Since mid-January, Ultra Consultants has been working with a privately owned industrial supply manufacturer in the Midwest. During our most recent company meeting, I presented a status update on this engagement and the major strides we have taken so far in their ERP project. Here is what everyone learned.
The Industrial Supply Manufacturer: Basic Facts
Founded in 1973, this industrial supply manufacturer strives to produce precision machining parts through their detailed manufacturing process and thorough engineering resources. The company has approximately 200 employees, and clocked in a revenue of nearly $60 million in 2015. Our client supplies several high profile companies, several of which are in the automotive industry.
Ultra’s Project Timeline
Ultra kicked off the project with this industrial supply manufacturer in mid-January, and has been spearheading a very efficient engagement. So far, the client has completed both their current state mapping and evaluation, and their ERP University sessions. Detailed education and future state workshops began this past week. One of the primary goals from the onset centered on the upstream processes. These involve a long lead time with significant engineering and quality effort, but once orders have been received the follow-on processes become a Make to Stock environment with annual forecasts and regular releases.
Current State Mapping Results
During our current state mapping with the industrial supply manufacturer, we identified six greater picture steps we wanted to be able to take with the implementation of a new software. The company decided they wanted to:
- Upgrade or replace their existing business system, which happens to be Exact/JobBOSS
- Replace numerous ancillary databases and add-on systems to solve specific requirements
- Implement full EDI capability to better communicate and share data with their major customers
- Provide an integrated system creating a foundation for anticipated future growth
- Build on the strengths of the management team to facilitate change from the workarounds that have been needed with the current system
- Improve inventory management and accuracy
The Challenges of an ERP Project for an Industrial Supply Manufacturer
There are always bound to be certain difficulties when embarking on a new ERP project. Even though we were able to identify key areas for improvement, there are certain aspects of the company dynamic that could put pressure on achieving these goals. First of all, this industrial supply manufacturer has a lean management organization and resource constraints come with the territory. The company is also very cost conscious, which is a common mindset in this situation. Managing risk as the project moves along will be critical.
These facts have contributed to the project as challenges to date. But despite these challenges, which are common to ones we have experienced in the field, we expect to bring this company to an ERP selection in six months.
To learn more about what Ultra can do for your company, contact us today.