BKB Precision puts Epicor ERP at the heart of its cutting edge plastics processing operations
- Location: The Netherlands
- Industry: Manufacturing - precision plastic processing
- Number of Employees: 55
- Web site: http://bkbprecision.com
BKB Precision is in the global premier league of plastic machining, in particular milling and turning. Technologically ground-breaking customers using specialist plastics such as Peek or Torlon work with BKB Precision on their latest innovations. The company performs operations to three thousandth of a millimetre (3 μm or micrometres) precisely, using ‘traditional’ skills such as assembling, bending, gluing and polishing plastic.
Customer expectations and growth ambitions
As a strategic partner to a number of prestigious customers such as ASML, Philips Medical, Thales Defence, and the CERN particle accelerator in Geneva, BKB Precision has set themselves some serious growth targets: to double their turnover within three years, as well as to grow in international markets.
To meet these goals, it was essential for BKB Precision to have the right balance of skills and technology at its headquarters. Of the company’s 50 employees, 40 are highly-educated professionals, using CNC (computer numerical control) computer-controlled machine tools, programmed from CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) systems, on the shop floor. However, although the skill-set was in place, BKB Precision’s legacy technology was struggling to keep up.
In order to meet customer expectations for ever shorter product life cycles and ever smaller products, BKB Precision’s systems needed to be flexible. At the same time, customers increasingly requested that BKB Precision linked up with their IT systems to ensure seamless collaboration during projects.
Looking for a business accelerator
BKB Precision had a long-standing relationship with ERP specialist Macroscoop, which had been supplying the company with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions since 1996. In fact, Macroscoop had implemented one of its own solutions at that time.
By 2015, Annemarie van Aerts, deputy director for BKB Precision, knew that it was time to update the company’s ERP solution, but BKB Precision lacked the confidence to make the much-needed forward leap to a new solution.
Van Aerts says, “Our existing old system was slow. Its MRP module for manufacturing procurement and planning provided us with the functionality we needed but due to its age, it was near its limits in terms of accessibility. The interfaces for integration with third parties were also slow. However, because the system was mission-critical to operations, it was risky to make the switch to something new.”
BKB Precision needed an ERP solution that could act as a ‘business accelerator’. Van Aerts looked at several solutions and when Macroscoop facilitated a demonstration of the latest version of Epicor ERP, it became clear that it was the best option for supporting collaboration between BKB Precision and its customers. “With Epicor ERP BKB Precision has a lead position in the market. The project approach from Macroscoop has been absolutely fantastic!”
Meticulous planning for the perfect deployment
When it came to implementing the Epicor ERP solution, meticulous planning was essential, as the new system would be so vital to BKB Precision’s operations.
Van Aerts explains, “At the same time as updating the ERP solution, we wanted to update our server for the new database. We’d invested in the necessary hardware early on—the server was waiting in its cardboard box! However, it was vital that everything was timed to perfection because it had to be right first time.”
Macroscoop put a team in place to manage the implementation for BKB Precision. In July 2015, Epicor took over the existing functionality of the legacy system and the data from the old database, and in September new functions, such as Epicor CRM for customer management and Epicor Social Enterprise for integration with partners were deployed.
Saving time and increasing production
The Epicor ERP solution now sits on BKB Precision’s physical server, in-house. The software supports fifteen office workstations and three terminals in the factory. The Epicor ERP platform is now at the heart of the organisation with bookkeeping, purchasing, sales, planning, production, customer management, and link-ups with partners working simultaneously, so that BKB Precision can import orders and export invoices seamlessly.
Van Aerts says, “Time-consuming data entry and error-prone retyping is becoming a thing of the past. We’re even working on the user-friendliness in the factory by adding tablets to the terminals. This will make the factory and our systems even more easy-to-use for staff and increase our productivity, not to mention the benefits of collaborating with our partners via the technology.”
Gaining better insight into planning and production
BKB Precision now wants to go further and let the Epicor system support the quotation process. Van Aerts is also keen to implement modules that will allow data to be quickly and effectively used in the factory, giving even better insight into planning and production.
”With Epicor, we have the technology in place to realise our growth ambitions and double our turnover within three years. The migration process has run virtually flawlessly and the Epicor ERP solution performs well. It’s absolutely wonderful and we will be closely monitoring how our profits develop!” concludes van Aerts.