- Location: Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
- Industry: Folding Carton Manufacturing
- Web site: www.jaypack.com
"The scheduling constraint information provided by Epicor AVP has become a crucial part of our process, and we now use this information exclusively. A scheduler can just click on a job and see if the inks are ready, or when the dies and plates will be available. This has enabled us to become proactive to external factors that have a significant impact on our schedule."
Angelo Giacchi, IT Manager | Jay Packaging
A phased approach
When the inconvenience of a manual planning board, and the hindrances of an obsolete, unsupported shop floor data collection system became too much to bear, Jay Packaging (JPG) of Warwick, Rhode Island, began the search for a flexible and comprehensive software solution. With market-leading customers, this high-end folding carton and blister packaging manufacturer needed an internal system that would meet the increasing demands of their customers.
The Jay Packaging team went through a thorough two-year selection process evaluating six different management information systems from leading software suppliers, looking for a solution that was fully compatible with their business needs. They narrowed the choices down to three final vendors that were assessed based on their business background, the software itself, and the support offered upon and after installation.
After due diligence into available business software solutions, Jay Packaging decided that Epicor AVP would match the demands of their business.
Just two months after signing the contract, JPG went live with the first stage of their phased software implementation.
Prior to the implementation of the Epicor AVP scheduling and shop floor data-collection modules, JPG relied on internally-developed software operating on an outdated legacy operating system. "We decided to purchase Epicor AVP software in several phases. We opted to install the advanced scheduling and shop floor data collection systems first as they were most in need of upgrade," says Angelo Giacchi, IT manager at JPG. "Our legacy data collection units could not be purchased or repaired, and the software was no longer supported."
The scheduling system was in desperate need of improvement, with JPG operating a manual scheduling board that consisted of 2"x 2" cards that had to be hand-written by the schedulers and then manipulated manually as requirements changed and production orders were recorded.
System that fits the business at Jay Packaging
"Epicor really understood the products we make, and the needs of the packaging industry more than any of the other companies or systems out there," says Fernando Lemos, vice president of finance and administration at JPG. "At JPG we wanted a system that would fit our business. Epicor gave us that." The support JPG knew they would get from Epicor was also a key factor in the decision-making process. Epicor had a dedicated team on-hand to help ensure a successful system implementation, and with offices on the east and west coasts of North America and in Leicester, UK, Epicor was able to offer virtually around the clock support.
During the installation of the shop floor data collection and scheduling modules, the Epicor team was there to assist with the smooth integration of the new software into the company's day-today operations and to offer on-hand support during the go-live. A great deal of preparation from JPG ensured the smoothness of this transition, as did the thorough training and support offered by Epicor.
Before the go-live, JPG ran both the new and old systems in parallel to allow the busy team at their Rhode Island plant to learn the changes that came with the implementation. JPG also wanted to ensure that all employees were confident with the new software. "It was important that each of the employees were committed to the system; everyone had to be a part of it." says Giacchi.
Partial completion, full satisfaction
JPG realized significant benefits running the Epicor AVP scheduling and shop floor data collection modules. The visual aspect of the software and its 'what-if' capabilities have been noted as great features of the system with major benefits. The key problem with the old scheduling board was its lack of visibility. "There was no easy way to view and manipulate situations; a user had to walk to the board to see which stage a job was at. This made it very difficult to react efficiently to any customer changes," says Giacchi. With Epicor AVP, the managers at JPG have access to view all production schedules, in a variety of different formats. Changes to the plan are visible immediately through the powerful forward, backward and bottleneck loading options of the software.
The use of constraints, which identify critical factors that can affect the scheduling of a job, has brought massive benefits to the scheduling operation at JPG.
"We didn't realize how big of an impact these would have. The constraints have become a crucial part of the process and we now use them extensively. For example, a scheduler can just click on a job and see if the inks are ready, or when the dies and plates will be available," says Giacchi. "This has enabled us to become proactive, rather than reactive to external factors that can have a significant effect on the schedule."
In JPG's Rhode Island plant, customer service, department managers, purchasing and schedulers are using the system. On top of this, up to 20 people use the shop floor data collection software at any one time, record job and operational activity as it occurs, with automatic updates back to the schedule. Ease-of-use has been one of the key factors in the rapid adoption on the shop floor. Additional users in JPG's Indiana plant run the system, enabling total visibility of load and capacity across the entire group.
"Epicor really understood the products we make, and the needs of the packaging industry more than any of the other companies or systems out there."
Fernando Lemos, Vice President of Finance and Administration
Phasing-in the future
Phase two of the implementation will be executed in two stages, the first of which will see the installation of estimating, the flagship module of Epicor AVP followed by the remaining modules. Giacchi and all who will be using the system at JPG are eagerly anticipating this next stage, and the further benefits the new modules will bring. "The flexibility that the Epicor AVP estimating module offers is a huge benefit, and the strength of this module was one of the main reasons for choosing the system," says Giacchi. "The implementation will enable us to quickly respond to customer requests for quotes, and to analyze the costs of the various production options, at the click of a mouse."
JPG, the phased approach to the integrated system has suited the specific needs of their business, and they now have a stable platform upon which to build.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit