In June of 2014 United Equipment Accessories implemented a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. That was a huge undertaking but has proven to be well worth the effort. As we begin our second full year with the new system, we continue to see the benefits.
From the customer service side we use the CTP (Capable To Promise) feature to give customers a quick answer on lead times. CTP will quickly identify any parts not on hand that need to be purchased or manufactured. It will also look at the work load in each area of manufacturing and calculate days required to complete the final assembly. Our planning and scheduling people are also using the system to predict and identify bottlenecks before they become a problem. Over time, if needed, it can be scheduled before the need becomes critical.
Checking on existing orders has also become streamlined. We can easily see which operations in a job have been completed and exactly where the part is in production. The system also allows any employee on the shop floor to add notes on each job. If, for example, an order has one part marked as stopped we can easily look further to determine what the problem is. In the past this might have involved several trips to the shop floor to get the same information. Now we can all share this with a few clicks in the system.
Improvements are continually happening each day. Our ERP team meets weekly to discuss and share any issues or changes that are being implemented. To make sure this process continues, we have added a full time Systems and ERP Analyst to our staff. This person works alongside with our current staff to form our ERP Team and insure improvements will continue.
It has been said that “change is inevitable and progress is optional”. Although it is not always the most comfortable, we at UEA welcome change because we understand it allows us to improve ourselves and ultimately better serve our customers.
Customer Service Manager