Category: Metal Fabrication, General Manufacturing, Case Studies, Shop Management
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Metal Fabricator Buys Just What They Need With the Help of ERP Software
TMCO, Inc. is a custom job shop specializing in one-stop, concept-to-completion metal manufacturing services since 1974. With a wide range of metal fabrication services, TMCO can finish a product from any stage of the design, fabrication, paint, or assembly process.
In addition to its custom fabrication services, TMCO also operates three subsidiaries that produce a diverse array of make-to-stock metal products. For years, TMCO managed production with a basic ERP system and a separate accounting software package. The lack of data integration between the two led to ongoing problems in inventory management, scheduling, purchasing and accounting.
Centralizing Data Input
Centralizing all data entry in Global Shop Solutions ERP software allowed TMCO to operate as a unified company rather than a collection of competing departments.
For example, order entry used to be a random process. Now when customers send in an RFQ, one person creates the inventory part number, router and BOM in their ERP software and sends them to each department to move forward with their part of the production process. As a result, new order entry is performed the same way every time, saving time and eliminating manual errors.
Getting a Handle on Inventory
With tighter controls over data input, TMCO next tackled the issue of inventory management – starting with cutting down on excess material purchases.
TMCO does a lot of nesting, with often results in extra material left over at the end of a job. With their ERP software, the purchasing personnel use the materials requirement report in the Auto Purchasing feature to identify which materials they will cut a purchase order for. Then they send the information to people on the floor to verify or change the quantities based on the amount of leftover materials. That way, purchasing can adjust inventory in the moment and avoid buying materials they don’t need.
Accurate Purchasing and Scheduling
Centralizing the purchasing process in their ERP software has enabled TMCO to restrict access for tighter purchase order and accounts payable controls.
“We used to have a problem with people paying vendors without looking at the purchase orders. Now, all purchase orders are issued by a single department, so we don’t have to worry about unauthorized purchasing…our purchasing department has never been more effective or efficient.”Rafed Rida, IT and Purchasing Manager at TMCO, Inc.
Meanwhile, TMCO has made great strides in scheduling efficiency using the Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) application. Planners regularly monitor and analyze the schedule to prevent capacity overloads of personnel and workcenters. APS also makes it easy to determine proper lead times to ensure materials are ordered in time for each job.
Total Shop Floor Control with Supply & Demand
When it comes to improving shop floor control, Rida gives much of the credit to Global Shop Solutions ever-popular Supply & Demand screen in the Inventory application.
“Supply & Demand is awesome!” Rida exclaims. “All you have to do is enter the part number and it provides everything you need. You can see all the open purchase orders, which jobs will use those materials, and the due dates. From there you can drill down to see the real-time status of each job, including where it’s at and who’s working on it.”
Supply & Demand even helps with the quoting process, allowing Rida to quickly access sales, inventory, and PO history for a part to see when and how much prices fluctuate. This helps to avoid getting underbid on jobs by ensuring that all pricing is accurate and up-to-date.
Global Shop Solutions’ ability to simplify operations in every area of the business gives TMCO the improved efficiencies it needs to compete more effectively in today’s global markets.
To learn more about how TMCO, Inc. has benefited from ERP software, download their full case study.