The Stihl Tirol - Case Study offers an insight into the diverse application areas of the standard software CoPlanner. Stihl Tirol uses the software both for the highly individualized task of product calculation on the basis of parts lists, but also for the essentially standardized task of integrated corporate planning with balance sheet and cash flow planning. CoPlanner is suitable for a wide variety of tasks, the introduction effort is limited in both cases.
Stihl Austria was founded in 1981 as VIKING GmbH and has since developed into one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality garden tools. The products are characterized by innovative technology, particularly high quality and very convenient operation. The company has been part of the STIHL Group since 1992. Stihl Austria offers numerous products that are required for the garden - whether for lawn care, the recycling of garden waste or for soil cultivation. The extensive product range includes lawn mowers, robot mowers, ride-on mowers, scarifiers and garden shredders. Before the introduction of a business intelligence solution, the product costs were calculated with MS Excel and taken into account in the Excel-based corporate planning. Despite time-consuming and tedious checks, this inevitably led to inaccuracies and redundancies and subsequently to error-prone planning.
The product calculation solution was built on the basis of the CoPlanner framework in 2008 - and has been in use since then. With the implemented solution based on CoPlanner, it can be automatically determined how, for example, the manufacturing costs for the latest innovation from Stihl - the robotic mower iMow - are made up and whether technically possible innovations can also be implemented in a commercially sensible manner.
In addition to the forecast sales volume (by market and sales channel), the planning also includes the parts lists with the individual components of the calculated product as well as the necessary work steps, production materials, machine hours, logistics costs and surcharge rates - with the correspondingly detailed tariffs and costs. CoPlanner uses this to determine the complete plan product calculation. Using scenario planning, different variants can be planned depending on sales development or product execution. For example, it can be simulated what effects the installation of another motor in a lawn mower has on the product calculation and subsequently on the result. Basic data is exported from SAP and loaded into the system by the end user using a CSV file - a direct connection was deliberately avoided in order to maintain the greatest possible flexibility in the interfaces, for example for products, tools that are not yet available in SAP, etc.
The application guides the user through the planning process and actively points out possible inconsistencies. CoPlanner's own reports and Excel are used for reporting and analysis. The very challenging calculation logic was quickly implemented with CoPlanner. Although the solution was not planned in the CoPlanner standard at the time and was implemented entirely in accordance with Stihl Austria's requirements, the implementation was completed within a few weeks to the extent that an initial trial calculation was possible. The system is now in its ninth year of use - and there is no end in sight. Over the years, necessary adjustments in the structures and logics were implemented within a short time after short specification workshops. Based on this good experience, it was decided in 2014 to also implement other corporate planning topics in CoPlanner.
The integrated financial planning, which in turn is implemented in a short project period, maps both the medium and long-term planning. Sales as well as manufacturing and material costs are planned, and FTE planning takes place according to departments. Depending on the qualification level of the employee, standard personnel cost rates are used, the resulting costs are determined including ancillary wage costs. The other overhead costs are included in the result via the cost center planning of the standard model.
Investments also flow into corporate planning, including calculated depreciation and calculated interest. The planning process is integrated, flexible, simple and very fast. Just like the product calculation, the integrated company planning also offers the possibility to calculate scenarios: for example, depending on the sales development, best or worst case scenarios can be calculated and their implications for the results can be determined. The cost of goods and manufacturing costs are calculated using stored cost rates, which also enables simulations with regard to the quantity structure and its effects on profit margins.