On Time, In Full, Invoiced Correctly. Automated database OTIFIC for quality measurement

Systematic registration and evaluation of product and service quality is critical to Lafarge’s success as a producer of time-critical building materials like e.g. cement, which are subject to complex quality requirements. And parts of which are delivered from the respective plants to the customer-site by the company’s own transport department or fetched by the customer at a fixed date and time. With this as a background, the company developed the idea of a central, automated registration of all data relevant to customer relations from production to delivery to invoicing in the business division cement.

mgm technology partners, known from previous projects as a reliable partner with holistic software know-how, was commissioned with the development of this kind of automated data base starting with logistics planning and delivery. The result: The measurement system OTIFIC (On Time, In Full, Invoiced Correctly).

Figure 1: Basic structure of the OTIFIC data base.

OTIFIC – Systematic measurement of quality

The data base OTIFIC created by Lafarge and mgm combines the delivery and invoicing data available in the subsystems of all Lafarge plants as well as those of the logistic system in the Wössingen plant into one system. This creates a basis for systematic analysis and evaluation based on pre-determined criteria and bandwidths for the optimized processing of each customer order of Lafarge. From order acceptance to invoice processing all values of an order are registered in detail with respect to the duration of the invoice processing (“On Time”), the correct load (“In Full”) and smooth invoice processing (“Invoiced Correctly”). An order is only “On Time” if loading the truck with the ordered cement in the plant does not take more than 40 minutes. The category “In Full” registers amongst others whether the ordered product was delivered in the requested quality and whether the delivery trucks were loaded correctly. “Invoiced Correctly” measures how many of the documents created for the customer or delivery department, from delivery papers to invoices, were incorrect.

OTIFIC – Automated report generation

The preparation of the results is facilitated by two different Cognos report types: Detailed reports which help to check each plant down to the level of the individual silo and truck to determine at which points it takes too much time to load the trucks; also global monthly reports for the management used as a base for strategic decisions. With the OTIFIC admin tool created by mgm the configuration of quality criteria relevant to the reports can be quickly adapted to changes in the plant. Data can also be analyzed and evaluated with a multi-dimensional cube.

OTIFIC – Stable optimization instrument and planning criteria

Solène Oger, director of marketing at Lafarge, is thrilled by the company-wide quality assurance system: “OTIFIC, the database mgm technology partners set up, allows verifiable, comprehensive and ongoing measurements of the quality of our products and services. We now also register the reasons for deviations with OTIFIC and can weight them with percentage scores. Thanks to mgm, there is for the first time an airtight basic assessment for the ongoing optimization of all order processes and for strategic decisions. This ultimately leads to enormous savings of time and cost – savings that we can pass on to our customers!”

OTIFIC – Flexible, open system architecture implemented by mgm

The data base that mgm developed for Lafarge based on the Cognos BI Suite allows daily and current monitoring to generate automated, fast and diversified reports. OTIFIC was designed in multiple levels to achieve this: The data base itself collects data from the supplying systems but is also passively fed with certain delivery events, which supports a quite sophisticated error validation. The architecture designed by mgm also speeds up reporting as OTIFIC with its fine grained set of rules, already delivers pre-aggregated, pre-sorted data to Cognos Upfront. This allows Lafarge to recognize changes in the quality very early and to take precise action to correct them.

* This reference has been officially confirmed by Lafarge.