ML 100 Awards
usana.png“Employees at USANA are fixing problems instead of letting them linger and create multiple quality events.” —Gary Carter, executive director of ERP and data warehouse





PLM project saves manufacturer $220,000 annually

As an organization dedicated to environmentally friendly practices, the maker of skin- and hair-care products and nutritional snacks wanted a system that would minimize reliance on paper-based processes. Because USANA is audited according to pharmaceutical standards, the solution also had to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s CFR Part 11 requirements for electronic records, and make it possible to meet the quality-control and documentation requirements of regulators in any other country where its products are sold.

USANA’s PLM project, based on Oracle’s Agile software, began in September 2008 and was completed by Jan. 31, 2009. It manages workflows related to introducing, changing, or discontinuing products. It also integrates product development and quality systems, and provides visibility to all product and document records including revision control.

The PLM system eliminates the need for employees to move file folders from desk to desk, consolidates product data residing in three systems, reduces the time required to complete a change request from its previous average of about 30 days, and increases visibility and accountability across the organization.

USANA expects a return on its $500,000 investment in less than two years. ROI stems from annual savings of $95,000 in soft costs and $220,000 in hard costs through reductions in lost time, data entry points, label scrap, and expedited air freight shipments.

Several metrics already show positive trends. For example, although the number of completed product changes grew by 118.7% in 2009, the average time to complete each change decreased 26.9% and required less manpower.

The number of quality problems and the amount of time required for resolution also is falling. In 2009 the number of quality events declined 35.4%, and the average time to resolution decreased 9.9%. These numbers are expected to drop even more in 2010, with the forecast predicting 25.7% fewer quality events and resolution time plummeting 49.2%.

With better accountability and visibility, says Gary Carter, executive director of ERP and data warehouse, and the project’s sponsor, “Employees at USANA are fixing problems instead of letting them linger and create multiple quality events.”