Inforum: Automotive Quality/Supply Management System with 20 Years of Expertise
2024년 01월호 지면기사  / 한상민 기자

Uwe Lang Senior manager, JAWA Management Software 

Inforum by the Austrian company JAWA is a well-established solution in the global industry for comprehensive quality and supply management. Particularly renowned for its web-based software that enables easy and clear planning, execution, monitoring, and control of corporate business processes and workflows. The core expertise of this proven customized solution, with a focus on collaboration with customers, lies in the industries of industrial, mechanical engineering, and automotive. AEM had a brief conversation with Senior Manager Uwe Lang.

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Please introduce the company JAWA and its flagship product, Inforum, briefly.
       Jawa is an Austrian company that has been developing custom software in the web domain for 30 years. Through intensive collaboration with the automotive industry over the last two decades, the "Inforum" has emerged—a Quality and Supplier Management System used globally, currently overseeing more than 10,000 suppliers. Trusted by international clients such as Magna, Hilite, Mutares, Samsung SDI, and many others, Inforum ensures stability and the highest quality worldwide. Through the individual adaptation of all modules and system expansion to meet specific customer requirements, Inforum can also be equipped with interfaces to your ERP system. "Inforum" already covers numerous standards. By collaborating with "Inforum," you not only acquire software but also the know-how from leading users to enhance and improve your business success.

What was the purpose of participating in 'Automotive World 2024,' and what were the outcomes? 
        Our goal at the Automotive World 2024 was to establish as many international contacts as possible. We had the opportunity to engage in many interesting conversations and also got to know new innovative ideas and companies. The future will reveal whether we have positioned ourselves correctly and highlighted our advantages over the competition.

How do electrification, digitalization, and autonomous driving in the automotive industry affect early development and quality assurance processes such as APQP? What challenges do they pose to suppliers and OEMs?
 APQP itself will not change due to electrification but might expand. Inforum can adapt to the rapidly changing technology. Particularly, autonomous driving will create new standards and documentation possibilities in the field of ensuring quality and reliability.

Are these solutions not just about certification processes? Ultimately, do they contribute to improving safety, efficiency, productivity, and all other aspects?   
 Yes, Inforum analyzes your data from all areas, allowing you to connect all relevant processes in a clear and comprehensive manner, intertwining related information.

In what areas can JAWA's solutions assist companies, and is there any particular aspect you would like to emphasize? 
 Jawa provides you with the opportunity to use software that has been employed by automotive customers for decades with the highest satisfaction. We plan and support you in the implementation of your project with extensive process expertise.

Magna and Samsung SDI are also quite familiar to me among JAWA’s key clients. Could you provide specific examples of how JAWA supports these clients?
     As we sign a confidentiality agreement with each company regarding the process flows, case studies with large corporations are not really publishable. The past has shown that many of our current clients do not use a system and are faced with the challenge of implementing solutions quickly, just before major audits, without knowing exactly how to successfully and systematically carry out this transition. Time is often a significant limiting factor in these cases.

A very extensive implementation has been carried out in recent years at a globally leading plant manufacturer. This included a specially tailored quality management and supplier portal, as well as equipping sales and product assembly through build!, an online configurator. The two systems are synchronized, ensuring that essential information for parts, along with market analyses and operating hour calculations, is always available in real-time for all areas. Additionally, the client has on their website a portal developed by us, through which spare parts orders are taken over, transferred to quality management, and evaluated. All delivered units (mobile plants) are equipped with GPS trackers, providing continuous real-time information on plant operations. This allows for a comprehensive overview of the entire delivered product range. Services and weaknesses can be addressed before any impacts become apparent. Just one example among many.

What is the relationship between inforum and other solutions like Build and Go!?
 As Jawa is extensively involved in plant engineering, and our parent company is a market leader in solutions for mechanical and biological waste recycling, we have been using a highly complex product configurator, "build," for a long time. This configurator allows for intricate product adjustments to be made online. In combination with Inforum, build can manage and control a product from sales planning through all quality processes. "Go!" provides real-time data from the devices and can be expanded by integrating third-party software.

There are likely competing solutions. What makes JAWA's solutions and partnerships better? Experience in this area and software and support capabilities seem crucial.     
Yes, we primarily offer decades of "know-how" that we have acquired through collaboration with very large partners. By integrating software development into a company that is a global leader in plant engineering, this knowledge has become extensive, allowing us to acquire in-depth understanding of internal processes. The framework upon which the entire foundation is built is considered one of the most future-proof solutions. And, of course, the economic aspect is not to be underestimated. With a simple licensing model and no costs for suppliers, the system is not only very affordable but also significantly sets itself apart from the competition. Our solutions are in-house developments and, therefore, always customizable. In contrast, competitors often only link modules, which doesn't truly cover individuality.

What message do you have for Korean OEMs and suppliers?"
 Our goal is to present our customer with a tailor-made solution. Our long-established 'know-how' is made available to the customer, enabling processes to be optimally represented based on years of international experience. Our team is highly flexible, and quality is also a top priority internally. We already have global major partners, with whom we have demonstrated over decades a partnership that is consistent and goal-oriented.

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