New Manufacturing Software Streamlines Processes, Provides Key Management MetricsSeptember 1, 2009
Thanks to new automated production-planning software from Microsoft and the help of two Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, metalformer The Bing Group, Detroit, MI, has reduced premium-freight costs by 40 percent and inventory-carrying costs by 20 percent. It’s also improved delivery performance to its OEM and Tier One customers in the automotive and office-furniture industries.
The Bing Group processes flat-rolled steel on two slitting lines in its Steel Processing Division; its Stamping and Assembly Group operates presses with capacity from 200 to 1650 tons, and robotic resistance-spot welding cells. The company sought a software solution that would support its stamping and assembly divisions, and that included a financial-management tool compliant with generally acceptable accounting principles (GAAP) that could provide automotive-specific manufacturing functionality and financial information that identified actual versus planned data on key operational metrics.
Other key requirements:
• Plan production schedules efficiently to improve supply-chain operations;
• Align accounting with production and materials management to accurately place orders and estimate costs; and
• Build effective lines of communications with customers and suppliers for order and delivery exchange.
The Bing Group, along with Microsoft Gold Certified Partners AIM Computer Solutions (Fraser, MI) and The TM Group, opted to install Microsoft Dynamics GP financial accounting and business-management software, along with AIM Vision production-management software. AIM Vision, designed for automotive suppliers, includes a materials-management tool that operations managers can use to determine a machine’s scheduled workload and make quick changes to accommodate incoming demand.
“If an inbound order that requires 10 hr. of work comes through for a specific machine,” explains Thomas Lijana, CFO of The Bing Group, “and AIM Vision tells us we’ve only got 4 hr. available on that machine, we know we have to work overtime or bring in another shift.”
Microsoft Dynamics GP—thanks to a financial model created by AIM and The TM Group—extracts data from various components of AIM Vision, including purchasing and materials management, and provides information directly to the General Ledger of Microsoft Dynamics GP.
“AIM Vision handles the raw data, and Microsoft Dynamics GP interprets the financial data to help management make decisions,” adds Lijana. Microsoft Dynamics GP provides long-term financial history on accounts receivables and payables, and manufacturing-based general ledger transactions such as inventory evaluation and variance, scrap values and other cost and revenue figures.
“Because we can see a rolling 12-week demand of an inbound order,” explains Lijana, “we can proactively schedule each plant to ensure that raw materials arrive on time for production and minimize overtime pay.”
AIM Computer Solutions, Inc.: 586/439-0300; http://www.aimcom.com
See also: AIM Computer Solutions, Inc.