BUMET looks forward to increased growth with Epicor ERP
- Location: The Netherlands and Hungary
- Sector: Manufacturing—sheet metal production
- Number of employees: 200+
- Web site: www.bumet.com
BUMET is a sheet metal production company with a 60-year heritage in the industry and a workforce of over 200 experts at its helm. Producing machined sheet metal parts for complex agricultural equipment, as well as shipping products for DAF Trucks across the globe, BUMET has built a reputation for its state-of-the-art work and high quality products.
Headquartered at extensive facilities (8,000 sq. metre) in Heeze, in the south of the Netherlands, the company has enjoyed steady growth since its inception. In 2001 BUMET expanded, adding a new 11,000 sq. metre factory in Hungary to its sheet metal working facilities. This year BUMET has enlarged its portfolio further by acquiring and relaunching metal company Ruco Industries, allowing the business to become more specialised in stainless steel sheet metal and complex assemblies. Today, the company is able to fulfil just about any desire in the field of sheet metal work, machined metal processing, and metal work assembly.
Using ERP to build the foundations for growth
BUMET has a long history of working with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and understands the value of using technology to coordinate projects and boost business growth.
Wim van de Voort, head of finance and IT at BUMET, explains, “We’ve had intelligent technology at the heart of our operations for years, driving and managing our work. We first introduced an older version of Epicor (Vantage) in April 2002. Back then the business only had one server and 10 PCs, but implementing ERP has had a dramatic impact on our growth—14 years later, and we now have 55 concurrent ERP users.”
To aid its expansion, the company upgraded its ERP system to Epicor ERP in the Netherlands in 2012. However, without a fibre Internet connection, a simultaneous upgrade of the ERP system in Hungary wasn’t possible.
“The slow, Internet connection was holding us back,” explains Toon Meeuws, head of logistics and application manager at BUMET. “We ended up with our operations in the Netherlands working on the latest ERP technology—and reaping all of the rewards—but our Hungarian arm was still using legacy software.”
Realising success is dependent on software
BUMET understood that its ability to grow could be facilitated or, conversely, limited by its software. The older system in Hungary had fewer functions, and the team there looked forward to a time when they would be able to manage production and logistics in a more integrated manner—from coordinating stock control to tracking the progress and delivery of the parts they produced.
Finally in 2014, a new fibre Internet connection made communication between BUMET’s two locations more streamlined, faster, and more effective. This opened up multiple opportunities for the BUMET team, who seized the chance to look for an upgrade to the ERP system in Hungary.
Any ERP system used by BUMET needed to be able to cope with the company’s systems. “We have two systems at BUMET. One deals with the production of ‘stock orders’ and the other with more bespoke, ‘made-to-order’ parts. Together our systems produce 250 different types of parts every day, in different quantities. So any new ERP system needed to help us keep up with demand, run production smoothly, and stick to schedule. There’s no space for mistakes,” says Wim van de Voort.
Toon Meeuws adds, “We had heard about the great features of the latest version of Epicor ERP and couldn’t wait to give it a go. As soon as we had the bandwidth, we started to talk to Macroscoop about upgrading all of our systems. For our Netherlands operations this involved a simple upgrade, but in Hungary it was a bigger change from much older system. We knew the change was going to be worth it, though—we wanted to get our hands on the latest in cutting-edge ERP.”
A natural progression from old to new
The latest Epicor technology appealed to BUMET on many levels. Not only did it fulfil the team’s criteria for a responsive and intelligent ERP solution, but its intuitive interface was easy to use and work with, making it a natural progression from the system the team had been working with for so long.
The team, which had a long-standing and successful relationship with the Epicor partner in the Netherlands, Macroscoop, turned to the partner once again to upgrade its ERP solution. The experts at Macroscoop managed the implementation of the latest Epicor ERP for BUMET in the Netherlands, and following this, the BUMET team in Hungary implemented Epicor themselves.
Toon Meeuws explains, “The software was so intelligent that the whole process took only ten weeks, and once installed, Epicor was easy for our staff to use. We didn’t need to do much training before our employees were working happily with the new system. It really was that simple!”
Bringing the benefits to life
With Epicor in place, the latest ERP technology now supports BUMET’s entire production process. The next step will be to integrate its machines, systems, and technologies, as well as the acquired Ruco Industries systems with Epicor, as the businesses come together.
Because of Epicor ERP, BUMET has been able to develop and improve its production line, implementing a barcode system to track products as they are made and shipped. This, in turn, has helped to optimise customer service and has introduced new accuracies to the BUMET supply chain.
The simple-to-use Epicor invoicing system also saves time for the BUMET finance team, who can now run up-to-date reports and generate PDF invoices at the click of a button.
Explaining the improvements, Wim van de Voort says, “The quality and accuracy of the information available to us now is a huge improvement on what we had before. It’s giving us a new lease on life! Our workers in the factory can input data into Epicor, and that data becomes available to the rest of the business in real time. Because it’s always up-to-date, Epicor evolves and modifies every day, completely reflecting our business as we continue to grow.”
Looking to the future
Although BUMET has been using ERP technology for decades, the company now has a system in place that is making innovation possible. Looking to the future, the team plans to increase their use of the Epicor project and forecasting functions. This will help facilitate the requirements of the company’s growing base of annual customers and make it easy to collaborate across projects.
“Our people used to be restricted in what they could do— because of the legacy technology we were using. However, Epicor ERP is now opening up new possibilities for us. It’s set our business free. Now we can innovate, grow, and move our business forwards—and the results are outstanding,” concludes Toon Meeuws.