Page 34 - MetalForming-Jul-2018-issue
P. 34

Systems New and Improved
Companies planning to sustain growth must have robust enterprise-resource- planning (ERP) software systems, or else face possible missteps and lost business. An example of one firm that opted for a new ERP system follows. Then, read on for a look at recent software innovations from several suppliers.
Nearly five years ago, Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS), Farmington, CT, was celebrating its growth while lamenting the limitations of its aging ERP sys- tem. The family-owned manufacturer of custom springs, progressive stampings, fineblanked stampings, machined components and assemblies for customers in the medical, aerospace, defense/firearms, transportation and consumer- products industries, needed a software change. CSS man- agement turned to the Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software supplied by Global Shop Solutions (GSS), The Woodlands, TX.
“Our previous ERP system lacked the ability to efficiently schedule our 600 work centers, which resulted in an unsat- isfactory ontime delivery rate (72 percent),” says Dave Fis- chler, CSS vice president of finance, adding that the company set out to identify a “robust and completely integrated system for handling everything a manufacturing job shop needs to do.”
In CSS’s case, that’s a lot. The company moves thousands of part numbers through its work centers, with many of the parts having multiple secondary work centers to schedule, and with some requiring as many as 28 operations, inhouse and at offsite vendors.
“Based on the extensive routers we create for every part,” explains executive vice president Steve Dicke, “the APS tells us when we need to do something in each of our work cen- ters. It gives us the lead times and lets us know when parts need to come out of a work center to keep us on schedule. And, we can see the available capacity of all machines at any given moment, which allows us to ensure that we can deliver before promising specific due dates to customers.”
In one recent quarter, the shop achieved a 97.5-percent on-time delivery, an all-time high for CSS. “The visibility of data in the system ensures that we don’t over-promise and under-deliver,” adds Dicke. CSS also has seen its sales climb by 50 percent, in part due to newly found visibility into its operations. Although some growth has come from new prospects and customers, most has come from new-product development with the company’s existing client base.
“When we deliver on the dates we promise, it gives our customers confidence in what we can do for them, so they come back to us,” says Fischler. “As our existing customers have grown, we’ve been able to grow with them by proving our capability and getting the product to them on time.”
Instant Access to Complete Data
CSS stations 45 graphical-user-interface terminals around the shop floor to give production workers instant access to data needed to stay on schedule. “Everything they need to know is right there,” says Fischler.
Fischler says that CSS also has achieved a high level of materials-management sophistication and precision using GSS Mobile CRM (customer relationship management) soft- ware. CSS barcodes everything that comes in the receiving door and immediately issues it to a job or inventory. All completed products are barcoded as well. In between, CSS uses GS Mobile to facilitate fast, flexible materials movement in real time.
“Using mobile scanners in receiving and in the warehouse gives us superb lot control and highly accurate inventory tracking,” Fischler says.
32 MetalForming/July 2018

   32   33   34   35   36