Gerdau partnered with Haneke Design to develop an integrated technology solution to improve workflow at steel mills
Gerdau, headquartered in Sao Paulo, is the largest producer of long steel in the Americas. They have over 30,000 employees across 10 countries and offer steel for the civil construction, automobile, industrial and agricultural sectors. With a desire to improve business processes, Gerdau enlisted the expertise of Haneke Design to uncover ways their business could be improved through the creative use of technology.
Haneke Design saw an opportunity to improve workflow at the steel mills through a digital transformation initiative. The challenge they solved related to the flow of pickups at steel mills. Truck drivers needed to park, get out of their cabs, walk to the office, provide an employee with pickup and shipment information, and then wait to be told where to go. Between long walks, bad weather, and inefficient use of multiple people’s time, the current process was not ideal.
As a solution, Haneke Design created a suite of apps that work in conjunction with Gerdau’s current SAP ERP software to provide a mobile-friendly user experience for truck drivers and steel mill employees. The new app allows drivers to check in right from their mobile device, eliminating the need to exit their cab and walk to the office. Truck drivers will also receive push notifications and directions to designated loading areas when it is time to begin the inbound process. With this new streamlined system, drivers are able to prep their trailers while they wait because they now stay with their trucks for the duration of the process, resulting in significantly increased workflow.
“We knew that in order to stay ahead of the curve in our industry, we would need to take relatively successful business processes and find opportunities for even greater efficiencies,” said Fernando Nogueira of Gerdau. “Haneke Design was able to identify the pain points of our operation and offer breakthrough ideas that could be enabled through the use of technology. The new app suite represents a major improvement to a routine business process, and it will transform how we operate for the better.”
The mobile app was developed for both iOS and Android and is currently available in the app store. Haneke Design also designed and developed a web application that is used by the steel mill employees in order to communicate with the drivers. From here, they can send out push notifications as well as track the drivers while they are on site.
“This project was right in our wheelhouse,” said Jody Haneke, CEO of Haneke Design. “The Gerdau business challenge of creating greater process efficiency represented an ideal starting point for a digital transformation initiative. The process we deployed to understand current business processes, pain points and to map out opportunities was foundational in the design of the suite of apps we ultimately created for Gerdau, and the collaboration had a very successful outcome.”
Gerdau’s core business is to transform steel scrap and iron ore into steel products. They are the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world. Each year, they transform millions of metric tons of scrap into steel, reinforcing their commitment to sustainable development.