A Comprehensive Need Analysis to Develop a Proposed System Mock up to Give the Users a Real Life Touch and Feel Tool
ROTEX is a pioneer and global leader in the development of screening equipment and technology for the process industries. ROTEX engineers and manufactures a full line of leading-edge screening equipment, feeders, conveyors and automated analyzers serving a global market in such industries as chemical processing, food processing, mineral processing, plastic compounding and agribusiness.
The manufacturing environment is vertically integrated in a highly engineered, make-to-order, environment. ROTEX selected Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) as their global integrated software solution.
While Microsoft Dynamics GP is a robust, fully functional enterprise suite of software solutions, a few particular requirements could not be satisfied within the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution seamlessly to fit within business drivers for a specific product line. Those three main drivers were.
- Product manufacturing – time to market.
- Manufacturing build information – capacity information and available to promise (ATP)
- Simplicity – easy to drive solution for shop floor
Integrating directly into Microsoft Dynamics GP was the most desirable and obvious solution but the normal transactional flow of standard manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics GP took longer to transact than it took to manufacture the actual product. Batch manufacturing would be the most obvious solution except for the make-to-order nature of this business line.
Standard Microsoft Dynamics GP solution was most desirable but not flexible enough to service this particular product line.
The fallback option was to structure product for order processing, inventory and costing within Microsoft Dynamics GP. Production Control function would take Microsoft Dynamics GP order information to plan and schedule the shop floor via Excel spreadsheets.
LDC Software Labs Solution
LDC conducted a comprehensive need analysis to develop a proposed system mock up to give the users a real life touch and feel tool. This enabled the customer to perform virtual business functions to ensure all requirements and objectives were met.
- Specific order information
- Product and soft BOM per order
- Timed event can be set to any users requirements – we currently use 5 minute intervals
SMS Module interface intercepts Microsoft Dynamics GP data where upon data files are formatted and available for:
- Immediate display to shop floor for manufacturing
- Immediately available for planning to monitor / adjust shop floor demand
- Immediately “consume” capacity to provide customer service real time ATP view
Manufacturing Shop Floor
SMS Shop Floor - Order Display immediately shows customer demand (products) by due date inside targeted manufacturing cell. SMS displays information specified as critical information needed by shop floor personnel to manufacture. User features allow personnel to sort orders in any desired sequence (order, customer, product, due date). Shop floor is allowed to view and transact data but data modification is not allowed.
- Traditional shop order replaced with a SMS bar coded tag. Bar coded tag is designed to serve as a pseudo shop order, product identification and packaging labels.
- SMS tag is generated to start the manufacturing process
- SMS tag is scanned at manufacture completion which counts down the internal SMS counter to order completion
- Multiple messaging triggers are available (process sequence error detection)
- Auto-route order issues to production planning, enabling shop floor to continue to manufacture
- Easy and simple personnel log-in / log-out for efficiency measurement
- Touch screen for simple operation
SMS Production Planning allows planning to monitor incoming demand, adjust SMS orders if required and address any issues routed from shop floor. The Planning view is intended to manage SMS data, not transactional processing.
- A planner can modify due dates to adjust the manufacturing schedule
- Planner can make product substitutions
- Reporting features – open orders – problem orders – all orders – usage information - measurement matrix information (on-time – late - % efficiency)
SMS Capacity allows planning to establish product capacity with a user controlled variable parameter. Variable capacity parameters allow manufacturing to fine tune and maximize plant utilization based on real time capacity (manpower and materials) availability. Inventory control is managed externally with SMS via a combined KANBAN and order point for base materials.
Customer Service ATP is achieved by matching SMS order demand against SMS capacity. Presentation to Customer Service Rep (CSR) is a calendar view with another quadrant displaying Microsoft Dynamics GP inventory data.
SMS development environment:
- Database server based - native SQL
- Local user files stored in native MS Access
- User interface developed in MS Access ACCDB compiled into ACCDE executable modules
- Standard large enterprise configuration – SQL server to host central database with MS Access user interface
Replacement of Excel Production Schedule with SMS Order Display reduced planning cycle 1-2 days, typically. Customer targeted total delivery to market time for this particular product at 3 days. SMS returned 30-50% cycle time back to manufacturing to manufacture the product. The other benefits of eliminating the Excel Production Schedule:
- Data entry errors creating the schedule – eliminated.
- Stale data as a result the static nature of a spreadsheet – now current.
Consolidate multiple systems into a single “solution” for shop floor personnel in designated manufacturing cell. Prior to SMS shop floor personnel had to use a combination of systems to either gather information or perform required functions. With SMS users go to a single system for all their data requirements and to perform required functions. Single system makes system functions and trining much simpler.
Real time ATP greatly enhances the CSR’s ability to service the end customer. Spreadsheet management of the past forced CSR’s to call or visually confirm to gather required data to promise or commit to ship dates.
Manufacturing cycle time – reduced
Manual effort to drive scheduling – eliminated
CSR ATP capability – delivered
The LDC solution comes in two different options that have an impact on implementation. Option 1 – Download from Microsoft Dynamics GP into an interface file which is intercepted by SMS on a timed event. Portal opens and the data flows down.
Option 2 – Download new Microsoft Dynamics GP data into SMS. Upon completion inside SMS, a back flush transaction set is uploaded to host for processing.
Customer deemed it necessary to cut a Microsoft Dynamics GP MO (manufacturing order) for actual back flush and G/L transaction recording. In this particular example a MO was created from the SO (Shop Order). This method ensures normal processing within Microsoft Dynamics GP while allowing specific needs processing externally.
The LDC solution allows the customer to utilize legacy data in a tailored fashion without any major system modifications. LDC’s add-on module strategy requires very simple UI to port data down and/or up.
Customer can have the best of both worlds with a solid enterprise solution to serve the majority of heavy manufacturing while having a tailored solution to meet critical needs for specific products.
LDC Software Labs, a minority-owned company, was founded in 2009 by current President, Chuck Loy. Although a young company, LDC Software Labs’ staff is rich in experience.
LDC understands a business’s processes, terminology and needs, and will tailor a software system to exactly what is required by your company. We will not force you to change the way you do business the way an “off-the-shelf” system does.
LDC Software Labs | 305 Artillery Park Dr, Suite #201 | Fort Mitchell, KY 41017 | www.LDCsoftwarelabs.com | 859-379-5322
Kevin Pressler, VP of Sales | kpressler@LDCsoftwarelabs.com
Chuck Loy, President | cloy@LDCsoftwarelabs.com
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