If you think that keeping a major manufacturing operation running smoothly from day to day is a hard thing to do, try running four major manufacturing operations at the same time. This is the challenge for Calnetix Technologies, a Cerritos, California, company that is a world leader in developing and manufacturing high-speed electric motors and generators.
Much of the technology that Calnetix uses in their products is the result of their own significant research and development (R&D) efforts into frictionless magnetic bearing technologies, known as high-speed permanent magnet machines. The result has been the spin-off a variety of technologies into their own standalone companies as subsidiaries or affiliates of the parent company.
From the start, Calnetix knew it would need a special software to manage the tremendous amount of business information generated by their continually expanding company. Within a year of their 1998 inception, Calnetix turned to Global Shop Solutions for ERP software capable of making this information stream an asset, not a detriment, to their growth. Mike Baca, the Purchasing Manager at Calnetix, remembers the series of events that delivered ERP to his company.
“We started using QuickBooks as our purchasing and accounting system, and everything else on Excel spreadsheets and even Word documents,” says Baca. “It was quickly apparent we needed to find a software that would allow us to control inventory, track the sampling time, a complete platform that could become the backbone of our manufacturing system.”
“I asked a good friend of mine, Tom Lewis, the President of Wilshire Precision, what system he was running. He told me it was Global Shop Solutions and that it was the best he’d ever seen. So, I went over to his facility and he showed me how easily a work order was generated and parts purchased, and how he could schedule parts.”Mike Baca, Purchasing Manager at Calnetix
“Afterwards, I brought the idea of acquiring Global Shop Solutions back to our Calnetix President,” says Baca. “The Global Shop Solutions salesman came out and demonstrated the details of the system, and, I’m happy to say, we’ve been using it ever since.”
For Baca, the integration of Global Shop Solutions has meant greater efficiencies in work order generation, purchasing, tracking work orders, reading shop orders, looking at open orders, and tracking inventory.
Manage Multiple Companies With ERP Software
Calnetix’s growth has been so dynamic that it nearly tripled its employee base in 18 months. The growing pains associated with rapid expansion also cropped up in executive management. Controlling time and attendance, costing, scheduling, and other factors, was much easier with 20 or 30 employees rather than 90 or 95.
Working across multiple databases with dozens of schedules out of sync defined the need for a single ERP software capable of bringing all of the data under one single-view “home base” control. For Calnetix’s executive management, Dashboards are the best way they’ve found for centralized ERP and MRP control.
Calnetix CFO, Ian Hart explains, “With Global Shop Solutions, the bottom-line for management is the Dashboard. Everything is in one place, under one roof. We don’t have to work with multiple software companies, and for CFOs, the Global Shop Solutions Dashboard is a powerful tool. As we develop this business model of affiliate development further, we’re going to have more volume and we’re going to spread it around the world. Also, with Global Shop Solutions, we can sort our financials for all of our affiliates immediately. And Global Shop Solutions allows us to work through the customization of the software in a way no other software company can match – it’s all about meeting our needs.”
A Powerful Machine in the Global Market
As needs for alternative means of power generation increasingly become a front burner issue, Calnetix is well-positioned to take advantage of emerging markets for a variety of cost-of-business and environmental reasons. Whether the solution is found in more efficient motor operation, accessible stored energy, or waste heat recovery, Calnetix is on the leading edge of R&D into this global problem. Working along with them, their Global Shop Solutions is there 24/7 to make their life easier and the company more productive. For Calnetix, the relationship with Global Shop Solutions is a natural one, based upon the unique capabilities of both companies.
To read about all of the great things ERP software did for Calnetix, download their full case study.