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Iris Wedepohl

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Costing 4.1 – Digitization in Cost Management


International Costing Community Meets at the 10th FACTON User Conference in Stuttgart


More than 130 international costing experts met at the 10th FACTON User Confer-ence on November 28th in Stuttgart. The conference celebrated its tenth anniver-sary by focusing on the theme “Costing 4.1”. Participants discussed the impact that advancing digitization will have on modern cost management and what con-tribution the costing community can make toward progress. The latest develop-ments in the FACTON EPC Suite were also presented along with a preview of the product roadmap.


Alexander M. Swoboda, CEO of FACTON GmbH, introduced the theme during his key note speech: “‘Mainstream adaptation’ of standard software solutions for product costing is only two to five years away according to Gartner analysts’ estimates. This is proof that FACTON customers took an important step toward the future early on. Let’s face it, digitizing product costing would be inconceivable without Enterprise Product Costing (EPC) software. After enabling our customers to digitize the costing process at its core, we are now helping digitize the interfaces to development, suppliers and customers.” Swoboda predicted that product costing in the cloud would gain more traction in the future: “In addition to making collaboration with suppliers and customers easier, it will provide a platform for using artificial intelligence in product costing.”


Christoph Müller, Vice President Customer Services at FACTON, who moderated the conference as in past years, had this to say about the anniversary event: “Over the past decade our User Conference has become an important industry platform. For years now, it has focused on much more than just our software portfolio: Instead, we discuss the trends that will shape our business sector in the future. The constantly growing number of participants clearly underscores how important personal exchange is, especially in the era of increasing digitization. We are pleased to make an active contribution here.”


FACTON as a Partner in Implementing Forward-looking Costing Strategies

Alongside the traditional view of the FACTON EPC Suite roadmap, Product Management also stressed the importance of digitization in the area of cost management. In light of globalization, it is important to accelerate the decision-making process as it affects products and services and to work more cost-effectively in the process. This is why every company needs a Costing 4.1 strategy, they noted. FACTON clearly sees its role as being a partner in implementing this strategy.


Digitization Fosters Collaboration

The application-centric presentation covering “Efficient Handling of OEM Quotation Breakdowns with FACTON EPC” demonstrated the myriad ways in which digitization can improve collaboration. Attendees learned about the technical possibilities FACTON EPC has to offer, how to create an open book calculation for an (automotive) OEM and manage it efficiently to the end of the process


Both of the break-out sessions also showed new opportunities in digital collaboration: An interface between FACTON EPC and JAGGAER (formerly Pool4Tool) makes it possible to calculate product costs in the FACTON EPC Should Costing solution and analyze these in the JAGGAER purchasing platform, without having to manually transfer data from the costing software as in the past. During the second session PTC GmbH, Techsoft Datenverarbeitung GmbH and FACTON presented a prototype of an interface between PTC’s Windchill Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system and the FACTON EPC Design Costing Solution. In the future developers will be able to make their engineering bill of materials (EBOM) from Windchill directly available to the development project manager for further calculation in FACTON. This minimizes costing effort and reduces vulnerability to errors. 


FACTON is introducing its own ambitious new support portal for handling support cases as part of its effort to offer cutting-edge technology that enhances collaboration with customers and further accelerates the case handling process.


Thinking outside the Box

In its presentation “Why the Future Will No Longer Be Hosted in the Basement”, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH offered practical examples of digital advancements and explained why companies must not merely survive the digital transformation, but actively drive it forward. The reason is simple: The digital transformation will never be over.

A panel discussion rounded off the event. Representatives from JAGGAER, PTC, Microsoft and FACTON discussed the following theses with the audience:

  • The technological transformation and the advancing digitization of products and manufacturing processes are increasing the pressure on an already highly complex value chain.
  • An inability to understand the true costs jeopardizes the profitability of many businesses.
  • The fact that cost information is scattered among a handful of experts or stored in obsolete IT systems makes it difficult to hire young Talent.

As the event came to a close, participants unanimously agreed that EPC can sustainably secure a competitive edge and increase profitability as part of an enterprise-wide digitization initiative.