Category: Metal Fabrication, Case Studies, Planning and Scheduling, Inventory

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Metal Fabricator Achieves an Amazing 90% On-Time Delivery Rate with ERP Software

Metal fabricator achieves on-time delivery with ERP software

Hawkeye Industries, Inc. is a family-owned, contract, sheet metal fabrication company with a reputation for producing high-quality precision metal parts.

Founded in 1995 by President and CEO Bryan Hawkins, Hawkeye utilizes an impressive array of high-tech sheet metal processing equipment – including three CNC flatbed laser cells, four punching cells and eight hydraulic brake presses. The company offers a variety of custom precision laser, sheet metal punching, fabrication, assembly, and welding services.

The Need for ERP

Like many manufacturing firms that first opened their doors more than two decades ago, Hawkeye lacked an integrated production and business management system. Instead, they used two separate manufacturing planning and scheduling packages, and these did not integrate with their accounting, costing and inventory control packages.

As he looked into the future, Hawkins foresaw the need for a fully integrated system to fuel the company’s continued growth.

After conducting several ERP software searches and considering recommendations from business associates, Hawkins zeroed in on Global Shop Solutions ERP software as a prime candidate.

Full Inventory Counts in One-Fourth of the Time

Before implementing Global Shop Solutions ERP software, Hawkins identified scheduling and inventory control as the two main areas for improvement. After carefully transferring data from the old system to the new, Hawkeye went live with the software in April 2007, and positive results soon followed.

As a make-to-order job shop, Hawkeye’s inventory consists mainly of raw materials. Global Shop Solutions made an immediate impact in terms of gaining more control over inventory levels, minimizing over-purchases, and facilitating smooth bin-to-bin transfers. But with the advent of barcoding and mobile technologies, the time and cost savings increased exponentially.

“We conduct a full physical inventory every quarter. Previously, it took 16 people working two full days to complete. Now that we barcode all raw materials, hardware and finished goods and use wireless scanners, we can count our entire inventory in about four hours using only eight people. That’s what I call real process improvement!”

Bryan Hawkins, President and CEO of Hawkeye Industries, Inc.

Big Increase in On-Time Performance

At Hawkeye, on-time performance represents the biggest single improvement from implementing Global Shop Solutions ERP software – and is probably the #1 contributor to the firm’s ongoing success. From approximately 80% (at best) a few years ago, Hawkeye now averages well above 90% in on-time deliveries.

“Global Shop Solutions has all kinds of features that help us work quickly and efficiently to get the job done on time,” explains Hawkins. “For example, the Document Control feature lets us electronically store and manage drawings, customer revisions, and other documents related to a job. Instead of having to manually track them down in file drawers, production workers can use the Shop Floor Data Collection screens on the shop floor to access the documents. It’s much quicker, and they know they’re getting the correct revision. We don’t have a screen at every workstation yet, but our long-range goal is to do so and eventually go totally paperless on the shop floor.”

Keeping on Top of Capacity

With its sophisticated flatbed lasers, punching cells and brake presses, Hawkeye has more than $6 million in productive assets on the shop floor. In order to pay for themselves, these assets need to be running at or near capacity day in and day out. To keep tabs on capacity utilization, Hawkins starts each day by logging into Global Shop Solutions’ Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) application to track the hours loaded on each machine.

Another favorite of Hawkins is the Business Intelligence Dashboard because it provides quick comparisons between actual and projected in sales, margins, profitability and other key financial areas. During staff meetings, he projects the Dashboard onto the wall for all to see, prompting more productive analysis and problem-solving from his team.

Competing More Effectively

“Maintaining the integrity of the data not only cuts costs, but it also enables us to compete more effectively by freeing up cash flow,” he explains. “If I can precisely control my inventory, then I can reduce my carrying costs because I don’t have to purchase as much buffer inventory. That gives me more working capital to do other things.”

Learn more about Hawkeye Industries and all of the great things that ERP software did for their business by reading the full case study.

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