One software plug-in Janiszewski particularly appreciates is an e-scheduling routine. “Because things change so often and rapidly here, we rely heavily on the ability of the e-scheduler to prioritize orders based on several parameters. We actually reschedule our entire backlog three times per day, reshuffling orders based on the logic built into the system.
“We’ve also made our quoting and customer-service processes paperless,” Janiszewski continues. “We have software that converts faxed RFQs to PDF files, which store in public folders —just as CAD data comes in through our translators and is packaged into e-mails sent through customer service. So our customer-service managers constantly scan their e-mail in-boxes to manage quoting and purchase orders paperlessly. We’ve pushed paperless as far into our process as we can.”
What’s the Payback?
On the front end, Janiszewski says the payback with paperless manufacturing can be measured in terms of responsiveness. “We’re all about speed,” he says, “and the race doesn’t just start when we cut the first piece of steel, but when we receive an RFQ. Our goal is same-day turnaround of quotes, viewing quoting as a slice of lead time. If a customer has to wait two or three days for a quote and our lead time on a made-to-order product is four working days, we’re behind the eight ball.
“So we measure success based on quote turnaround,” continues Janiszew-ski. “The ERP software time-stamps everything, and I receive daily reports on our RFQ volume and our responsiveness. We’re same-day quoting 85 to 90 percent of the time, realizing that some projects are too complex to quote in just a few hours. It’s safe to say that we’re quoting and processing significantly more orders than ever before, without adding labor and—this is critical—with less supervision required. We’re not out there chasing routers and diagnosing mistakes. Our material coordinators know where jobs are and where they have to go, without a supervisor watching over them. Material flow is smooth and optimized.“Rapid manufacturing is the goal,” Janiszewski concludes, “and now we’re able to move jobs from work center to work center based on machine and personnel availability. That type of flexibility is nearly impossible to achieve without paperless workflow.” MF
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms
See also: Superior Die Set Corp.