Eversys has been manufacturing and marketing professional coffee machines since 2010. “From the word go, we were determined that our products would be connected, using telemetry to provide data and tracking information,” says Jonathan Besse, head of research and development at this industrial SME based in Sierre. The company’s internal organisation was built around this prerequisite, this ‘data’ mindset. 

Accordingly, since the beginning, Eversys has always had the attitude that all of the company’s data is of crucial importance. “We set up a database to centralise every type of data we had, so that we wouldn’t lose track of it. Sometimes, the data isn’t used for a year, but when a problem arises, we have a complete history of what has happened,” says Jonathan Besse. Eversys buys only new equipment capable of saving the data it generates directly in the database. “The most important thing is to be able to link all this information together so that we can analyse it globally.”

Eversys also works with an ERP system. This was initially its own in-house solution developed using the Apple-owned database system FileMaker, but a few months ago it switched to using SAP. This system provides a complete overview of the machine manufacturing process, from ordering parts through to managing the after-sales service. This is essential to managing the manufacturing process, given that an Eversys coffee machine is made up of around 700 different parts. “All the data is accessible and traceable, so we can get our hands on it if we have a problem. We no longer have to plough our way through lists in Excel, which is always a headache.”

“For every change to a machine part during the manufacturing process, there is a history recorded in the ERP system.” The system also displays the production batches that have been started, linking them with the part and stock orders made. “We know exactly how much stock we have; re-supply is calculated on the basis of our order book and sales forecasts,” says Jonathan Besse.

Using manpower for more productive tasks
What’s more, using an ERP system ensures that all the production information (supplier details, prices, order contacts, etc.) is in one place. The system also simplifies supplier management, especially since most of the data is accessible to everyone working at the company. “This is also important – it means that everyone is aware of the cost of the things we produce.”

It is, however, sensible to maintain a workable cost/benefit ratio. “For a small SME, digitalisation is about making use of flexible solutions that are easy to adapt and which also enable us to keep costs down. But it’s not always easy to strike the right balance.” An ERP system does make methods more rigid because it imposes clearly defined processes. But it is essential that the system is constantly able to adapt and that it keeps in step with the company’s production level.

“Without ERP or data management, we would have to devote resources to non-productive tracking and monitoring tasks,” concludes Jonathan Besse.

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