Schaefers Electrical Enclosures

As a tier-one manufacturer of electrical enclosures, Schaefer's Electrical Enclosures Inc. has been a leading provider of industrial products to the oil exploration, energy, water, waste treatment, and OEM marketplaces for the past 30 years. This includes full-service engineering and 3D modeling support designed to fulfill the high-end customization needs of customers for unique enclosure solutions.

"We need to know the best methods for increasing our bottom line and profit margins. Epicor ERP gave us the information needed to raise prices in some cases, or even eliminate offerings that are just not cost-effective to maintain."

Cliff Brooks
CFO | Schaefer's Electrical Enclosures Inc.

We specialize in understanding the individuality of our customers and working with them to develop modified or custom-designed products that are fully compliant with stringent regional regulations and meet unique application requirements," says Rob Ward, Schaefer's vice president of technology and engineering. "As a result, we have established a reputation for producing highly custom enclosures at price points that rival any of our competitors."

Growth through access to connected data

A company driven by customer service and quality in a highly competitive industry, Schaefer's has averaged nearly a 20 percent growth in sales over the past five years, with a projection for another 25 percent rise in revenues in the coming year. Throughout this surge, Schaefer's has relied heavily on the Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which has been in use at the company since 2001.

Upgraded every few years, the system has enabled the enclosure manufacturer to connect every part of the operation and provide detailed status information-from design and production to shipping and installation-in real time.

"Epicor has been an integral part of our growth throughout the past decade," offers Ward. "Prior to the system's installation, we used several different systems that just couldn't tie anything together. Reporting was difficult. There was no central, overall access to data. Routine activities such as the production of shipping orders had to be duplicated numerous times. Typing errors were rampant.

"The Epicor ERP system eliminated all these problems by providing a customized solution that tracks the entire production cycle of individual enclosures from beginning to end. It made our people more accountable, and even identified specific challenges that we addressed with the re training of workers. As result, our overall efficiency and turnaround times improved tremendously."

Gaining control over inventory, pricing, and production
Most recently, Schaefer's used the Epicor ERP solution to reclassify the company's entire inventory, consisting of 30,000 separate parts, over a three-month period, and developed a master record for every item ever purchased. The goal was to not only ensure the necessary materials were on hand at all times, but to create a data stream that clearly identifies all of the out-of-pocket costs (ranging from paint and steel to labor and overhead) needed to build each individual enclosure.

With 900 active customers and prospects, these efforts also brought Schaefer's Electrical Enclosures the "clarity of data" to strategically recognize the profitability of certain models, as well as make decisions on unprofitable product lines. "As a company, we are not backed by unlimited resources and a deep bench," explains Cliff Brooks, Schaefer's CFO. "Our ongoing growth is dependent on knowing where we can compete and where we are exposed. We need to know the best methods for increasing our bottom line and profit margins. Epicor ERP gave us the information needed to raise prices in some cases, or even eliminate offerings that are not cost-effective to maintain.

"In addition, Epicor ERP helped us clean up our inventory and accurately assess the materials and components we need onsite throughout a product's production cycle," Brooks adds. "There were times we had to shut down the entire process just to retrieve a single part that wasn't onsite when we needed it. Thanks to Epicor, we've ensured this will never happen again."

Conclusion

Schaefer's continues to rely on the Epicor ERP system to integrate all of its processes. "We are looking forward to upgrading to the next level of functionality with the goals of creating an entirely paperless organization, tracking every company function electronically, and opening a customer storefront module that clients can access themselves for the latest information on their orders," Ward states. "There is no way to overestimate the value of Epicor to our company and continued success."

Company Facts

Location: Scott City, Missouri

Industry: Customized enclosure solutions

Number of Employees: 165

Web site: www.electrical-enclosures.com

Challenges

Increase profitability and generate growth for an industrial manufacturer through better inventory coordination and production cycle enhancements

Solution

Epicor ERP

Benefits

Improve turnaround times and overall efficiency

Strategically recognize the profitability of certain models, as well as make decisions on unprofitable product lines

Reclassify the company's entire inventory, consisting of 30,000 separate parts, with a master record detailing every item ever purchased

Provide detailed status information from design and production to shipping and installation in real time

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