You don’t need a crystal ball to predict a prosperous future for SAP partner GIB, soon to be called ifm.
SAP celebrates its 50th anniversary, which serves as a time of reflection for the SAP community to ask: what is success and where does it come from? Along with all the technical achievements, impactful innovations, and business inventions, SAP’s guarantee of success has always been SAP’s customer relationship management and holistic problem solving. GIB was founded on these values and will continue to grow within the ifm group. I was able to observe some stages of his successful journey.
GIB was founded in 1992 and currently has approximately 120 employees at the Siegen site and 900 customers worldwide. The company supports around 1,000 SAP systems. GIB has had a partnership with SAP for 21 years and has grown sustainably – the term sustainability is chosen here very consciously.
Sustainability as a principle of action means avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance – or, in other words: that something successful in turn continues to create something new. The term comes from forestry, where obviously careful management of the forest not only produces but also enables growth. The principle of prudent resource management can be applied to many areas. Sustainability also means giving future generations a chance and therefore stands against overexploitation.
GIB mainly deals with the theme of supply, which is not only a complex challenge, but also involves the imperative of achieving maximum output while saving resources. Careful management of the means of production ensures the sustainability of the organizational and operational structure.
GIB has become an important player in the SAP community and has helped many SAP customers gain a new perspective on the subject of procurement. To some extent, the Siegen company therefore pursues an educational mission. Annual events at corporate headquarters are not only a meeting place for the SAP community, but also a learning opportunity.
GIB managers have always shared their experience and knowledge with customers, because sharing knowledge has the sustainability effect described above.
Officially, this successful development is described in a company presentation as follows: “GIB’s software solutions extend the SAP standard with important functions and planning methods. Two central effects of the solutions are the reduction of unnecessary inventory and increased availability for delivery. As a result, GIB’s customers benefit from a decisive advantage in terms of competitiveness and efficiency. Because sourcing within an ERP system is only part of successful logistics, GIB has become a holistic SCM provider. Currently, GIB has a world-leading supply chain excellence program and provides end-to-end sustainable processes for SAP users.
Supply Chain Excellence
Supply chain excellence is no small task, as it ultimately involves creating a successful process in a cyber system. GIB has taken up this supply chain cybernetics challenge. This step from a procurement solution provider to a holistic supply chain solution provider was important because existing SAP customers increasingly need this kind of control. The term cybernetics comes from ancient Greek and refers to the helmsman who steers his ship safely and successfully through the Aegean Sea. Hence also the generally accepted translation of cybernetics as the art of piloting, which GIB now offers with its software tools to the SAP community.
What comes after supply chain excellence? Even the supply chain is only part of a bigger whole which can be described as IoT, Industry 4.0 and ERP. The challenges of the coming years will not only be resilient supply chains and production sites, but rather a comprehensive and effective mastery of its own organizational structure and processes – from the CNC machine to financial accounting. Or, as GIB’s parent company, ifm, puts it more accurately: “ifm is strategically focusing on digitization and will thus move from a sensor manufacturer to a solution provider”.
The ifm company was founded in 1969 in Essen, Germany, and currently employs 8,100 employees worldwide, serving more than 160,000 customers. Since its inception, the company has been developing, producing and selling sensors, controllers, software and systems for industrial automation. In recent years, this hard work has resulted in over a hundred patents. As one of the pioneers in the field of Industry 4.0, ifm develops and implements comprehensive solutions for the digitization of the entire value chain “from sensor to ERP”.
It is a logical step for GIB and ifm to merge. ifm will bring GIB’s knowledge and experience to the world, and the two companies will complement each other’s expertise.
This is the last article in a series! If you want to read the first one, click here.