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Digital electricity meter manufacturer EMH metering relies on VlexPlus

EMH metering GmbH & Co. KG has been developing and distributing fully electronic electricity meters and comprehensive software systems for data exchange and processing of measurements since 1991.

EMH has a wide range of products on offer, from special meters for the electricity supply industry down to single tariff meters in households, including accessories and meter control software. In excess of a million devices are in use already at EMH customers. The company, certified under DIN EN ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, also operates the government-approved main test laboratory for the official calibration of electricity meters. More than 300 employees at three German locations contribute to the company's success.

Initial situation

Lacking release capability made change inevitable

Until 2009, the measurement technology manufacturer used an outdated ERP system which had over the years been extensively adapted by EMH to suit the company’s specific needs.

Numerous adaptations to the company software, however, made the use of required functionalities and representation of new structures impossible. The deployment of odd and interface-linked isolated applications finally led to a situation where nothing could be released any longer within the solution environment. In February 2009, EMH Management finally decided to replace the existing ERP system with a state-of-the-art, flexible and demand-oriented all-in-one solution.

Decision-making process

Integrated product configurator and process logic were decisive

Since EMH manufactures meters with a variety of features and has complex parts lists with numerous material items per meter, the consistent variant and process logic was a decisive criterion in the selection project. Above all, a future ERP solution needed to ensure tracking of meter serial numbers from distribution via production down to the customer, also ensuring consistent traceability in case of returns. Following an intensive selection process including an external consultant, the choice ultimately fell on ERP software VlexPlus, which convinced the client mainly by its integrated product configurator and its scalability, allowing flexible upgrading adding further capacities as needed.

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Many process improvements were implemented and several procedures reorganised already in the course of system switchover. The complete workflow and compilation of specific job documentation, including parts lists, was, for instance, reconstructed.

The existing manual compilation of parts lists for jobs was furthermore replaced by a type key controlled selection of variants. To simplify the distribution of customer-specific variants, the serial numbers for the meters are now issued by the system. An assessment of minimum warehouse inventories was also included as was a complex workflow for tracking and processing customer returns. Clean interfaces were furthermore created to exchange job-related equipment data between the various internal EMH tools and VlexPlus.