Custom Product Configurator with Workflow
Scheduling Enables New Growth for Manufacturer
Georgia manufacturer of shrink & stretch sleeve labels needed to add short production runs of large numbers of parts to meet changing market & customer demands.
- Visual ERP system did not support their process to configure parts & estimate costs. Additionally, workarounds added more inefficiencies & isolated data.
- Considered scrapping the ERP system & starting another selection project to find a system to support their growth
- TwinEngines developed a Product Configurator & Production Scheduling integrated with Visual ERP
- Solution includes: Part Configurator, Engineering Masters Import, Automated Workflows & Scheduling Visibility
SleeveCo offers up to 11 color rotogravure printing and up to 8 color flexographic printing. Manufacturing sleeve labels involves the container, the label specifications and the artwork, causing unique configuration issues and workflows for multiple departments. Work orders are completed in hours and days, with scheduling changes occurring just as frequently.
The company knew that in order to grow in their competitive and fast-paced market, their employees need business systems that align with their unique workflows and provide a complete, real-time view of operations.
SleeveCo needed to process short production runs of large numbers of parts, but the operational overhead prohibited efficient production growth. SleeveCo realized they needed to be more agile and to better utilize their busines systems, taking advantage of manufacturing best practices. The challenges included:
- The overhead just to configure and input the work orders in their ERP system was too much and caused downstream inefficiencies.
- Spreadsheets replacing ERP scheduling and shipping functions added even more inefficiencies and isolated information from the enterprise.
- Figuring how best to streamline product configuration and sales order workflows, to connect departments and to manage operations more efficiently.
It seemed their ERP system was not the right answer. The business systems needed to align with their operations, and allow employees to easily process reorders, to manage inventory and shipping.
TwinEngines worked with SleeveCo’s employees to analyze their work processes from quoting to shipping, and how they used the Visual ERP system and spreadsheets. A strategic technology roadmap was developed, detailing a planned approach for implementing the right business systems to enable effective, agile and connected operations.
- The strategic technology plan incorporated the Visual ERP’s functions that fit SleeveCo’s business processes, and added custom applications to fit SleeveCo’s unique quoting and scheduling processes. It also mapped future phases for improvements including capacity planning.
- The key application is a custom product configurator that pushes parts into the ERP’s engineering master database. All the unique information and workflow management for the containers, specifications and artwork are managed in the product configurator outside the ERP system.
- Once work orders are created in the ERP system, a custom scheduling application provides the capability to manage production in real-time.
- Each department has visibility of the information they need with live indicators for workflow status.
- Prioritization of work is managed with drag-and-drop features, supporting scheduling changes on an hourly basis.
By adding custom applications on a technology platform tightly integrated with the Visual ERP system, TwinEngines determined that SleeveCo could grow their business while keeping the ERP system.
SleeveCo went from hating the Visual ERP system to embracing the technology and exploring the advantages of manufacturing best practices.