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Filter Manufacturer Gets Production Under Control with Cloud ERP
Liquid filter bags are essential for filtering out contaminants in industrial water systems and chemical processing equipment. Industrial Filter Manufacturing Ltd (IFM), located in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada, has been making standard and custom filter bags for over 40 years. They’re now making them more efficiently thanks to their implementation of Global Shop Solutions ERP software.
For JoLayne Advent, VP of Operations for IFM, it’s almost like working in a new company.
“Before using Global Shop Solutions we tracked everything manually, which meant we didn’t have access to real-time data,” she says. “Determining the status of a job required a time-consuming visit to the shop floor. Our sales reps couldn’t respond to customer inquiries quickly or with confidence. And it could even take up to a half an hour to find an infrequently used part in our warehouse.”
Getting Production Under Control
Advent had the task of selecting the right ERP system for IFM and overseeing the implementation. They chose Global Shop Solutions for several reasons. The software offered the most value for IFM’s needs. It offered a cloud-based solution, a top priority for Advent. Most importantly, it “spoke the language” of manufacturing.
IFM’s first goal with Global Shop Solutions involved simplifying BOM and router creation. In the past, updating incorrect routers could take days or even weeks because it was all done by hand. As a result, orders were
sometimes made incorrectly before the update occurred. Now the BOMs and routers can be corrected instantly thus creating a system for storing the data in the system rather than in people’s heads.
“Some of our filtration bags have the same style but are built with different materials. Global Shop Solutions’ Document Control™ application allows us to link standard spec pages to multiple routers instead of having specific spec sheets for every type of material used,” says Advent. “Before, when a cut pattern or something else changed, we had to manually correct multiple spec sheets. Now, changes automatically update all the routers linked to that one spec sheet, saving substantial time.”
Next, IFM tackled inventory management. They entered every type and amount of inventory into the ERP software, switched to a barcode tracking system, and began using the software’s lot-bin capabilities. The benefits IFM has experienced as a result of using Global Shop Solutions’ for inventory have been immediate and substantial.
Data Management From a Single Screen
Initially, some IFM personnel found access to so much data a bit overwhelming, which is normal. That’s when IFM began exploring one of Global Shop Solutions’ most popular features – the robust array of Dashboards. These customizable tools summarize data in various areas of the business into a single screen, providing “at-a-glance” information to track past and present performance while informing decisions for the future. The goal of these dashboards is to be able to do the majority of your job from a single screen, all day, every day.
With so many hats to wear on the job – including accounting, production, and warehousing – Advent saves her highest praise for the ever-popular Supply & Demand screen.
“Many of our managers are using the Supply & Demand screen because they can access numerous other Dashboards from that one screen,” says Advent. “I live and breathe in Supply & Demand because it lets me do so much from one location.”
A World of Difference Thanks to ERP Software
Over the last two years, Global Shop Solutions ERP software has transformed many vital processes for IFM. Job costing and profitability can be tracked with greater precision. Access to production data informs important decisions about product lines – such as how to cut costs, gain efficiencies, and which products are generating higher profit margins.
One of the biggest improvements has come from using the Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) application to schedule jobs more efficiently.
“I did not believe ERP software could make such a difference and so fast,” concludes Advent. “When we encounter a challenge, my first thought is, ‘How can Global Shop Solutions help us get to the end result faster?’ Whether it’s simplifying a process or finding new ways to organize and use the data, the answer is usually there in the system.”
To learn more about all the ways ERP software improved IFM’s business, download their full case study.