- March 14, 2011
- Case Study
By Mark Humphlett, Infor
Soon after starting a continuous improvement program, Overly Door realized that its largest source of waste came from the way that it took orders and translated those orders into information that drives manufacturing ‚Äî a process affecting the entire business.
By: Mark Humphlett, Infor - March 2011
Setting the Strategy
Soon after starting a continuous improvement program, Overly Door realized that its largest source of waste came from the way that it took orders and translated those orders into information that drives manufacturing—a process affecting the entire business. Bill of material (BOM) mistakes were common, resulting in delays and extra time needed to ensure product quality. Costing was often wrong, so ensuring the proper margin on orders was difficult. The quoting process took hours or days—even up to three weeks—to prepare detail drawings before manufacturing could begin. The company's overall goal was to reduce quoting and delivery time.
Getting Business Specific
Overly Door selected Infor ERP SyteLine as its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, along with Infor ERP SyteLine Configuration. The company knew that configuring its products would be fast, intuitive, and consistent. The products could handle all of Overly Door's pricing and BOM/routing generation needs, and work seamlessly with SyteLine's Estimating and Order Entry modules. Finally, Overly Door could rapidly develop product models and maintain them with the graphical point-and-click design feature.
Using the Kaizen process, Overly Door defined a new quote-to-delivery flow using the configurator. In the new flow, the technologies automatically generate BOMs, routings, configuration-specific drawings, and CNC files. But the company needed to glean product knowledge from the product managers and capture it in electronic models to drive the process. The engineering department was already using parametric 3D CAD models that the configurator could "flex."
Overly Door is using Infor ERP SyteLine Configuration with Infor SyteLine 8 to dramatically streamline the quote-to-delivery cycle. Users captured product management knowledge with the configurator's product models across nearly all configure-to-order products in about six months—while preparing to cut over from the former system to SyteLine.
Now, sales people can produce accurate quotes in minutes, often while on the phone with a customer, and automatically produce approval drawings without engineering assistance. Pricing is standardized across all of sales based on accurate BOMs that the configurator generates. Order prices always contain the correct built-in margin. New sales staff can be proficient in dealing with customers in a few days, instead of the 12+ weeks of training formerly needed.
Once the company books an order, the system automatically generates detail configuration-specific drawings for manufacturing and for submittal packages. The configurator generates complete BOMs, routings, and CNC files, and passes them to SyteLine to drive manufacturing. What once took up to three weeks now takes minutes, dramatically reducing overall lead time. Also, engineering has seen its workload cut in half, and the company has reallocated about 50% of its engineering resources formerly used to create order drawings to work on new product R&D and other sales support activities. And production orders now flow through the shop with few delays, further reducing overall lead time and production cost while maintaining quality.
"We're transforming the way we do business across sales, engineering, and manufacturing," says Chuck Baugh, Overly Door vice president and COO. "We couldn't be more pleased with the software and the support."
Besides eliminating tremendous waste from Overly Door's internal processes, the new system is providing a clear competitive advantage. Baugh says: "We can now confidently quote, make, and deliver our products faster than any of our competitors, which counts for a lot. Customers tend to negotiate less on the price when we can deliver faster than anyone else. And we're going after new market segments because we're confident in our speed and quality."
The company saw many benefits from using Infor ERP SyteLine and the configurator, including being able to:
- Dramatically reduce its quote-to-delivery process.
- Automatically generate approval, submittal, and detail drawings, and accurate BOMs and routings.
- Generate drawings in minutes instead of three weeks. Reallocate 50% of its engineering team from drawing creation to new product R&D and sales support.
- Accurately quote orders while a customer is on the phone, and reduce sales training time from 12+ weeks to days.
- Use delivery time savings to go after new markets.
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