GEA Group is one of the largest suppliers for the food processing industry and a wide range of other process industries. As an international technology group, the Company focuses on design and production of process technology and complete processing plants for sophisticated production processes.
Some years ago they realized that a vast number of crucial specialists were about to retire with a risk of loosing valuable knowledge. In connection with preparation of large scale quotations there was often identified problems with bottlenecks at key employees and they wanted to offer their customers more harmonized quotes with fewer errors. Further, their old proprietary cost accounting outdated and difficult to maintain technical.
There was real danger that it would affect the business. It takes many years to train new process technologists and at the same time, competition from low-cost countries started to affect sales curves. There had to be something essential to ensure the global market position.
In order to solve both the problem of disappearing key knowledge as well as an improved quoting process, the implementation consisted of a knowledge part and the development of a web based configurator platform. The knowledge part consisted in gathering and structuring process knowledge as well as modularizing the process equipment, documented in a knowledge database in Lotus Notes.