Röhm GmbH optimizes trade compliance with AEB software
Case Study

Röhm GmbH optimizes trade compliance with AEB software

Together with AEB, Röhm GmbH has replaced its old SAP Global Trade Service system in record time. The result: secure, lean, and more cost-effective processes.

Requirements have changed

In 2019, Röhm GmbH was successfully carved out from Evonik Industries as an independent company. With the carve-out, the company’s IT also had to quickly get on its own feet. For example, Röhm could no longer use the parent company’s software suite for customs and trade compliance. They needed a new solution.

The project for the introduction of a new global trade IT system was managed by Röhm experts Barthold Budde, Trade Compliance Officer, and Dr. Thomas Rudolph, IT Innovation & Business Relation Manager. Both agreed: “The new Röhm GmbH could no longer fall back on a large foreign trade department, as in the Evonik Group. The GTS solution from SAP used to date was based on the extensive requirements of the original company. From our point of view, the introduction of a similar system would have meant too much programming and maintenance effort.”

The most important project goals were to automate the processes of export control and customs management to a high degree and at the same time keep the training effort for the employees as low as possible during the system implementation.

Some of the chemical substances used in the manufacturing process at Röhm are highly toxic and are subject to general or individual license requirements. The procedures in the export process are correspondingly complex, but should nevertheless be largely automated and run in the background. “The software had to allow us to reduce manual changes to a minimum. And these should be as user-friendly as possible,” says Dr. Rudolph.

Go-live

just 5 months from kick-off to go-live

Export declaration

approx. 2,700 export declarations

Import declaration

approx. 720 import declarations

Address checks

approx. 11 million address checks

Item checks

approx. 1.8 million item checks

Licenses

< 100 licenses

RÖHM GmbH

© Röhm GmbH, 2021

About Röhm

  • Industry: Chemical, methacrylates
  • 15 production sites on four continents
  • Company size: 3,500 employees worldwide
  • Sales: around 1.5 billion euros (2020)
  • Headquarters: Darmstadt

The AEB product solutions for trade compliance and customs management

After the evaluation phase, Röhm opted for the Compliance Screening, Export Controls, and License Management solutions in the area of trade compliance management. Since the company also needed new software for customs management in Germany due to the carve-out, AEB's Export Filing and Import Filing products were also implemented.

Up-to-date thanks to cloud software
Schedule and implementation
Up-to-date thanks to cloud software

Always up-to-date thanks to cloud software

The applications were integrated into the existing IT system as plug-ins via programming interfaces. They extend the existing landscape with the respective functions needed. In addition to standardized software, other features were also individually programmed and deployed.

AEB solutions are designed as a cloud service. The big advantage for Röhm: AEB continuously provides updates for software and legal changes. AEB experts regularly enter the latest legal regulations from the EU Dual-Use Regulation, the German Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance, and the US Export Administrations Regulations (EAR). This ensures that the software is always up to date – despite frequent changes in legal and technical requirements in the international movement of goods.

Röhm can also access its own software solutions from any of its locations worldwide via the web browser. “It's a perfect fit,” confirms Dr. Thomas Rudolph, “moving services to the cloud coincides with our internal IT strategy.”

AEB’s ISO 27001-certified data centers located at its headquarters in Stuttgart meet the highest standards for data protection and IT security – for example, when handling customer data and information.

Schedule and implementation

Tight schedule, smooth implementation

The go-ahead for the joint project with AEB was given in mid-March 2020 – with a tight schedule because the old global trade system had already been terminated for the end of 2020. 

“Not only was the deadline challenging, but so was the method of working the current situation required. Everyone involved worked from a home office. There was no opportunity for personal consultations on site in times of the pandemic,” explain AEB’s two experienced project managers, Dennis Hüggenberg and Wolfgang Vallery.

The ambitious go-live date was August 1, 2020. “We were really relieved that everything worked to the hour,” reveals Barthold Budde. “The two project managers did a good job of identifying our goals and needs and were committed to helping us implement them. In addition, AEB's extensive process experience and SAP expertise played a key role in carrying out the project so quickly.”

The AEB plug-ins for trade compliance and customs management were integrated perfectly into the existing SAP® ECC 6.0 system. Röhm GmbH had already established its own procedures in the areas of container shipping, the German ELAN-K2 connection, and for some customs-related processes. Customized development services from AEB specialists made it possible to seamlessly incorporate these processes into the new plug-in solutions.

Integration and result

The new software automates global trade management processes and makes export control much more efficient: Critical business partners are identified automatically (Compliance Screening) and current country embargoes are checked reliably (Export Controls).

A central Trade Compliance Monitor allows Röhm to keep an eye on their high-risk transactions. In case of a match during the restricted party list screening or export control checks, the document is blocked and the compliance officer is informed.

This means security in the processes. And it also means saving time, because all processes run in the background and are controlled and logged in accordance with regulations that are always up to date – without the need for any controlling intervention. 

“The previous time-consuming, mostly manual system maintenance processes can now be completed much faster and by fewer employees – thanks to AEB software support.” 


Dr. Thomas Rudolph, IT Innovation & Business Relation Manager, Röhm GmbH

Necessary export licenses can be maintained directly in the AEB application and used to approve transactions. Consumed volumes are automatically written off in the process. (License Management with ELAN-K2 integration for Germany. Missing licenses could be requested directly from within the AEB application via the existing ELAN-K2 interface to BAFA.)

The level of automation at Röhm is also high in the area of customs management. Electronic export declarations are automatically enriched with data and usually sent directly to customs as soon as they are available in the system. Plausibility checks and intelligent templates also increase efficiency here. The Export Filing and Import Filing solutions are certified for the complete range of functions of the customs process.

Lower costs, increased productivity

The effort pays off for Röhm GmbH: Errors are minimized, manual entries and checks are reduced, and productivity increases. “We are more than satisfied,” adds Barthold Budde. 

“It was an almost amazingly smooth implementation process we achieved with AEB. Particularly, since we were on an incredibly tight schedule with everyone involved having to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic." 


Barthold Budde, Trade Compliance Officer, Röhm GmbH

Simpler processes, little training required for system migration

Since the solution is precisely tailored to the requirements of Röhm GmbH, the processes are now leaner and more cost-effective compared to the previous solution. Integration into the existing IT system made it possible to maintain the familiar digital user environment, which minimized the internal training effort at the same time as required.

And: Röhm is already in the middle of the next project together with AEB: Currently, the Origin & Preferences software is being introduced for the management of origin of goods and preferences.

The photographic material is the property of Röhm GmbH and may only be used for agreed purposes, may not be altered or made available to third parties. ©Röhm GmbH, 2021