Reduces lead times by up to 65% with Epicor
• Location: Fife, UK
• Industry: Subcontract Manufacturing
• Web site: www.fifab.com
“Our customers recognise the flexibility, lead timereduction and enhanced customer experience since the Epicor ERP implementation.”
Roberto Morris, ERP Project Consultant | Fife Fabrications
Fife Fabrications (FiFab) has a strong heritage in precision sheet metal work and the company is recognised as one of the most advanced manufacturers in the industry.
With over 40 years' experience, FiFab offers a complete subcontract service for customers in the UK and overseas. From design to manufacturing, and from delivery to support, customers rely on FiFab to help them find innovative solutions to a range of project requirements.
A green legacy
FiFab have always been recognised as market leader, but it became clear that customer demands and expectations were fundamentally changing-demands fluctuated and lead times were reducing. It was becoming apparent that the existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution was straining to offer the flexibility required to meet customer demands. The green screen DOS system, which was over 20 years old, did not provide the visibility required to ensure staff-throughout the quote-to-cash process-worked on the right job at the right time.
As part of FiFab's Continuous Improvement program, a project team started to review the ERP market. The goal was to reduce lead times, offering customers greater flexibility, and to provide this at a highly competitive total cost of acquisition. This required an ERP solution that was flexible and that fundamentally enhanced business processes. After a thorough business process review and requirements analysis FiFab partnered with Epicor, implementing Epicor ERP.
From quote to cash
Subcontract manufacturing demands reduced lead times and low total cost of acquisition with customer orders becoming increasingly service orientated. These requirements allow little room for waste within the quote-to-cash processes in order to remain competitive and maintain market share. For FiFab, the implementation of a new ERP system was seen as a key driver in solidifying the already strong business platform allowing them to process more customer requirements, more quickly, and with less waste throughout the quote-to-cash process. Focus is applied at the quotation stage and process data sets have been engineered to ensure transparency for both the customer and the design/engineering team. With automated manufacturing resource planning (MRP), helping to control supply and demand, production staff have been released to better manage the make process with the live scheduling in Epicor enabling the flow of work around the shop floor. Material handlers make sure the correct work is processed through the accurate operation at the right time driving production to meet customer requirements ensuring satisfaction in terms of delivery performance against ever reducing lead times.
“Epicor offers all the tools required in a make-to-order and make-tostock manufacturing environment out-of-the-box, providing visibility in the form of live dashboards. We can manage by exception because 80% of the orders are handled by our standard processes within our ERP solution. When intervention is required it is apparent at the an early stage, meaning we can deal with exceptions and still deliver in line with customer expectations,” explains Roberto Morris, FiFab's ERP Project Consultant.
Reducing lead times
Since working with Epicor, FiFab has dramatically reduced its lead times by up to 65%. Time between receiving a sales order and raising a job used to take the team 10+ working days. However, with Epicor ERP in place, this has been cut to just one or two working days. The team puts this success down to process improvements through the company's CI program-an ethos that thrives due to Epicor ERP providing the head room for staff to contribute.
With the reduction in lead times, FiFab is also able to better meet increasing demand. Over 98% of its deliveries are now made on time.
Roberto explains, “FiFab's ERP implementation has been transformational; providing the company with fully scheduled work to lists throughout the quote-to-cash cycle ensuring customer focused departments can deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time-every time. Process sets have been engineered into the product at the design stage acting both as stage gates to ensure quality and as key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure process control.”
Planting the seeds for business growth
Customer focus continues to drive FiFab's CI program with Epicor ERP reporting live company KPIs ensuring the business model is in line with customer expectations. By offering a standard lead time of two weeks on mature products with 98% on-time delivery performance, customers can depend on FiFab as a key supplier within the supply chain. To sustain this, FiFab's investment program has spent over £2 million in the last two years, making them well placed for continued business success.
Roberto concludes, “Our plant is the life blood of our work so the ability to invest in new equipment is significant for us-it means we will be able to continue to increase productivity, reduce lead times, and lead the way in high quality subcontract manufacturing.”
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.