For over ten years, Corteco, one of the leading international IAM specialists for seals, vibration engineering, chassis components, and cabin air filtration, has been using our TecCom Order platform. All processes, from availability requests to invoicing, are automated and standardized – saving time and costs and improving the service quality. Based on the positive outcome in Europe, Corteco is now gradually rolling out the solution worldwide.
Simpler, faster, better: automation enables sustainable success
In addition to proven OEM quality, Corteco focuses on reliability and flexibility in order processing, good product availability, and excellent service. These factors are crucial for sustainable success in the automotive aftermarket.
“Before we introduced TecCom as an ordering platform, orders were still arriving by fax, e-mail, letter, or very often as an Excel list,” recalls Carsten Schwartau, Director Customer Operation at Corteco. “This process was laborious and time-consuming, as the data had to be entered manually into our system. This procedure was not only cumbersome for us but also our customers.”
Buyers approached Corteco with the desire to use TecCom as their ordering platform due to their longstanding positive experience of working with the TecDoc Catalogue to find OEM numbers. By connecting TecDoc and TecCom, products can be automatically added to the shopping cart.
The decision to use TecCom has brought about drastic changes, and it had a particular impact on supply chain efficiency:
“In 2013, about 15 percent of order items were automatically processed electronically. Today it is over 70 per cent, i.e., more than 700,000 order items per year. And the trend is positive.“
Carsten Schwartau, Director Customer Operation, Corteco
“Without TecCom Order, it would not be possible to process the current order volume of around one million items per year in Germany,” says Carsten Schwartau, illustrating the time saved by TecCom.
Maximum automation through individual SAP module
One reason for the high volume processed via TecCom Order is the SAP integration of TecCom Order. This point of intersection enables direct exchange between the customer’s ERP system and Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ SAP system, which Corteco also accesses.
The increasingly demanding customer requirements could not be met by the standard functions of the SAP system, as this was initially designed for industrial or OEM business and not for trade business in the automotive aftermarket. Therefore, Corteco worked with the TecCom team to customize the features and link the web portal to the SAP system.
“When a customer’s order contains 1,000 items, and this order is loaded into our SAP system, a runtime error occurred. To fix this problem, we started a project with TecAlliance and developed the ‘Order Patch’,” explains Carsten Schwartau. TecCom Order now automatically splits large orders, transfers them one after the other, and merges them back into one order eventually.
Another use case is orders that include products from different locations. The SAP system is unable to separate the order items by location. In the past, such orders were entered manually. Today, TecCom Order recognizes when an order contains products from different locations. This order is automatically separated, and the split orders are transferred to the SAP system. The customer who placed the order is unaware of this procedure, as he is only assigned an order number, as usual. “We could not realize all the possibilities with SAP since we were unable to implement certain features. Now, we’ve been able to achieve our full potential with TecCom,” says Carsten Schwartau.
The TecCom Order System, which has been optimized for Corteco, has even more functions, such as querying parts availability in real-time, automated plausibility checks of the items, and electronic invoice transmission via TecInvoice.
International standard solution for worldwide use
In the future, these and other functions will be available to all Corteco locations worldwide. The global rollout was started with a project in Mexico. Here, too, the use of the digital ordering platform was requested by customers who already use TecCom Order and would also like to use it to process their orders at Corteco. Working closely together, the teams from Corteco and TecAlliance in Germany and Mexico implemented the project within five months. “It couldn’t have gone any faster,” Carsten Schwartau is convinced.
Flexibility and speed are essential for success in the international automotive aftermarket. Corteco meets these criteria, among others, by utilizing TecCom. Both companies, Corteco and TecAlliance, have benefited equally from the many years of cooperation. Good communication and mutual understanding ensure a win-win situation for both parties. “The level of knowledge and expertise of the TecCom team members is very high. Thanks to the agile way of working and innovative ideas for solving problems, we have successfully completed all joint projects so far,” says Carsten Schwartau.
“For the rollout at our sites worldwide, it is very helpful that TecAlliance supports us with teams on site. We expect the international rollout of TecCom to further improve cross-country collaboration through standardization and automation. This will enable us to guarantee the same high quality of service everywhere efficiently and with little effort,” says Carsten Schwartau. “We are looking forward to the next joint projects!”