Headquartered in the Netherlands, Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group has been delivering mechanical parts, high precision assembly and sheet metal products to customers in the medical appliances, flow-control, and automotive industries for more than a hundred years. To remain a leader in its field, company officials decided they needed to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution devised specifically for the manufacturing industry to guarantee a low cost, high-end product to an increasingly demanding environment.
After reviewing the market, the company originally selected Epicor ERP version 9. Implementing Epicor ERP enabled Boers to more efficiently manage its supply chain to support its next phase of growth. The solution, which is seamlessly integrated into Boers' CRM and document management systems, enables the business to produce electronic requests for materials, dispatch those materials, and track the movement of all inventory including raw materials and work in progress.
Using touch-screen terminals and bar-coding technology, Boers is able to track inventory in real-time with complete control and visibility of raw materials and work in progress as its products travel throughout the supply chain.
Ronald Koot, CEO at Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group, explains: "Our decision to implement Epicor was driven by the desire to constantly fulfill the changing requirements of our customers. As the business grew, they needed more comprehensive information from us and quicker response times relating to our working schedules and availability of stock. Once Epicor was in place, we immediately had easier access to more accurate data from a single source which enabled us to communicate better with our customers and improve our service offering."
The Need for Speed
Since forming its business over a century ago, Boers has witnessed manufacturing strategies evolve from high volume/low cost to quality improvement which are all important foundations for doing business.
By implementing the ERP system, Boers reduced customer lead times for parts from 8 to 3 weeks.
However, in order to realize its plans for growth, Boers recognized that speed through Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) was key to delivering long-term, sustainable success throughout its entire supply chain.
Koot says: "While we were very happy with our existing version of Epicor ERP, we wanted to introduce greater speed and innovation to take our business to the next level and meet the more complex demands of our customers. In order to enhance our performance and further improve efficiency, we required a next generation ERP solution which could simplify the user experience, improve collaboration and, most importantly, help us to reduce customer lead times."
After receiving a demonstration of the enhanced functionality within the latest release of Epicor ERP 10, Boers was convinced that the new solution would enable it to transform its relationship with its customers.
By providing a streamlined experience across multiple devices and expanded deployment choices, Epicor ERP 10 is delivering Boers a richer and more consistent experience within a single solution. The new touch-enabled, intuitive user interface in ERP 10 is designed from the ground up to work with smart devices, empowering Boers' employees to work the way they want to, maximizing productivity levels.
Epicor's ERP 10 provided a single view across Boers' supply chain.
Jos Greeve, ICT Manager at Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group, observes: "With Epicor ERP 10 we immediately saw the advantages of the new user interface and dashboards which makes everything simpler and easier to use. By using touch enabled, touch friendly computers with new menus, the solution is transforming productivity as our employees are now able to adapt ERP 10 to the way they want to work."
Moving from the prior release to ERP 10, Greeve says: "We received great support from Epicor and our partner Macroscoop during implementation. "It only took us an evening to go live -- literally from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm, we completed the conversions, installations, everything."
Reducing Customer Lead Times as Part of a QRM Strategy
The company initially implemented ERP 10 within its sheet metal business from the shop floor to finance, to meet its growing customer demand for access to real-time information. Previously Boers could only access Epicor ERP from the desktop but by introducing touch-screen computer terminals across the whole of its engineering shop floor. ERP 10 is now accessible to the whole business.
The ERP system is used by everyone -- from the finance department to the plant floor.
Koot comments: "Accessing Epicor via touch screens ensures everyone can get the data they need, when they need it, such as checking the system to determine which product parts are in stock or monitoring the progress of a project. Epicor ERP 10 is so much faster and the solution's intuitive dashboards and search facility enables us to delve further into the heart of how our business is really performing with fewer keystrokes."
Time compression across of all Boers' company processes was seen as critical to its growth.
To further accelerate the company's operations, Boers recognized that ERP 10 could support its strategy to roll-out a wide range of QRM techniques in order to facilitate the quick movement of jobs, projects, processes and information across the business to reduce customer lead-times. The strong manufacturing engineering functionality in ERP 10 is now providing Boers with the functionality required to support and measure the faster operation. Additional enhancements have improved the rapid launch of new sales orders, advanced scheduling and collaboration with its customers and suppliers.
Customers can access real-time updates on the progress of a part.
"By supporting a wide range of QRM processes Epicor ERP 10 provides greater flexibility which has helped us to significantly reduce our lead-times," adds Koot. "Through being able to react much faster than ever before we have cut the time it takes us to deliver many parts from eight weeks down to just three weeks, in addition we're giving our customers greater insight into our working schedule and exceeding their expectations."
He concludes: "In the future, we expect Epicor ERP 10 will continue to improve our performance so that we can make more products while needing less effort to keep the system running. Despite using the system for only a few months we have already been able to cut our indirect labor costs by 15 percent in addition to providing a vastly superior service offering which has strengthened our competitive advantage through significant efficiency gains."
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