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Applied Composites Engineering

Company Facts

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Industry: Aviation and aerospace products and services
  • Number of Employees: 200
  • Website: www.appliedcomposites.com

“Epicor is so intertwined to everything we do that I'm not sure we could function without the system. The solution is the foundation of our day-to-day operations, providing the details needed to be more innovative and better coordinate with the market.” 

Matt Curts, Vice-president, Finance | Applied Composites Engineering

 

Applied Composites Engineering (ACE) is a premier supplier of aviation and aerospace products and services. This includes creating products from concept to finish for the international commercial, corporate, and military aircraft industries.

“Our goal is to rise to the forefront of the aerospace manufacturing community by becoming the nation's recognized advanced composites expert,” said Matt Curts, vice president of finance, ACE. “Whereas technology was viewed simply as a support mechanism for the manufacturing process and things we do on the floor, it has taken a front seat at the executive table and is a driving force for making us the most sought-after company in America.”

Epicor ERP-the foundation of everyday operations

Founded in 1982, ACE has grown steadily from an auto racing parts supplier to a focused provider of aircraft design services, modifications, new production, and repair. Factoring into this growth has been the implementation of Epicor ERP, which ACE launched in 2008 to tie together all operations end-to-end and ensure everything they make meets specifications. 

“Without Epicor, we'd probably pack up and go home,” explained Curts. “It's so intertwined to everything we do that I'm not sure we could function without the system. The solution is the foundation of our day-to-day operations, providing the details needed to be more innovative and better coordinate with the market.”

Detailed reporting, customization, and flexibility

According to ACE, many of these benefits are provided through the use of dashboards offering detailed production reports on everything from the profitability of low-volume parts and customer payment histories to labor hours and product turn-around times. Customization and flexibility are also essential for an industry governed by strict Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and other regulatory guidelines. This includes staying on top of any type of backlogs and collaborating between different software programs to create automated procedures ensuring all methods and processes meet certification standards.

“A day without Epicor would be very challenging,” offered Robert Finley, senior accountant, ACE. “The system has greatly improved our business processes. We now have an extremely accurate method for ordering materials, having them here when we need them, and meeting customer deadlines. It has also increased the bottom line by reducing the amount of inventory kept on hand. Previously, we had no way of tracking the shelf life of materials, resulting in way too much stock. Now, we only order what we need for the immediate future.”

Real-time assessments and enhanced metrics

Another advantage cited by Chris Colglaizer, IT manager, ACE, is connecting employees in real-time to assess the status of jobs on the production floor. This has enabled the company to better identify the time and activity spent on each operation and then generate historical data for quoting similar projects and enhancing profitability.

“Epicor is the building block for everything we do,” concluded Colglazier. “Our people behind the scenes now have data at their fingertips to provide information quickly and easily to customers, which has directly improved the end-user experience. From a sales standpoint, we have more information than ever before on how things move through the production floor, how long they've been there, and the time required to make any one given item. It all adds up to enhanced metrics and a far better understanding of the ways we can increase the bottom line and overall production efficiencies.”



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Tie together operations end-to-end and ensure all manufacturing processes, products, and services meet stringent governmental and industry regulations.

Solution

  •  Epicor® ERP

Benefits

  • Visibility to make on-the-fly changes based on customer requirements
  • Review details, communicate changes, and make informed decisions in minutes
  • Create automated procedures ensuing all processes meet certification standards
  • Increased profitability by tracking the shelf life of materials and reducing the amount of inventory kept on hand
  • Better identify the time and activity spent on each operation

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