Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

Global workflow management

TRW Automotive, ZF TRW since May 2015, and customer of JobRouter from the very beginning, is facing three challenges which are both exciting and essential for the future: digital transformation, the changes in the automotive industry and the merging of two corporate cultures. The well attuned IT team plays a key role in managing the complex processes over more than 120 locations.

December 2015. Everytime someone reports about self-driving cars these days, it is likely that a component from ZF TRW is used. Active and passive safety technology is the core competence of the fifth ZF division. Its portfolio includes functions for driver assistance and partial automation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and lane change assist, as well as emergency assist. The development and production center in Koblenz bursts at the seams, which is why individual departments – including the IT department – were outsourced to buildings in the neighborhood. Here again, innovative thoughts and processes to increase the productivity and the added value are thriving.

We meet the IT team which decided to purchase the workflow management system JobRouter® in 2004. Angelika Knauth, Anton Khoryukov and Markus Staudt have been working for the automotive supplier for more than two decades. Also present at the meeting are Paul Eisenbürger (Engineering Controlling) as well as Anne Jahn and Josef Rieser, two long-term employees of the special departments.

Merging two very successful technological leaders: ZF and TRW have established themselves in rapidly growing segments, which benefit from the megatrends: Fuel efficiency, increased safety requirements and autonomous driving. (Foto: ZF TRW)

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

The interview

Your team has developed more than 40 processes, most of them for the special departments, since the introduction of JobRouter®. How did this start?

Markus Staudt: “In the beginning, we established a basis in JobRouter® with an automated approvals structure into which supervisors as well as cost centers were integrated. Workflows such as overtime requests, travel requests etc. are running through this. Lately, many workflows were requested from logistics in Koblenz. If you know about JobRouter®, you come up with new ideas on how processes can be digitized.”

How many users are currently working with JobRouter®?

Angelika Knauth: ”Anton has implemented a connection to the group-wide AD (Active Directory) with JobRouter® methods. As a result, currently around 30,000 employees can use JobRouter®.”

Picture Left: Josef Rieser, Picture Middle f.l.t.r.: Markus Staudt Anton Khoryukow Angelika Knauth,
Picture Right: Paul Eisenbürger (l.) Markus Staudt (r.)

How do the special departments use JobRouter® workflows?

Josef Rieser: ”An example in our Central Logistics department is the Special Trips workflow. Such trips or flights must be approved on short notice and processed by dispatch departments. Now managers can approve costs of the special trips that exceed a certain amount via their smartphones. Once a week I get the reports from JobRouter®. Many processes and forms, that were edited manually and controlled by internal mail, can now be reliably tracked electronically and managed faster.”

So approvals are granted via smartphones?

Paul Eisenbürger: “Yes, that is easy. Managers can reply to an e-mail from JobRouter® using a keyword and therefore approve or decline the process.

Anton Khoryukov: “The demand for approval processes from management is increasing, in particular parallel processes with more supervisors. More and more managers, who are travelling around the world, are asking for the functionality to grant approvals in JobRouter® processes via e-mail.

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

How complex are the automated workflows for the departments?

Angelika Knauth: “Sometimes workflows are very simple: We have implemented a one-step process for our colleagues in Düsseldorf. This process consists of one step and helps to ensure the correct licensing of DIN norms and standards globally at the respective locations. We would not have reliably and quickly solved this problem without JobRouter®. On the other hand, other processes are very complex with up to 30 steps and require a close coordination with the relevant departments.”

What benefits does JobRouter® give in cooperation with external companies?

Paul Eisenbürger: “One major project concerns the complete business trip management with our test center in Sweden. Our engineers test vehicles under extreme conditions there. Instead of using Excel sheets for booking and invoicing we now use JobRouter®, which additionally ensures the assignment to projects. My idea was to place charter flights with flight data and the place of departure as a drop-down menu, to exclude false entries or scheduling problems. The data is sent to charter companies and hotels for processing automatically.

“The most important feature was the support for the management, to simplify and accelerate approval processes.”

Quote: Angelika Knauth, IS FACS, focus on Database Administration

Can analog workflows be mapped one-to-one? How are new workflows developed?

Markus Staudt: “A lot of people first have to learn to think logical in non-sequential processes. The departments have to do some preparatory work and fill out a form for each new workflow. They have to enter, for example, form fields, sequences, approval processes, responsibilities, mandatory fields. Also questions, such as: What happens, if the supervisor declines a request, have to be clearly defined. The specification consists of a presentation, interview protocol and e-mails.”

And what if changes are requested later?

Angelika Knauth: “We have an effective internal workflow design. External solutions require a calculation of costs: Every detail must be clearly defined in advance before placing an order, to avoid additional costs. Some details become clear only during the workflow development, despite the good preparatory work of the departments. As internal developers we are able to react flexibly and effectively. The first mask is the most important, because all data collected there is running through the entire process.”

“We have detected the weak points of our system and solved them with JobRouter®.”

Quote: Paul Eisenbürger, Business analyst, focus on Engineering Controlling

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

When does the special department take the responsibility for the process?

Anton Khoryukov: “The tests are running in parallel with the development. The special departments are happy with their responsibility. The local administrator gets training or communication documents if required. He gives the go-ahead and can intervene in processes and reassign steps.

“Only a team which is globally responsible can use the potential of global workflow management and implement it in processes.”

Quote: Markus Staudt, Business analyst, focus on ERP systems

The system landscape at ZF TRW in Koblenz is highly differentiated. The ERP system QAD only allows limited access from the outside which makes the data exchange and the interface connection difficult. SAP® uses the HR module and the controlling department uses General Ledger as an island module.

What is the role of JobRouter® in a complex system landscape?

Paul Eisenbürger: “Everyone needs possibilities for data acquisition which our systems do not offer – which is the strength of JobRouter®. The highlight for me, in the controlling department, is that I can collect all data in one database with JobRouter® to evaluate and continue working with it.”

Markus Staudt: “The interfaces show how well an application can be integrated seamlessly. For example, I can connect databases with SQL and PHP to JobRouter®. Therefore, for me, JobRouter® is a tool that is easy to program but also flexible in complex solutions.”

“It is important that the responsibility for the workflow remains in the special department. Once the process is running, a person is assigned as the administrator.”

Quote: Anton Khoryukov, Business analyst, focus on Quality Software

How is the application management regulated?

Anton Khoryukov: “Since we all have different main fields of applications, we share the workflow development and the support according to our available time. For the future, we hope for more capabilities. We currently convert to JobRouter® version 3, which is certainly a major project.”

Angelika Knauth: “When updating to the latest version, we want to bring everything to perfection. We see a chance to rethink existing processes and to use the new potential, than just easily transfer the data.

Integrating into the ZF Group also offers new perspectives for the IT. At the top of the Merging agenda are the following items: Efficient operation procedures, lean processes and efficiency and customizability.

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

The last point is due to the diversity of international employees, locations all over the world and the demographic change.

How can a workflow management system be used globally?

Paul Eisenbürger: “Many processes have to be completed outside the ERP system, for example SAP®. A lot can be prepared with JobRouter® and then transferred into the ERP or any other system – but not many decision makers know this. The decision makers of the business and IT department have to work together better to use the complete potential of a global workflow management system.  We have a great knowledge in workflow development which cannot be found in many companies.”

That means that other locations are also using processes developed for the special departments?

Markus Staudt: “Most of the workflow development takes place in Koblenz. Together with the special departments, we make sure that a process can be used internationally. This way, other locations can be easily integrated into existing workflows.”

Anton Khoryukov: “We have developed a special workflow MyJobRouter in order to reduce the administrative effort, which enables each employee to compile his JobRouter® processes and create his own master data. For that, the multilingualism of JobRouter® is a great advantage.”

“For me and my colleagues in the customs department the work with JobRouter® is a daily basis. The pro-forma process is currently the most used workflow with 2,350 instances. Pro-forma invoices are required for custom clearing, for example when we send test parts to our national or international factories.

Previously, each participant has entered their data by hand or typewriter in a Word template. With the JobRouter® process, it became faster, easier, and neater. For third-country invoices, we implemented an additional approval step for the exact cost of goods to calculate the import duties. We add all customs-relevant information, before the shipment generates the pro-forma invoice in PDF format. I see room for improvement in the apportionment.”

Quote: Anne Jahn, Central Logistics Customs and Foreign Trade, ZF TRW

How can a team be established which is globally responsible?

Anton Khoryukov: “Workflow management is becoming sustainable when a globally responsible team is analyzing all processes of every location. The team has to transfer leads in knowledge from one location to others. The workflow management tool JobRouter® is such a global system, that it makes perfect sense to specifically assign it to this task. Ideally, the workflow development is taken over by a globally located team, which considers local languages and characteristics. We do have this potential.”

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

“We were convinced from the beginning and still are.”

Looking back, twelve years ago– how did the collaboration with JobRouter® start?

Angelika Knauth: “We were looking for an archiving and workflow tool. A lot of systems are like a black box, however JobRouter® is wonderfully open and reduced to the essentials. You could start without many trainings and high costs. I really like that we can use the data from other systems, no matter whether they come from QAD, SAP®, databases or Excel. Since the first process, the invoice verification, we have developed 40 processes, especially my colleague Anton Khoryukov. It’s great what you get from the JobRouter AG for such a price.”

“In 2004 TRW was JobRouter® customer number one. The cooperation with TRW and shortly after with other customers has initiated our change from a systems house, started as WJ&P GmbH in 1994, to a software manufacturer. In 2013 WJ&P became JobRouter AG. Our company has grown from 15 employees to now more than 60 employees. In addition to our headquarters in Mannheim, we have offices in Casablanca, Istanbul and Warsaw; we also maintain our international network of partners with over 80 distribution partners. Currently JobRouter® has more than 700 installations in 17 languages around the world, 60 of them in North America. For me personally, it is great that our software has accompanied our very first JobRouter® customer all these years. JobRouter® helps permanently to keep important processes in mind and to meet the challenges of a global company.”

Quote: Fritz-Jochen Weber, CEO and Chairman JobRouter AG

About the JobRouter AG

With the foundation of Weber, Jäck & Partner Systemhaus GmbH in 1994 in Mannheim, the company launched document management solutions in German-speaking countries. In 2000 the company was renamed WJ&P Systemhaus AG.
Due to the lack of an easy-to-use and cost-effective workflow management system in the market for document management systems, the company started the development of the workflow management system JobRouter®. It was released in 2003. Due to the high demand that occurred at the same time as the relaunch of the product, WJ&P Systemhaus AG changes its course to software manufacturer and rebranded to JobRouter AG in 2013.

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

JobRouter® - Transformation from workflow management to a global platform for enterprise-wide digitization of business processes

JobRouter®, the unrivalled application framework

JobRouter® provides the perfect combination of workflow, document and data management, as well as intelligent document processing.The continuous process orientation, connection of all components and communication with ERP and other standard systems makes JobRouter® a unique application framework for digitizing your company.

With JobRouter® you can automate all business processes to accomplish the compliance with your corporate rules precisely and ensure correct processes. Additionally, you lower the expenses for necessary quality management, reduce the lead times, and improve your adherence to schedules. You save storage and administrative costs and create space for the essential tasks. JobRouter® offers flexible workflow management, which grows together with your business development, for sure.

JobRouter® users are companies, such as Lamy, IHI Charging Systems International, Ernst & Young, Fresenius Netcare, Heberger, HELMA Eigenheimbau, Metzler IT Service, MEYER WERFT, Rockwell Collins, ZF TRW and many more.

Success Story / ZF TRW / JobRouter® Enterprise Edition

Advantages of the JobRouter ® Enterprise Edition

  1. User limitation can be expanded
  2. speaks 18 languages, including German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Finnish, Czech, Chinese, Japanese, Russian
  3. multilingual dialogues and processes
  4. can be connected to any interface
  5. receives, distributes, processes and stores data and documents in cooperation with any system
  6. can act as a data acquisition for third-party systems
  7. includes a legally compliant archive
  8. considers times zones
  9. can be operated in a failover cluster
  10. supports load balancing
  11. test environment(s) available

Project details

Customer: ZF TRW
Branche: Automotive supplier
Employees: 134.000
Databases: Oracle
Running processes: Application for leave, ordering processes, overtime process, licensing process, special trips, AQP, education and training processes, pro-forma invoices, scrapping process, account receivable cost center allocation, business trips process, accounting control process, initial sampling process…
In the planning: Spare part sampling process
Short profile of ZF TRW

Logo ZF TRW

Since May 2015, TRW Automotive belongs to ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The company develops and produces active and passive safety technology for all major vehicle manufacturers worldwide. Headquarters of the company, which was founded in 1901, is Livonia in Michigan (USA). In addition, ZF TRW has 22 technical centers and 13 testing grounds worldwide. Koblenz is one of the largest European development and production sites of ZF TRW. ZF was founded in 1915 as Zahnradfabrik GmbH in Friedrichshafen and celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. Through the acquisition, the worldwide leading technology company in driveline and chassis technology, as well as active and passive safety technology has grown up to 134,000 employees at 230 locations in 40 countries. Shareholders of ZF Friedrichshafen AG are the Zeppelin Foundation, which is administrated by the City of Friedrichshafen, with 13.8 percent, as well as the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, Lenförde with 6.2 percent. ZF is one of the three largest automotive suppliers worldwide.

© JobRouter AG 2016 /230