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Furniture Manufacturer Eliminates Material Shortages and Achieves More Accurate Quoting Thanks to ERP Software

Furniture manufacturer improves their business with ERP software.

Versatile Wood Solutions produces high-quality architectural millwork, custom office furniture, and store fixture displays. This family-owned business serves many well-known furniture companies as well as an array of national and international retail fixture companies.

The company’s skilled production workers are experts at using Microvellum CAD/CAM systems, running state of the art CNC machining centers, and other sophisticated equipment to produce their custom wood products. But in today’s cost-conscious manufacturing markets, it takes a very different kind of system to run a successful manufacturing enterprise. For that, Versatile Wood Solutions turned to Global Shop Solutions ERP software.

Improved Capacity Planning

The fixture industry is an ever-changing marketplace. New fixtures and store merchandising change often to keep pace with the latest fashion and marketing trends. This dynamic marketplace means that Versatile Wood Solutions almost never makes the same product more than once.

Initially, Versatile struggled a bit to mesh Global Shop Solutions’ powerful Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) module with their constantly changing workflow. However, after working with Global Shop Solutions Consultants to iron out some of the kinks, APS is paying real dividends.

The fixture industry is very competitive, lead times are tight, and retailers are always looking for new cutting-edge fixtures to drive traffic to their outlets. Winning or losing a job can come down to as little as a few dollars or days. APS gives us a much better feel for capacity planning and helps to allocate our people and resources more efficiently, allowing us to compete more effectively.

Mark Schroeder, President of Versatile Wood Solutions

Eliminating Material Shortages

Although Versatile Wood Solutions maintains a minimal finished goods inventory, it still has to manage large amounts of raw materials, including big investments in lumber, MDF and other composite products.

In addition to Global Shop Solutions’ sophisticated inventory and materials tracking capabilities, Production Manager Chris Haskins credits the software’s auto purchasing features with helping to bring inventory under control and reduce the time, effort and manpower required to purchase raw materials. With Global Shop Solutions, Versatile Wood Solutions can manage the entire purchasing function with only one employee.

Faster, More Accurate Quoting

According to Versatile Wood Solutions, Global Shop Solutions ERP software makes bidding quicker, easier, and much more accurate.

“Our business is all about lead times and price points,” says Schroeder, “which means we have to deliver on time, at the right price. Since raw material pricing is generally consistent nationally, a lean and efficient operation is key. When putting together a quote, we can instantly look up similar jobs and analyze production time and manufacturing flow to identify cost savings. We can then manipulate our schedule to maximize equipment output. We can also copy BOMs and routers from the old product to the new, allowing us to jump right into production.”

Global Shop Solutions also helps with the company’s quarterly profit-sharing plan by changing the way direct labor is tracked. Previously, bonuses were awarded mainly on tenure. Now, managers use the system to see how long an employee is logged into direct versus indirect labor. As a result, Versatile Wood Solutions has made direct labor time part of the bonus structure to motivate team members to always be working on a job.

Competing More Effectively

Schroeder and his team see Global Shop Solutions as a key to cutting costs and identifying areas where efficiency can be improved. They also consider it a powerful tool for improving the company’s competitive positioning in the marketplace.

With the newfound ability to track labor, materials, and time down to the penny, Versatile Wood Solutions can tell exactly how long it takes to make a product and how much it costs. As a result, they can also know with certainty whether a job is profitable.

Download Versatile Wood Solutions’ case study to learn all the ways that ERP software has improved their business.

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