G&W Products https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/ Manufacturing Excellence Everyday Wed, 20 May 2020 20:52:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cropped-G_W-LOGO-32x32.png G&W Products https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/ 32 32 ERP Software Tamps Down Barriers to Growth https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/erp-software-tamps-barriers-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=erp-software-tamps-barriers-growth Wed, 17 Oct 2018 16:55:44 +0000 http://www.gandwproductsinc.com/?p=10155 The post ERP Software Tamps Down Barriers to Growth appeared first on G&W Products.

G&W Software Tamps News

G&W Products, Fairfield, Ohio, stamps and fabricates components and assemblies from many different material types and thicknesses using a variety of processes—both in-house and outsourced—for a diverse client base (see lead image). Part volumes are as high as 2 million a year, though most item requirements are 100 to 10,000 parts annually.

Founded 50 years ago, G&W had become a successful stamping manufacturer under its original entrepreneur management. When Gary Johns, a steel industry veteran, purchased the company in 2006 with ambitions to grow it, he found that the company’s growth was constrained by an antiquated scheduling and inventory management system.

“Upon my arrival, scheduling was actually done on a notepad and a magnetic whiteboard. It was just shocking,” company CEO Johns said.

Vice President of Sales Randy Sagraves worked with Johns previously and moved over to G&W with him. “I felt like we took a step back in time in terms of the system in place here. To take our business to another level and support existing and additional large customers required a much more robust system.” The previous owners had purchased an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system but had not fully implemented it.

Johns added, “We have some unique talents and abilities at G&W and we are located in a good spot, so we had a lot to capitalize on, but we really didn’t have all the resources we needed. To grow, I knew we needed some additional equipment, additional management talent, and we really needed to do something about our ERP system.”

Resources, Operations to Manage

Like other manufacturers, the company must coordinate its material intake, outsourced parts, in-house operations, machine time and scheduling, maintenance, quality inspections, tool maintenance, human resources, inventory and work-in-process (WIP) storage, client requirements, and delivery schedules.

Processes: In-house, Outsourced. The company stamps, welds, and powder coats in-house on 17 stamping presses; 30 weld bays; eight robots; five grinding stations; lasers; press brakes; a 275-foot, three-stage powder coating line; and other machinery. It monitors the operations, maintenance, downtime, productivity, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and tooling of each of those 110 work centers.

In addition, the company offers other services that it outsources, such as plating, coating, heat treating, machining, and deburring. “So those operations must be tracked as well,” said Jeff Karan, director of enterprise technologies.

Materials. G&W Products processes carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and red metals to support industries such as energy, heavy equipment, military, construction, and material handling.

Human Resources. More than 165 people are employed there.

“So, think about keeping track of that on a magnetic board!” Johns said. “That board would have to be very long.”

Client Requirements

The manufacturer’s customer base is growing, both in number and in level of sophistication. “We are working with large, even FORTUNE 500®, companies, and we’re building or stamping to print,” Johns said.

Customers of that caliber don’t play with suppliers with whiteboards and notepads.

“Large companies, whether they’re Schneider Electric, Caterpillar, Navistar, or Honda, won’t buy from you if your system isn’t robust enough to meet their expectations for quantity, quality, and delivery. You really can’t be where we were a decade ago and sell to them,” Johns said.

Company management sought ERP software that would help them handle complexity, especially with scheduling and part and material traceability.

Software Helps Manage Complexity

The company investigated 10 ERP software companies and their products. Through a process of research and evaluation, matching their offerings with the company’s needs, G&W narrowed it down to Plex Systems’ ERP Technology Platform.

G&W installed Plex Systems’ manufacturing suite, which comprises five modules: products and programs, planning and scheduling, inventory management, production management, and quality management.

Immediate Results

“When we first put the new ERP system in, we had a lot of gains … I mean overnight,” Ken Vance, CFO, said. “The first week, the head of receiving came and told me I could reassign his staff. The software helped him know where materials and parts were and what was coming in and when, so he could manage intake by himself.”

Since installing the new software, G&W has been able to grow its part volume exponentially.

“When I first took over the company, we got a really nice contract for 15 part numbers. It took the effort of everybody in the company to get them loaded, launched, and moving within 60 days. It was labor-intensive, involving a lot of spreadsheets. Today, it wouldn’t be uncommon for us to release 15 part numbers in one day,” Johns said.

Karan added, “Fifteen years ago, the most complex assembly we’d make would have five or six components. “Today, we produce an assembly with 300 components. It’s massive.”

“To do that 10 years ago, I’d have to hire more engineers, more project managers, more hands-on expediters … more people to track all this information. Now it’s in the system. It all flows together,” Johns said.

Parts Inventory Tracking, WIP Anywhere

After implementing the new software, G&W used the capacity planning and production requirement planning modules to help control inventory levels and create job runs that were appropriate for the customer’s requirements, Karan said.

Karan said that because the ERP system requires scanning bar codes and recording locations, parts whereabouts are always transparent. “Traditionally, we had specific areas where WIP and finished goods would be placed. But inevitably, we ended up spending a lot of time looking around for parts with a pad of paper.” Because the company’s mix is constantly changing, parts and finished goods would get moved around or placed in front of another one, and employees had to double- and triple-handle parts, Karan said.

“Now we no longer have to have that. We have part location control by scanning the bar codes to a specific location. So, no matter where we put the container, we know where it is.”

Dynamic Production Scheduling

The scheduling and capacity planning features within Plex allow G&W to adjust to ever-changing customer demands, while ensuring that adequate stock is in place for ongoing kanban requirements.

Having real-time data at their fingertips has enabled G&W managers to make informed decisions on-the-fly. Johns recalled an instance when the ERP system’s mobile scheduling capabilities saved a job run and salvaged a holiday gathering.

“Two years ago, my son, who works here, was sitting at the dinner table with us on a holiday, and he received a call about a problem on second shift. He just pulled up his smartphone, looked over the data, and rescheduled a machine.

“In the old days when that happened, more likely, managers or the operator would just make a decision. It may or may not have been a good one. Or maybe they just shut down the machine until the next day, which would be a waste of personnel and equipment time.”

Quality Inspections. Inspection scheduling is complicated because it varies from job to job. On one, inspections might need to be done on an hourly basis. On another, it might be based on the quantity of the production run. The ERP system incorporates the inspection criteria into the operation, based on how it is set up, Karan said. “The operator will have a notification pop up on the screen saying, ‘You need to do an inspection now.’ It will not allow production to move forward until the inspections are completed and the data’s captured. As a result, we have full traceability and inspection data all the way back to the raw material,” Karan said.

Tool Maintenance. The ERP system tracks and records all tooling activity. “Let’s say that we have an issue with the tool,” Karan said. “By looking at the serial numbers of the parts that have been stamped from it, I can tell what was produced, when it was produced, and who stamped it. It is time- and date-stamped, so if we find a tool defect, we can go out and quarantine those parts immediately. In the past we would have no idea how many parts had run since the tool became defective.”

With these new levels of inspection and maintenance, metrics since the software implementation have improved substantially:

  • On-time delivery has increased from 85 percent to as high as 98 percent.
  • Inventory has been reduced by 25 percent to less than 40 days on-hand.
  • Lowest overall defective parts per million has been reduced to 176—a world-class rate.

Transitions from Small Company to Big League Player

Karan said that the ERP system’s real-time data has enabled G&W to handle increased complexity, so it can grow volume and empower managers to make informed decisions quickly.

“In the past, the most complicated part assembly that we could work on might have a dozen different components. With the software’s traceability component, we now can make 300-part assemblies. We can trace all the parts back to the mill cert and all of our inspection data is captured, so we can do so much more than our previous system allowed,” Karan said.

“The real game changer is how the system allows us to do everything faster. We handle much, much more volume in a very short period of time compared to what we could do 10 years ago, seven years ago, even four years ago,” Johns said.

And that has been the big win. “All of the capabilities Plex has given us are great, but the visibility and being able to manage labor more efficiently were key. I think those are the two biggest things that upped the game for us,” Johns said. “And that has given us the ability to transition from a small company to one that can play in the big leagues.”

A Leg Up

Johns said that the software has given the company a competitive advantage. “Everybody can buy the same equipment, whether it’s lasers or stamping presses. If you implement the software correctly and you really utilize that information, it puts you in a realm where a lot of others our size are not.

“I know a lot of smaller companies are still struggling with keeping up. When companies like ours are scheduling from our cellphones, it’s going to be tough on them if they’re not staying up on technology,” Johns said.

Future Benefits to Realize

Vance said that he believes there is still more benefit to be gained by knowing the software better. “I think to some degree, we’ve only scratched the surface of what Plex can do for us.

“We need to scout the technology that the software has made available for us to make that next leap.”

Ground up Implementation

Johns credited Karan with getting buy-in from the staff for successful implementation. “One of the things we did correctly was we got the team involved in getting the technology installed and embraced. They took ownership of it and really implemented it.

“Jeff got a lot of our folks involved at a grassroots level to get the new system up and running and buy-in to make it more successful.”

“At the end of the day, we’re still a people business,” Johns said. “Of all the decisions we make, hiring the right people is number one. It’s by far the most important. I don’t care how great your system is, if you don’t have the right people, you’re not going to get the job done.”

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Live Data at Any Point in Time https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/live-data-at-any-point-in-time/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=live-data-at-any-point-in-time Wed, 30 Aug 2017 14:37:37 +0000 http://www.gandwproductsinc.com/?p=9967 The post Live Data at Any Point in Time appeared first on G&W Products.

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Live Data at Any Point in Time


G&W Products, a contract metal component manufacturer, recently updated its long-term strategic goals for the company’s growth. G&W’s objectives included meeting customer requirements, increasing inventory visibility, improving data collection and minimizing the overall costs of doing business.

At the time, G&W was using an antiquated software platform that was ill equipped to run the business and help grow operations. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) system was created by a local company and used software developed for a medical environment. “We were using a lot of spreadsheets and outdated modules,” said Jeff Karan, Director of IT, G&W Products. “We had too much paperwork flying around everywhere and too many unutilized modules. We would go through reams and reams of paper. We needed to improve our operations. When the economy took a hit in 2006, we decided to take a breather from this system.”

Karan and his team worked with a small group of consultants and G&W department heads to find and evaluate the industry’s best ERP systems. This group visited factories and witnessed demonstrations first-hand. “The top three companies then presented to us, and Plex was the winner by a wide margin,” said Karan.

“We believe Plex offers the best package of fully integrated modules accessible, in real time, from anywhere in the world,” continued Karan. “The traceability within Plex is incredible. If we have issues with materials, we can now isolate the parts involved. Prior to Plex, that process would have taken weeks of effort. It now takes a couple of hours. Plex’s quality control is essential, since we do military work with stringent quality requirements.”

Precision metalforming and fabrication software from Plex is designed to improve quality and productivity while allowing shops to maintain tight control over inventory, equipment, schedules and costs. Real-time data is captured by integral manufacturing execution system (MES) functionality and integrated into the complete suite of ERP applications, business intelligence and collaboration tools. Enhanced visibility and traceability support efficient operations, increased throughput, compliance and cost control.

Plex features and benefits include:

• Full traceability: Gain full traceability of materials used in each step of the metalforming and fabrication manufacturing process through integral barcoding. Connect all the way to the shop floor with optional direct connections to plant equipment. Keep a full history of inventory, heats, production activities, test results and more.

• Predictive maintenance: Keep equipment operating efficiently with operating equipment effectiveness. Avoid schedule interruptions with predictive and preventive maintenance. Keep equipment uptime high and unexpected failures low by scheduling maintenance at optimal times.

• Financial controls: Fully integrated accounting functions with automatic journal entries can be supplemented with multi-entity functionality for consolidation of cross company activities. Keep close tabs on all entities within the enterprise and provide senior management with detailed and consolidated information they need to make informed management decisions.

The Plex Manufacturing Cloud makes it possible to view all parts of a business for better management decision-making. Metalforming-specific functions include production scheduling, serialized inventory and tooling management. Using Plex, G&W now has virtually live data at any point in time. “As an example, if we need to work through the weekend, we can access our entire operations through the SmartPlex cell phone app and make live decisions,” said Karan. “In the past, we had to drive to our facilities to accomplish this.”

Utilizing Plex as a key tool, G&W has reduced its raw sheet inventory by 65% and reduced overall inventory to 38 days on hand. The company achieved a 98% on time delivery for 2015. It has significantly increased throughput without increasing labor. Information that had previously been recorded on paper and filed in cabinets or boxes is now available immediately. Inspection data is collected and available for SPC analysis at the moment the inspection takes place. The team has insight into trends on tooling and fixtures, improving risk analysis.

“In the past, we relied on gut feel or tribal knowledge within the company,” said Karan. “That has changed with our data. We have been able to expand capacity planning, and use our equipment to maximize our manufacturing hours.”

The majority of G&W’s workforce had no computer training before Plex was introduced. Now a conference room with an internet café is available for employees to access the internet and continue their training.

“Other than personnel, choosing Plex was our single best business decision in 30 years,” said Gary Johns, CEO of G&W Products. “With G&W’s level of inventory and manhours, none of our work would be possible without Plex.”

Founded in 1968, G&W works with both ferrous and non-ferrous metals and manufactures heavy equipment components, power distribution components, military ground vehicle components and construction components. Capabilities include metal stamping, laser cutting,robotic and manual welding, sheet metal fabrication, CNC punching, forming, tube fabricating, assembly and powder coating.

“We are dedicated to supplying custom metal components and assemblies that meet established customer requirements,” said Karan. “Our goals are to achieve and maintain world class standards for manufacturing, while growing the business at least 15% annually.”

For more information contact:

Jeff Karan, Director of IT
G&W Products
8675 Seward Road
Fairfield, OH 45011
[email protected]

Plex Systems
900 Tower Dr, Suite 1400
Troy, MI 48098
888-454-7539 / 248-391-8001

Read More: Live Data at Any Point in Time


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G&W Products Boosts Profitability and Reduces Inventory by 25% with Plex https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/gw-products-boosts-profitability-and-reduces-inventory-by-25-with-plex/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gw-products-boosts-profitability-and-reduces-inventory-by-25-with-plex Mon, 28 Aug 2017 19:52:53 +0000 http://twp.cloud/gandwproducts/?p=9945 The post G&W Products Boosts Profitability and Reduces Inventory by 25% with Plex appeared first on G&W Products.

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G&W Products Boosts Profitability and Reduces Inventory by 25% with Plex

About the Company

G&W Products provides world-class contract metal manufacturing to its customers. Founded in 1968, the company’s areas of expertise include metal stamping, laser cutting, CNC punching, metal fabrication, manual and robotic welding, structural steel working, sheet metal fabrication, powder coating and assembly. G&W is headquartered in Fairfield, OH and employs 145 people working from 140,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing facilities and 15,000 square feet of office space.

Business Challenges:

  • Existing ERP system wasn’t user-friendly and made it difficult to access critical information needed to make business decisions.
  • The company had to resort to manual, paper-based processes to overcome the limits of its ERP system. Inventory accuracy and traceability were problematic.
  • Identifying capacity constraints and order statuses was a lengthy, manual process that exhausted valuable resources.
  • Inflexibility of the ERP system hampered the company’s ability to grow.

Solution Benefits:

  • Increased on-time delivery from mid 80% to as high as 98%.
  • Reduced inventory by 25%—to less than 40 days on-hand.
  • Achieved lowest overall PPM at 176—better than world class.
  • Increased profitability 12%—though sales weren’t as high as anticipated, the company reaped more on existing revenue.

G&W Products is a small manufacturing business that had a goal to boost growth. When Gary Johns, CEO of G&W Products, took the helm over a decade ago he saw one thing that could prevent growth: the company’s legacy ERP system.

As a job shop, G&W can handle almost any kind of metal manufacturing including metal fabrication, metal stamping, welding, and powder coating. The company makes everything from electrical busway components and store displays to military components and heavy equipment. Each material used is ordered to specifications, based on customer requirements.

But unlike many small manufacturers, G&W didn’t believe the myth that cloud ERP is limited to large enterprises. In fact, the company sees itself as a leader by using technology to completely transform its business, and for good reason. G&W Products went from mostly manual, paper-based manufacturing operations to modern, lean, world-class production in nearly one year. And how the company got there is a story of true, company-wide buy in.

A Unique Way to Gain Buy-In

A typical scenario when a company decides to replace business systems is upper management or a group of stakeholders makes the decision and everyone conforms to the new system.

G&W’s CEO wanted to do things differently. He asked a consultant to do the research then formed a small team of employees to select more than a dozen ERP solutions. This small team would whittle the list down while more employees were added to evaluate those solutions after each round.
Once the final three were narrowed, they conducted a blind survey of all three asking which was the better solution—and they arrived at the Plex Manufacturing Cloud. Throughout this process (about nine months long), the CEO achieved endorsement across the company.

“Getting buy-in is the first step in really being successful at implementing an ERP system. If Gary had come to us initially and said, here’s what we’re going to buy and here’s what we’re going to use, things may not have turned out as well as they did,” said Jeff Karan, Director of IT.

For the initial implementation, the company had two facilities to get online which took about four months, due in part to entering 18,000 part numbers manually versus data migration. Karan says he and his team learned a lot about the importance of “good data in, good data out” during the implementation.

“The reason why we had to hand enter part numbers was because the information in the old system was unusable. We could put very little information into it, and there were a lot of restrictions on fields and the amount of characters that could be put in so project managers basically managed the facility (literally) from operation to operation,” said Karan.

With Plex, Karan and his team have found ways to continually improve processes. The company even formed a team dedicated to unlocking Plex capabilities that have a direct impact on business.

“When I got here, Jeff said we had a system; but in my mind, it was all manual because my inventory was on an Excel spreadsheet,” added Joey Seymour, Purchasing Manager. “But Plex just blew our existing system completely out of the water. I love it.”

Managing the Complexity of Modern Manufacturing

Expanding products to suit customer demands meant more complexity that G&W had to manage. That’s why it was critical that the company’s new system could handle capabilities like end-to-end traceability.

“In earlier days of our company, an assembly that had 15 parts led to manually chasing everything and keeping track through every step on paper. Now, we are making items with hundreds of part numbers that go into one assembly,” Karan said.

With Plex, every material that comes in is traceable back to either the mill or to the manufacturer, if it is a purchased item, G&W can trace it all the way back to the actual packing slip. Everything purchased requires a certificate of conformance. This paid off big time for G&W six months after implementing Plex.

G&W received material that failed due to cracking during forming. This was a product for a major military customer so locating the problem and isolating it as quickly as possible was critical. Plex allowed the team to look at the traceability tree to see all related inventory so they could locate, gather, and quarantine the faulty material immediately. G&W approached the supplier who provided the bad material with proof of failure and received reimbursement.

Prior to Plex, Seymour explained that he would get numerous emails daily with last-minute purchasing requests but often this resulted in a lot of overstock. Materials would pile up and make it difficult to locate what was needed to fill orders.

“With Plex, we went from having 3,500 sheets of metal on an Excel spreadsheet to only having two weeks in raw materials—essentially cutting our inventory by 25%,” Seymour said.

And since G&W is a job shop that means time and money savings they attributed to processing what is needed instead of what is received.

“With Plex, we went from having 3,500 sheets of metal on an Excel spreadsheet to only having two weeks in raw materials—essentially cutting our inventory by 25%.”

Making Quality the Core of the Business

“The other capability that made Plex stand out is that quality is built-in. With every other system we looked at, quality was always an add-on; a separate item being installed,” said Karan.

Ty Ruckh, Scheduling Supervisor added, “With Plex, you know when you’re trying to build something you can create the control plan, set up your inspection point, and it’s captured right there, in the moment and it’s there forever. And if you ever need to see any kind of validation or verification, it doesn’t get any better than having quality engrained in the system.”

G&W takes quality seriously—so much that employees continually push the boundaries to be as flexible and proactive as possible for customers. This just wasn’t possible with the old ERP system. Comprehensive, built-in quality management with Plex has helped the company improve in a number of areas, including problem identification.

“With regard to returns or problems, the discussion was always vague. It was difficult to find root causes and do good corrective actions. We can now put instructions, quality check sheets and hard stops into the Plex system in the way of pictures, videos and writing to ensure that everything is being done exactly to specifications,” Karan added.

Fast Response to Audits

Audits are part of doing business for G&W and they used to take a toll on company resources. Employees would chase down information pulling together paper documents, and the process would take days.

“Now we can sit in a room and pull up whatever auditors ask for within seconds. They’re blown away. They walk out of here, smiling and completely impressed with our ability,” Karan said.
In fact, Seymour explained that auditors often say they need to search harder to find areas for improvement. One auditor scrutinized the font size on a logo so he could report something.

When audits come up, there’s no concern among G&W’s employees because they know they’ll be able to respond. Within three months the company responded to 11 audits with no sweat.

“That makes us very proud. Whether it’s weld audits or ISO audits or just flat out customer audits, it’s really not an issue for us,” said Karan.

Leading the Way as a Small Business

G&W has fully embraced the idea of cloud, and the company has seen the benefits of managing Plex externally. Using cloud computing is what Karan sees as leadership as a small business in manufacturing.

“A lot of manufacturers our size, believe a system like Plex is just for big businesses because they think they won’t have enough employees to support it, but it’s just the opposite. We hired zero employees when we implemented Plex,” Karan said.

Karan continued, “They feel the need to keep everything on-site. They must control it, they have to know that it’s there and that nobody else has access to it. But, Plex gives you the ability to access the items that you need from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, this kind of forward thinking hasn’t hit a lot of smaller manufacturers.”

“Plex gives you the ability to access the items that you need from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, this kind of forward thinking hasn’t hit a lot of smaller manufacturers. You hear them talk about having to run into the facility and calling a certain person to take care of a situation, and we don’t work like that anymore. It’s a lot easier to balance life with Plex. I can be at my daughter’s swim meet and make decisions, make changes, and not miss a beat.”

Another way the company is an industry leader is their ability to proactively solve operational problems by utilizing Plex. This has allowed G&W to plot where and how it grows as a company.

“Now we are addressing issues that go right to our bottom line because we have valuable details that we never had before. We can click a button and it’s right in front of us. Once we focused on real information, we started managing the stuff that matters,” Karan concluded.

Read More: G&W Products Boosts Profitability and Reduces Inventory by 25% with Plex

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How Small Manufacturing Companies Can Lead the Industry https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/how-small-manufacturing-companies-can-lead-the-industry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-small-manufacturing-companies-can-lead-the-industry Mon, 28 Aug 2017 19:38:41 +0000 http://twp.cloud/gandwproducts/?p=9938 The post How Small Manufacturing Companies Can Lead the Industry appeared first on G&W Products.

Plex ERP Logo - G&W Products

How Small Manufacturing Companies Can Lead the Industry


Most manufacturing firms in the U.S. are small—99 percent have less than 500 employees, 75 percent of which have less than 20 employees.1 And since small manufacturing companies are at the heart of creating the products the world uses, they are in the unique position to make changes at the grass root level that can lead the industry. G&W Products, a metal stamping manufacturing organization in Fairfield, OH, employs 145 people and has completely transformed how it does business with the Plex Manufacturing Cloud.

Thinking Beyond “On-Premise”

G&W’s legacy ERP system didn’t provide the flexibility or accessibility it needed to gain visibility into fundamental areas like inventory management control and capacity availability. Employees resorted to spreadsheets or running to the shop floor to find out what was happening in production or to locate inventory. It became clear that a new approach was needed to stay agile and sustain growth.

The company’s CEO realized that cloud-based ERP technology had evolved enough for a business like his to leverage its powerful capabilities. G&W saw with Plex that not only is the company’s data secure but it’s also available anytime, anywhere to anyone who needs it. One team member was even able to manage the shop floor from his daughter’s swim meets. Now the company operates with a single source of truth that has resulted in comprehensive traceability that has reduced inventory on hand by 25 percent.

Enforcing Quality Operations

Standing out as a manufacturer sometimes means providing quality products at the lowest price. However, without the proper checks and balances, and optimized workflows, quality gets sacrificed for on-time delivery. With the Plex Manufacturing Cloud, G&W can find root causes and perform corrective actions before the product even ships. All information is captured and available, essentially forever. This reduces customer returns, lowers operational costs, improves the ability to respond to audits, and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.

Responding Faster to Changing Demand

Responding to customer demand is critical. G&W recognized this and wanted to expand product portfolio to meet the market demand but that meant increased complexity—assemblies that used to contain 15 parts now involve hundreds of parts. The level of precision and traceability required to meet these demands needs a sophisticated yet flexible system. This gives the company the visibility and control needed to confidently meet ever-changing customer demands.

Leading the small business manufacturing industry for G&W means leveraging cloud computing manufacturing technology and the expertise of their people to manage day-to-day operations with ease and efficiency. Read more about how G&W Products is laying the foundation for success—both for its own company and the industry – in an ERP success story.

1. Reference: MP Star Financial. 15 Facts That Can’t Be Ignored About U.S. Manufacturing. September 2016. http://www.mpstarfinancial.com/15-facts-thatcant-be-ignored-about-us-manufacturing/

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New ERP jump-starts use of data analytics https://www.gandwproductsinc.com/new-erp-jump-starts-use-of-data-analytics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-erp-jump-starts-use-of-data-analytics Mon, 28 Aug 2017 18:59:49 +0000 http://twp.cloud/gandwproducts/?p=9917 The post New ERP jump-starts use of data analytics appeared first on G&W Products.

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New ERP jump-starts use of data analytics


Jeff Karan, director of IT at G&W Products, a Fairfield, Ohio, company providing custom metal fabrication, oversaw a similar evolution of his company’s use of data analytics. Karan said the company had been working on legacy technology, preventing company leaders from seeing any data that could help it run more efficiently — let alone strategically.

“There was no information you could pull to see performance, inventory and things like that,” he said. The company had been using spreadsheets and manual work such as inventory counts, which Karan said was not only inefficient, it was ineffective.

So, four years ago, executives invested in an ERP system from Plex Systems Inc. to modernize its infrastructure and collect the data needed to fuel an analytics program. Karan said the company also opted for Plex because it offered analytics capabilities as part of the package. It also invested in supplemental technologies, such as barcodes and scanners used to track inventory.

Karan said the software gave the company access to data it had never had before, so business leaders started their analytics efforts by first targeting simpler items to study, much of it around the company’s inventory figures.

Those efforts had big yields, he said. The company reduced its overall inventory by 25% “because we could finally see it,” and it cut inventory turns from 90-plus days to just 40 — improvements that freed up cash for more strategic investments.

Karan acknowledged that its analytics program required investments into Wi-Fi infrastructure, new software and new hardware, including workstations, tablets and scanners for shop floor employees; he did not have figures available to share on what it cost. It also required workers to act and think differently — a cultural change that needs ongoing training to support.

“Really what it was about was changing [the] way our operators interface with the system,” he added.

Additionally, Karan said he and the company’s only other IT employee must constantly ensure the data going in is clean by implementing the right protocols and governance models.

And the business leaders had to commit to learning how to best make use of it.

“If you don’t have the right personnel, the best system in the world isn’t going to save you. You have to have good people with good buy-in,” Karan said, noting that the executive team meets biweekly to analyze how they’re doing against established key performance indicators.

But, buoyed by positive results so far, Karan said he and the executives now are considering how to move to the next level: prescriptive analytics.

Read More: New ERP jump-starts use of data analytics

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