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ZeroAdmin

Automation of the offer process for small and medium-sized Swiss enterprises due to development of a self-learning machine.

Zero Admin

Objectives

Development of a self-learning machine in order to drastically reduce the administrative effort involved in preparing an offer and carrying out product costing analyses.

Background

Ongoing cost pressure to relocate production orders from Switzerland to abroad is resulting in an increasing order volume of mechatronics components with simple production requirements and a relatively low level of vertical integration now being produced for the most part in the EU or low-wage countries. At the same time, there is a growing trend for purchasers to obtain offers from a large number of subcontractors in Switzerland and in parallel in the neighbouring EU countries. The amount of time required to create the rising number of tender requests is increasing while the likelihood of successfully winning a contract is decreasing. In this negative cycle, supply companies are struggling with rising administration costs.

Result

As part of the CTI research project ZeroAdmin, a self-learning machine is being developed and created in collaboration with research and industry partners; this engine will automatically calculate and create offers for drawing parts that are optimized for the customers.

The automation and digitisation of this sub-process using learning technology – as is the case with machine learning for example – opens up new opportunities for automatically creating more accurate offers tailored to the needs of customers. The product is an engine that becomes more intelligent with each tender it calculates and automatically improves based on its experiences (calculations).

In addition to reducing the administrative effort involved in this process, this engine offers other advantages with regard to quality and customer retention. The engine performs calculations with a significantly higher degree of accuracy than the methods used in current practices and creates offers of consistent quality. Data mining in CRM and ERP enable customer-specific offers that are even more firmly bound to companies thanks to the calculation being available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Project information

Implementation FHNW Institute of Business Engineering
Research partner FHNW Institute of 4D Technologies
Duration 18 months
Funding Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)
Project management Charles Huber

 

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