Sees dramatic improvements in on-time delivery and streamlined sales order processing with Epicor ERP
• Location: Sonora, California
• Industry: Medical and diagnostics
• Web site: www.kinematic.com
“In the past, launching a sales order required multiple touches from various departments and it was days before we were buying the necessary parts. Today that cycle time has decreased by more than 90 percent-from an average of three days' time to two hours.”
Skip Butler, Director of Operations | Kinematic Automation, Inc.
Kinematic has been a global supplier of automated manufacturing systems for the medical industry since 1980. The company develops small to large scale custom, state-of-the-art manufacturing systems built to the exacting standards and strict compliance requirements of the medical and diagnostic industry, and utilizing the tenets of lean manufacturing. Capabilities include all aspects of machine design and development, fabrication, assembly, and testing, as well as machine installation, operator training, and maintenance.
To support its build-to-order production environment, the company upgraded to the newest version of Epicor ERP. Greater speed and performance were also on its wish list, and comprehensive integration with Kinematic's SolidWorks CAD/CAM software was deemed essential. Moreover, Kinematic was looking to tap new ERP functionality and capabilities to further streamline its operations and help the company be responsive to customer needs.
“We're in the business of automating our clients' operations, so it only seemed fitting that we bring in new capabilities to automate and streamline our own operations here at Kinematic,” said Rashell Bustamante, project manager, Kinematic.
In particular, Kinematic wanted to get a better handle on scheduling, as all departments did their own scheduling through Microsoft® Project Scheduler. “We wanted one master schedule for the entire company,” said Skip Butler, director of operations for Kinematic. “Additionally, there was also a lot of 'tribal knowledge' that was being captured outside of any system-such as serial number lists-and we wanted to have everything captured and maintained in one location.”
New functionality, better outcomes
Nearly everyone at Kinematic uses the system-from customer service for order entry, sales and marketing, to IT, finance, purchasing, production floor personnel and engineering; even senior executives find value in the system's dashboard reporting capabilities.
“It's really simplified everyone's job here at Kinematic,” said Butler.
Epicor estimating/quoting and order management is helping the company get sales orders processed faster and easier, and be more responsive to customers.
“In the past, launching a sales order required multiple touches from various departments and it was days before we were buying the necessary parts. Today that cycle time has decreased by more than 90 percent-from an average of three days' time to two hours,” said Butler.
With Epicor ERP, Kinematic has a whole host of functionality to manage all aspects of its supply chain-from the data collection/MES module to inventory management and landed cost/container tracking, purchasing management, supplier relationship management, and shipping and receiving.
And with the strong MRP and scheduling capabilities in Epicor ERP, Kinematic now has one master schedule for the entire company and the huge workflow spikes that used to occur in each department are now all flattened to a more even, more manageable flow. “We're able to process a greater volume of orders using the same amount of resources,” said Butler.
Improved information access
Kinematic has seen tremendous improvements in its ability to access information with Epicor ERP. “The quality of the information architecture in Epicor ERP is a great leap forward,” said Thad Jacobs, database administrator, Kinematic, who says he has also found the platform's Microsoft SQL Server® back end to deliver exceptional performance and ease of administration.
“The ability to 'right click' to drill down to find information is incredibly powerful. The export tool to Microsoft Excel® and the multiple list views give you lots of options to view and find the exact information you need,” said Jacobs.
Epicor business activity queries and moving to the SQL Server platform have eliminated the need for the company's previous custom reporting system. Kinematic leverages SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to quickly and easily generate reports from its Microsoft SQL Server database.
“The SSRS and BAQs, and the ability to add new fields on the fly have definitely made the job of presenting data a lot easier,” said Jacobs.
Operational visibility and accuracy has improved dramatically. “Everything is right there on one monitor-any order, any part in the process-where it is and who's working on it,” said Butler.
“Before, everything was manually entered; now everything is prepopulated in the system-we just click and it's a done deal. There are fewer errors because we're working off of solid data, as opposed to making assumptions. Before it was easy to lose track of things, but those days are long gone.
“With all the information needed in one spot, there's no second guessing and the processing time is so much faster. Orders are just blowing through here-our on-time delivery has improved by more than 66 percent,” he said.
Partnering for success
For its Epicor ERP deployment, Kinematic partnered with Cre8tive Technology and Design, a Platinum member of the Epicor Inspired Partner Network. Cre8tive Technology and Design's services organization functions as an extension of the Epicor Professional Services team, helping customers with Epicor ERP implementations and customizations to meet their specific business needs.
“We spoke with a number of other Epicor customers in advance, who were all very happy working with Cre8tive,” said Bustamante. “Our Cre8tive project manager had been an Epicor user prior to his career as a consultant and he knew the system inside and out. He also was able to advise us on industry best practices and was here onsite every other week-even through training and after go-live. He fit in with our company so well and we were very comfortable with him around the table; when the time came for us to say goodbye, it was a bittersweet moment.
“Cre8tive really listened to what we needed as a company-the ability to support our build-to-order, engineer-to-order and even ship-spare-parts-from-inventory models. It was a very successful and smooth implementation. I really believe we wouldn't have been successful without Cre8tive, given our deployment timeline was very short,” she said.
“Cre8tive seeks to over achieve customer expectations while always performing in a very professional but personable manner,” said Aaron Continelli, president, Cre8tive Technology and Design. “Additionally, it is imperative that Cre8tive has a thorough knowledge of the business and the particular unique challenges our customer faces. In the end, long-term relationships are very important with all of Cre8tive's customers.”
When asked why Epicor ERP is an ideal solution for Kinematic, Continelli said: “Epicor ERP is ideal for engineer-to-order businesses, which have an important need and emphasis on purchasing and request for quotations (RFQs). The solution's supplier relationship management module and other supply chain capabilities address those needs very well with out-of-the box functionality. Following implementation, Kinematic's purchasing department streamlined its processing of purchase orders and RFQs and leveraging the solution's seamless costing functionality is now able to provide timely cost information for the sales team. With Epicor ERP, Kinematic is staged for continued growth while maintaining its current level of administrative support and personnel.”
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 www.epicor.com.