“Instead of taking weeks to prepare reports and other information, we are providing the information on a daily basis.” —Jeremy Moorman, ALPCO
ERP project yields 99% inventory accuracy and faster reports
Aluminum Line Products Co. (ALPCO), a supplier of aluminum and stainless steel products to the commercial transportation industry, faced a roadblock of sorts. A homegrown software system that had formed the backbone of the company’s operations for 12 years was limiting ALPCO’s ability to see into its business and grow that business profitably.
As the company’s inventory grew and scrap rates rose, Aluminum Line’s president found himself spending six days each month gathering information to determine ALPCO’s inventory levels and margin performance.
Determined to create a more agile business, ALPCO officials decided to implement a software system that would correct the inefficiencies and provide timely insight into operations. To do so, the company developed a list of essential capabilities. Project leaders then evaluated several software solutions against those requirements, and also explored the possibility of transforming the legacy system into a system that could meet its future needs.
ALPCO settled on AXIOM ERP, a Consona product well-tailored to the requirements of the metals industry. The objective of the ERP implementation was to enable ALPCO to more easily design routing and production-entry processes, and to manage raw materials and inventory.
Once Aluminum Line had gone live with the software, officials noticed dramatic improvements in core business processes. The company achieved an inventory accuracy rate greater than 99%, resulting in reduced inventory levels. Profit margin reports that once took five days to produce were generated in three hours. Scrap levels fell to 1%, down from 3%. The company also saw a 50% reduction in both monthly closing workload requirements and accounts-receivable activity, and the new system allowed for real-time analysis of customer accounts by sales force.
“The solution has enabled us to transform the way information is used on the shop floor, which is now almost entirely paperless. Instead of taking weeks to prepare reports and other information, we are providing the information on a daily basis,” says Jeremy Moorman, Aluminum Line Products’ IT director at the time of the ERP project. “In addition, we’ve become a more analytical organization. As we create new reports with data from AXIOM, our employees are no longer satisfied with just getting operational information. They now want to know why something has occurred so they can fix a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.”