SAP Solutions | Design to Operate

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From Design to Operate – Closed Loop Engineering in the discrete industry

Design to Operate is the strategy in the SAP environment and includes a holistic presentation of software solutions for your manufacturing processes. But what does this mean in detail and what opportunities does this offer for my company? What is behind the term Design to Operate and what does it mean for processes in the manufacturing industry?

For a better understanding and categorization of the strategy, we describe in the following paragraphs how the Design-to-Operate-Process has developed, from which basis it arose and what benefits you can gain with CENIT as your partner in the Design-to-Operate-Strategy.


The background: The further development of the manufacturing industry

For a long time, a manufacturing company in industry was considered modern if it planned and managed its processes and procedures on the commercial side, from customer enquiries to invoicing, using an ERP solution (Enterprise Resource Planning). This primarily involved the planning of resources on an abstract company-wide level, in short everything to do with business and logistical business processes.

This Lead-to-Cash-Perspective on the company usually has a high degree of digital maturity and is almost always digitalized throughout. The approach is good, but it lacks a particular added value that would enable it to keep up with the leading manufacturing companies and thus increase its competitiveness: Integrated planning - the Design-to-Operate-Process.

In integrated planning, all processes and business transactions of corporate planning are represented in a closed system. It includes the profit and loss statement, the balance sheet and the cash flow statement, and maps the income, financial and balance sheet planning. The main difference to the commercial process is that the individual stages in the product lifecycle are generally not connected digitally end-to-end. In addition, the individual work steps within the DTO process (see "The Presentation of the Process - From Design to Operate") exhibit varying degrees of digitization. What exactly the picture looks like depends on the industry and the history of the company.

Unlike commercial processes, silos have remained in the value chain of Design-to-Operate-Processes, which stands in the way of an important next development step: The two processes must be coordinated and synchronized.

If the two approaches are combined within software solutions, the commercial processes (Lead-to-Cash-Process) and the integrated planning (Design-to-Operate-Process), a consistent and future-proof digitization strategy is obtained and also a secure digital process from the design to the delivery of the finished product.

Why is this necessary? Companies that digitally interlink the two key business processes create the prerequisites for placing the customer and his product at the centre of all activities. The technology behind this is closed-loop engineering: The end-to-end digitalization enables the optimization of the product and its processes in a closed loop.

CENIT's products in the overall context of Design to Operate represent precisely this holistic approach and offer a modular solution portfolio to complement SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

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The representation of the process - From Design to Operate

With closed-loop engineering, manufacturing companies are exploiting the potential of digitalization. It is about the fact that all steps of the product creation from design to planning or construction over to purchasing up to manufacturing and service should be digitally represented throughout. You can, for example:

  • react agile to new market situations
  • profitably produce a high number of variants and smaller solution sizes
  • set up automated rule processes for continuous improvement
  • continuously develop innovations

So the Design-to-Operate-Process reflects all areas consistently in the SAP standard software and synchronizes them digitally with each other. In this way, there are no media breaks within the production process and transmission errors are minimized.

The digital twin forms the basis of the process in the early stages of the product life cycle. This is enriched with data at every step in the Design-to-Operate-Process and thus documents all physically completed production steps transparently across all areas.

Please also read our article in the CENIT Newsroom about the digital twin, the virtual counterpart of a process, a product or even a service that combines the real and virtual world.

The interactive design-to-operate-process

Each section within the process is supported and complemented by different products of SAP and CENIT. Select your product section and all relevant information will appear after clicking on the desired icon.

Are you interested in an event or webinar in the area of SAP solutions? You are welcome to select the appropriate events or webinars for you on our overview pages:

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CENIT as strategic partner in the Design-to-Operate-Process

Holistic and integrated software solutions from SAP are already in use at a large number of companies. This provides ideal conditions for approaching and integrating the Design-to-Operate-Process in perfection.

It is our goal to build up the digitalization strategy in your company in a consistent and future-proof way, starting from the existing software installations: We are your strategic partner in the holistic Design-to-Operate-Process.

We help you to align and synchronize your business processes with the PLM-specific Design-to-Operate-Process so that the relevant business processes of your manufacturing company correlate with each other.

Across these two key business processes, Lead to Cash and Design to Operate, we have mastered

  • the processes of product introduction (PEP)
  • the processing of holistic change processes (ECM)
  • naturally on the basis of logically structured, holistically applicable master data (MDM)

In this context, an essential component of any digitization strategy in the manufacturing industry must be the creation of a uniform data basis in the SAP system. We help you to create digital continuity at all levels of your business processes and support you in your company's digitization strategy with SAP standard software and CENIT enhancements.

With the CENIT SAP PLM Foundation product, for example, we create a scalable and expandable basis for your digitization strategy. This includes seamless engineering process management based on efficient authoring system integration via the SAP Engineering Control Center (SAP ECTR) - for both SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA. Best practice-based, preconfigured templates and a standardized transition enable a fast and low-risk implementation. This enables you to harmonize engineering data and engineering processes in SAP (single source of truth).

Our approach with you

Based on your specific initial situation and objectives, we identify fields of action and work with you to develop a concrete process model for a future-oriented Design-to-Operate-Process. In our role as a partner in successful digital transformation, we support you from strategic planning to the operation of the solution at your Company.

CENIT's contribution to the "Intelligent enterprise"

SAP has positioned itself as the core platform provider for intelligent companies that not only aim for business success, but also want to achieve sustainability and resilience targets. To this end, SAP has reiterated its long-standing commitment toward open integration of partner solutions, as stated in the SAP business model. The company again underlined this principle in an SAP-Siemens partnership issued on July 14th 2020, aimed at supporting SAP clients in achieving digital transformation.

This newly announced collaboration by two leading software providers opens up new paths and potentials, but it also poses strategic and operative questions:

  • What are the implications for the existing SAP product landscape?
  • What will happen with respect to PLM platform integration?
  • And what developments can be expected for client-side services?

Please read here the complete statement

Questions? We will be happy to advise you!

We have aroused your curiosity and you want to start planning your personal digitization strategy together with us? Write to us and we will arrange a first meeting with you!