areas of the supply chain in the new ERP system are fed to “alfred”, the in-house artificial intelligence solution launched by the materials distributor at the beginning of 2019. DESCA also communicates with “toii”, the company’s IIoT platform that connects all its machinery worldwide.