APR: plastics - Cross- enterprise collaboration

Upgrade end-user IT capabilities through future internet technologies
Deploy KET to setup more personalized collaborations with customers and suppliers
Improve information quality as support for business collaboration
Formalize more connected business processes as support and accelerator of valuable collaboration

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Description of the trial

Within this trial, APR aims to improve its collaboration capabilities by addressing these main challenges: Reduce paper based collaboration, Formalize collaboration processes with customers and suppliers, Support the new processes by future internet technologies, Ensure high quality of information sharing in collaboration, Harmonize partner / pattern treatment, and Promote time for partner support in project definition than in document collection. In this perspective, APR brings a selection of adapted enablers from FI-Ware and FITMAN catalogues in order to improve its IT capabilities.

FITMAN APR Trial fact sheet

Innnovative service and functionalities

  • More reliable business collaboration

  • Quote lifecycle management

  • Order lifecycle management

  • Improve customer relationship

  • Raw material strategic investment

Impact & benefits

Since 2010, APR develops satisfaction surveys for its main customers and suppliers in order to assess the relevance of its collaboration activities. In this scope, APR aims to: Reduce order and quote management time, Improve the quality of the business collaboration with partners, Improve price competitiveness, and Improve the quality of the contracting facilities. Several business indicators are evaluated and cover the main APR objectives: price, delay, quality and productivity. APR deploys the new collaboration platform with a selected set of partners. The evaluation of trial business indicators are analyzed comparing to history of performance evaluations. When the new trial business indicators highlights a very positive progress in collaboration quality, APR partners expect to reach more improvements at more specific indictors. APR customers survey notice an improvement of price competitiveness for about 23%. This improvement will be reinforced by the increase of the trial deployment with new partners. Regarding the costs, 50% reduction data collection effort and 22% reduction of raw material stock level has been achieved. Additionally, the efficiency has been also improved due to the 70% increase in customer project data quality and 40% increase in allocated time for customer project engineering.

Technical challenges

In order to reach the business objectives of the APR trial, a selection of GEs and SEs are integrated in on-premises architecture. The new composition of building blocks interoperate with the existing APR ones in order to ensure the integrity and data quality during the interaction with customers and suppliers. In addition, new specific components are integrated in order to organize the “customer collaboration package” in DMS and automatically recognize partners’ orders through OCR module. Finally, we propose a front-end application able to orchestrate the set of business application and related services. The integrity of the full system is analyzed at several perspectives: reliability, scalability, usability, etc. The trial validation approach analyses all information stages and the interaction smoothness with impacted stakeholders. The final trial platform is tuned (technical capabilities) in order to ensure high service availability and avoid flow discontinuity between the set of new enablers when connected with TSC and existing APR systems. The security of the global platform is ensured through SSO access protocol.

Business challenges

Within FITMAN project, APR aims to setup new IT-based business collaboration capabilities. The current interaction channels with customers and suppliers are mainly based on documents exchange. Several interaction and validation steps are required in order to confirm customer quotes or orders. In order to enhance the quality of business collaboration and accelerate decision making, APR proposes 6 business processes in quote definition and recovery, order validation and monitoring and procurement orders mining. These processes are selected as answer to partners’ requirements in the enhancement of collaboration reactivity and support. The implementation of these processes allows to collect and formalize tacit/explicit business rules, validate the assignment of business tasks to actors, simulate the behavior of each new business process using test data. The new collaboration scenarios are validated with a PILOT and then a selected set of customers and suppliers.

IT PARTNER: Université Lumière Lyon 2

Since 1969, the University of Lyon 2 develops courses for Undergraduates, Master and Doctorate in several training fields. With 377 degree courses for more than 27 500 students (2013) and 38 research labs, the University of Lyon 2 is distinguished among other universities in France. The DISP lab at the University of Lyon 2 develops research in product development and PLM, business process management, knowledge Management and business performance enablers for industry.
Within the FITMAN project, the Lyon 2 team develops research and applications covering: Enterprise architecture, Business process specification and design, Specification of business objects and their interaction with BPs, Integration with IoT infrastructure, Interoperability barriers and enablers at the application, transport, network and link layers, and Business process deployment and performance assessment.

END USER: Applications Plastiques du Rhone (A.P.R.)

The APR Company was founded in 1974. It develops its business activity in the plastic manufacturing industry. To meet the expectations of its customers, it has built over the 40 years of existence other technical solutions such as boiler-making, injection, trading, thermoforming or molding by casting. Certified ISO 2001 since 2005, it continues customer’s satisfaction improvement and maintains diversified IT based collaboration with its main partners (AREVA, SCHNEIDER, IVECO, SMS, etc.)
A.P.R. accelerates its development through its "CAP 2020" programme. It is about a set of challenges to reach by 2020. The refocusing of its business activities on energy, transport, water treatment, food processing, industrial electronics and buildings, can provide even greater responsiveness to the requirements of its customers. In this perspective, the enhancement of IT based industrialization capabilities will help A.P.R. to propose more valuable services to its customers. When its turnover is increasing by 30% in the last five years, A.P.R. confirms its motivation to test new Internet based capabilities as one of its strategic growth perspectives.