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The Challenge

Rochdale Spears is renowned in the furniture industry for its exceptional manufacturing capabilities, exquisite craftsmanship and innovative business practices. Graceful designs, luxurious materials, sleek silhouettes—high-end furniture which serves a purpose while delighting the senses. Rochdale Spears offers exceptional craftsmanship, innovative product development, and world-class manufacturing to some of the most-recognized names in the luxury furniture realm.

Rochdale Spears is distinguished for experimenting with materials, supporting environmental responsibility, superior quality assurance and cutting-edge product expansion. The company’s artisans fashion hand-carving, eglomise, leafing and welding, and work with reclaimed and plantation-grown woods, veneer, faux-shagreen, metal and concrete.

As we evaluated ERP systems, our metal, furniture and upholstery teams all said that one system would not be able to meet their unique needs. However, designed specifically for manufacturing, we felt confident that Epicor was the solution that could.

Nguyen Dinh Giang, Director of Information Technology at Rochdale Spears, shared, “Today, we have 6,000+ employees in offices in the U.K. and Hong Kong in addition to four state-of-the-art factories across Vietnam. Our newest is more than 800,000 square feet, one of the largest purpose-built furniture manufacturing facilities in the country. Approximately 80 percent of our furniture is imported by the U.S.”

With the luxury furniture market booming, Rochdale Spears needed a scalable, standardized and efficient ERP system. Giang relayed, “We had an IT team of 25 people managing a collection of systems, including, Microsoft Dynamics AX, MRP, an in-house application and Excel.  We needed a solution that could support our customer focus while improving efficiencies, managing costs and fast-tracking business process re-engineering.”

Facilitating Industry 4.0

Furniture manufacturing is highly complex, encompassing several different types of processes. Giang acknowledged, “As we evaluated ERP systems, our metal, furniture and upholstery teams all said that one system would not be able to meet their unique needs. However, designed specifically for manufacturing, we felt confident that Epicor was the solution that could.”

I have 25 years of experience in IT and from my perspective, Epicor is a highly valuable, developed-for-manufacturing solution that is enabling our Industry 4.0 journey. We could not achieve this without our Epicor partnership.

Giang is moving Rochdale Spears along the Industry 4.0 journey and deploying Epicor Kinetic, Epicor CADLink and Epicor ECN Manager—all key milestones in that effort. “Our business objectives are outstanding customer experience, process and cost efficiency, and business process re-engineering. Epicor is giving us the foundation to achieve that,” Giang commented. And the company is doing so with fewer resources. He continued, “Implementing Epicor has created many efficiencies across the business. In the IT department alone, we have been able to re-allocate 40% of the total team headcount to other projects as a result of having Epicor.” 

New and Improved Controls

Adopting Epicor has expedited crucial and necessary tactical enhancements. One critical example is the new product introduction (NPI) process, a complex, multi-phased effort, from concept to design, technical specification, BOM, quoting, samples and production. Giang described, “Prior to Epicor, there were no control points for our methodology. Now, with all project-related data in the system, everything is in one place, and we can easily track the project, cost it, schedule materials, interface with our customers, secure approvals and move it through production. We have much greater visibility to the entire process.”

In addition, with Epicor CADLink, Rochdale Spears’ engineers create Epicor Item Master and BOM records identical to engineering CAD data with the click of a button, reducing manual data entry and clerical errors. Giang highlighted, “Processes such as NPI are critical to our business and help advance our customer orientation and competitive differentiation. We did not identify any other ERP solution that could match the degree of manufacturing understanding and specialized features that Epicor offered.”

The Epicor solution integrates with customer-facing applications to further streamline and standardize the manufacturing roadmap. Giang noted, “At stages where we require a customer presentation, review or approval, those functions link into Epicor so everything is captured and stored in one system. Whether it is approval on a concept or signing off on a quote, all data is in one central location for easy access.”

Reduction in Lead Times

Another dramatic improvement has been in lead times. “In 2021, our lead time was 120 days and with Epicor advanced scheduling, we’ve been able to cut that to 90 days. We have targeted to trim that even more to just 60 days by the end of this quarter,” Giang explained. Greater visibility and control delivered by Epicor—particularly the advanced planning and scheduling features—have helped the company to better manage limited resources, respond effectively to increasing order volume and make such aggressive outcomes achievable.

Epicor is a complete end-to-end solution that delivers critical support across various functions and advances our customer-focus and process efficiency initiatives.


Time-to-insight has also been galvanized. Giang cited, “Before Epicor, data coming in from the factory floor was typically a day or two behind. Now, MES data is real-time. This ‘finger-on-the-pulse’ posture help enable us to make better decisions earlier.


Additionally, finance appreciates that having data centrally located has slashed the time needed to close our books from two weeks to three days.”

Overall, Giang summarized that Epicor has given the company improved checks over systems. He shared, “With our in-house system, we had no control points. Today, from engineering change orders to POs, inventory to WIP, each has standardized checkpoints and clear approval processes.” And Epicor ECN Manager helps to enable engineering designers to create, modify and organize ECNs easily. Giang added, “Our QA/QC approach has benefitted too. The entire procedure is well-defined, and everyone can access the specs and inspection plan and follow it step-by-step. The process is smoother, faster, better.”

Eye on the Future

Next on Rochdale Spears’ smart factory blueprint is driving automation and robotics throughout the factories and expanding the use of data analytics to inform strategic and operational improvements, goals that Giang expects Epicor helps to enable: “Epicor is a complete end-to-end solution that delivers critical support across various functions and advances our customer-focus and process efficiency initiatives.”

He concluded, “I have 25 years of experience in IT and from my perspective, Epicor is a highly valuable, developed-for-manufacturing solution that is enabling our Industry 4.0 journey. We could not achieve this without our Epicor partnership.”

Company Facts

  • Location: Binh Duong, Vietnam
  • Specialist Industry: Furniture and Fixtures Manufacturing
  • Website: www.rochdalespears.com

Challenges

  • Proliferating systems create management challenges.
  • Lack of standardized, modern processes.
  • Insufficient support for business objectives.

Benefits

  • Accelerated smart factory initiatives and streamlined NPI process
  • Reduced lead time from 120 to 90 days, with plans in place to further reduce to 60 days
  • IT team pared down from 25 to 15 people, enabling these resources to be channeled back into the business to drive initiatives
  • Faster time-to-insight

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