Category: Metal Fabrication, Case Studies, Planning and Scheduling, Customer Relationship Management
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This is Not a Drill: Tooling Manufacturer Nails an Enhanced Shop Floor with ERP Software
The Cleveland Punch & Die Company is a family-owned business that makes quality steel punches, dies, shear blades and tool holders for a variety of customers throughout the steel fabricating industry.
The company’s 50+ employees turn out thousands of different make-to-stock products, as well as offering sophisticated design and engineering services that have earned the company a reputation for producing top-quality custom products and special application tooling with fast turn-around times.
With tens of thousands of parts in inventory, one of the biggest ongoing challenges for Cleveland Punch & Die has been keeping track of all the different tooling requirements for their customers. For years, management attempted to manage this process with an outdated AS400 system combined with various manual procedures. Eventually, they found a much better solution through Global Shop Solutions ERP software.
“As a company, we’re totally customer-driven,” explains Kyle Brown, Director of Business Development. “And with tens of thousands of customers in our database, we wanted to find a way to track customer data in a more efficient manner. We started looking at Global Shop Solutions because of its robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module. But the more we looked at the software, the more we were impressed by other aspects of the system.”
Powerful CRM Module
With its huge inventory, extensive customer base, and mix of custom and make-to-stock parts, Cleveland Punch & Die has found the part number generator feature in the CRM module to be a real time-saver.
According to Brown, customer service reps often generate hundreds of work orders in a single day. So the ability to assign different part numbers to customer-specific tools allows Cleveland Punch & Die to optimize the time and effort required to create new part profiles. When an order is received for a custom product, customer service reps simply pull from the huge list of part specs in the system and build customized part numbers and profiles.
Data Visibility Spurs Shop Floor Enhancements
Customer service reps and engineers may spend most of their time in the CRM module. But on the shop floor, it’s a different story, where the ever-popular Supply and Demand screen provides access to the data workers need to measure, monitor, and track jobs in progress.
Shop floor personnel also make extensive use of the Shop Floor Data Collection system to cut costs and simplify operations. Instead of manually clocking in and out, workers simply scan their barcoded badges and work orders, and the Shop Floor Data Collection screen automatically logs them onto the job. With numerous screens strategically located throughout the shop floor, machinists don’t have to waste time walking back and forth between jobs. And they can also access a wide variety of job specs and data through the screens, including manufacturing drawings for each and every item issued to the shop floor.
“With Global Shop Solutions we can see right down to the minute what employees are working on, where a part is in the shop, and whether it will be completed on schedule. This ability to accurately track parts through every step of the production process gives us a level of control we never had before. It also helps us make better decisions about how to manage workflow.”Kyle Brown, Director of Business Development at Cleveland Punch & Die
“For example, lately we’ve been getting a lot of rush orders where customers call and say, ‘We need this part yesterday.’ Or, it’s a custom job that we usually quote a week on but the customer needs it in two days. With the Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) application, we can look at job schedules, machine capacity, and other shop floor data and instantly see the impact of moving those rush jobs to the top of the list.”
Continuously Making Enhancements
Brown also points to the flexibility of ERP software as a real advantage.
He has started visiting the Global Application Builder (GAB) Forum to see how other companies are making custom enhancements that adapt the software to their specific needs.
“Global Shop Solutions works great out of the box,” says Brown. “But if we want to add something, it’s nice to know that we have the capability to make some changes in-house without having to hire an outside programmer. It’s also nice to know that, if necessary, Global Shop Solutions will help us build it. And they’ll make sure that it works when we later upgrade to a new version of the software.”
To learn more about how ERP software helped Cleveland Punch & Die Company down load their full case study.