An Interview with Micheal Fatum, CEO of Advenco Consulting GMBH

Advenco Consulting is one of the sedApta's Founding Partners.

Michael Fatum, CEO of Advenco Consulting

Advenco is a unique company that combines technical and consulting skills in the supply chain world. Can you tell me more about this success story?

Advenco started its operations in the year 2005 as a services and consulting company in the Manufacturing IT area. The main target was from the very beginning to support manufacturing companies with advanced IT solutions to compete in the global environment. Many production companies where very much day-by-day driven and often not able to react efficiently and quick enough to changes in the production, which were given by the effects of the global markets. During this period it became more and more important to analyze business processes, to observe key performance measures and to improve production processes to shorten time-to-market, increase production trough put and reduce lot sizes. Advenco provided knowledge and solutions in the area of manufacturing operations management and helped manufacturers to grow their business. 

What are the areas of expertise and in which regions/countries are you working?

We offer solutions based on manufacturing execution systems (MES) and production planning, not only, but mainly for process driven companies in the consumer packaged goods and food & beverages area. The highly skilled manufacturing IT consultants work in projects in the German speaking countries as well as in Northern Europe.

What about this digital transformation, also known as Industry 4.0?

Early after the foundation of our company, we started to develop specific products and solutions for the digital transformation in the manufacturing IT area. We remarked in almost any project, that the digitalization in terms of machine automation and in terms of the main commercial processes with ERP systems are quite well progressed, while inside the factories many activities are still manually performed or not even recorded at all. This is specifically through for many of the maintenance, quality, production reporting and logistics activities around the production.

How does Advenco help its customers in this transformation?

Our products and solutions are used to "automate" manual business processes and involve them into the complete digital flow of the production in order to analyze, execute and optimize the production activities in real- time and make rich content information out of a huge bunch of data during a production run. The usage of real-time data helps then to solve quality problems before they reduce throughput, do maintenance before downtimes occur and deliver key measures to quickly adapt planning corrections. 

Without mention the customer, which is the Advenco’s latest project in which the sedApta Suite has been implemented? 

Right at the moment, we are in the final phase of an Industry 4.0 project for a company which produces animal nutrition in Europe and the US. They used in the past already a Scada system connected to PLC's in order to run the production machines. On the other end, they have an ERP for all commercial activities. This ERP does not support the production, which was done from people on the base of their knowledge and a lot of different Excel applications for both, the shop floor activities from the production team as well as for the main planning & short term scheduling activities. Starting from July, the production in this company will run with a fully integrated system for all business processes. The ERP System (Navision) will further care about the commercial processes and the purchases, for which it will get the purchase suggestions from sedApta Inventory Control and MRP. The customer orders from the ERP will be downloaded to sedApta which will do the complete demand and inventory planning, MRP run and will schedule work orders to be produced in the MES system (Rockwell CPG suite). Therefore, the sedApta scheduler downloads two different kinds of work orders to the MES for production and bagging. While the MES system cares about the production flow in the shop floor, the Advenco system key2operate takes care about the raw material reception, the quality management in the lab, the bagging of the finished product and the warehouse and delivery management. Both, the MES as well as the logistics management system inform the sedApta scheduler automatically and in real-time about the production status in order to react in case of performance issues. In the near future, this customer will see an significant change in the way they work. They are looking forward to a modern and fully integrated Industry 4.0 system and they have high expectations in the digitalization of their business, as they are in a process of  massive growth, where the acting people will be overloaded with the way they do things today.