This case study examines Stacoswitch, a manufacturer of human-machine interface components, including kiosks, push-button display switches and indicators, rugged keyboards and keypads, electronic switching controllers, LED products, digital pulse width modulation dimmers and tactile feedback touchscreen products for both commercial and military applications
The company had an existing Prime-based system that was slow, costly and inefficient. Production scheduling runs took days and had to be completed on the weekends. Closing the books was an ordeal because it could take up to a week. And while the books were being closed, no new orders could be entered. “It was an older system running on very old hardware, and the cost to upgrade was enough to make us look into getting something new.” said Stacoswitch’s Controller. Further, the existing system could not handle the amount of data that needed to be maintained to count and manage inventory. The company has over 65,000 unique SKUs to track, and the existing system just wasn’t up to the task. Without the proper technology, inventory counts and adjustments were time-consuming and costly.
Stacoswitch wanted to upgrade to a new and more efficient system without upsetting their current business. Thus began a long and comprehensive approach to finding a new ERP vendor. The process included evaluating the incumbent system vendor and possible replacements. Three vendors were selected for the final cut. Rover Data Systems’ Millennium III ERP System was selected with a final grade of 90.5% conformance to the final selection criteria. No other vendor was even close.
Stacoswitch implemented the full complement of Rover Data M3 applications, including Sales and Marketing, Finance, Engineering, Manufacturing and Production, Distribution and Inventory and the Product Configurator. “The impact was immediate,” the Controller said. “Planning and production runs that had taken 2-3 days were now taking 20-30 minutes, plus the company was running with more current data and able to make better decisions.”
Inventory is counted and controlled by the M3 system, which had no issues in managing all 65,000 SKUs. The company has moved from Physical Inventory counts (that once took weeks) to Cycle Inventory Counts that take minutes per day with 98% accuracy. Production planning now has the ability to look at the path of critical parts on a BOM that is 11 levels deep and to order those critical parts with long lead times, or to create safety stock to keep production running. This cuts costs and helps the company be more competitive.
The company’s engineering department is using the new product configurator to become more efficient and to speed up the order entry process. Order Entry and Sales personnel have access to all historical orders. Plus, annual upgrades to the newest version of M3 have added several more features on the front end, including even better access to data and direct drill-down capabilities. Stacoswitch is also satisfying reporting requests from its parent company and managing two distinct businesses with the same M3 system.
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