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The Challenge

Every time an aircraft lands at an airport, the lights guiding it to land, take off and taxi to its allotted stand remain illuminated in all weather conditions. EFLA products secure connectivity of the electric circuit powering the airfield lights. EFLA is a single-site manufacturer is based in Porvoo, approximately 50km east of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. They develop, manufacture, and sell a series of certified isolation transformers, connector kits and prefabricated cable leads for airfield lighting that ensure safe takeoffs and landings. EFLA is the global leader in its field and its products—that withstand extreme heat, cold and wet conditions—are used at airports around the world.

Outdated Production Processes

To continue to make high-quality, market-leading products, EFLA needed to refine its manufacturing processes and adopt modern, cloud-based systems. For example, production monitoring was manual and usually done at the start and end of the process. That risked faults only being found at the end of a production run which slowed production, wasted materials and required re-manufacture.

The company’s existing ERP system was outdated and at end-of-life, and could no longer provide the level and in-depth data needed to modernize and improve production. Also, the product had been acquired by an international IT company and support was not the same.

Epicor Runs the Business

In looking for a new solution, EFLA evaluated four different ERP applications. The company ultimately chose Epicor because helped by offering a complete, industry-focused manufacturing solution that sets it apart from other ERP solutions. Another key add-on module is the Epicor Product Configurator, which with other vendors it is often a third-party product. Product Configurator automates parts configuration “on-the-fly” enabling customers to order the product types and variations they need without EFLA having to manually collect and input the data. As a small manufacturer with limited IT resources, the ‘out-of-the-box’ capability of Epicor made it an ideal solution.

EFLA selected Epicor Kinetic deployed in the cloud with additional modules such as Epicor Financial Planner. EFLA worked with Epicor and its local business partner SmartTime to manage implementation and modification. Deployment of Epicor was fast and on time. The solution is used to manage operations at the company’s manufacturing location in Finland and covers core activities such as accounting and finance, customer service, supply chain, inventory, distribution, and manufacturing production management.

“Epicor now runs our whole business helping us to produce around nearly one million products each year. Without Epicor, EFLA would struggle to control and manage operations effectively and efficiently,” said Veikko Ikalainen, CEO of EFLA. “Our view and understanding of our manufacturing processes and operations is far better now than it was before we started using Epicor.”

Substantially Improved Production Efficiency

Epicor has helped EFLA to improve its manufacturing operations by increasing process visibility and efficiency. This helped to enable the business to maximize manufacturing equipment utilization and increase production volume and efficiency, with the same resources. With more streamlined processes and better production data from Epicor, EFLA found that even during periods such as the COVID-19 lockdown, when sourcing raw material was challenging, the business was still able to fulfil customer demand.

Efficiencies introduced by EFLA—and production improvement because of Epicor—helped to enable EFLA to shorten its time-to-market. That increased the company’s competitive advantage and helped it win new business.

Epicor is essential to our business and helping to meet our customer needs. Despite being a small manufacturer, we serve a global market and the features that Epicor delivers is key to improve our manufacturing operations.

Because of the mission-critical nature of EFLA’s business, ensuring landing lights stay on, the company’s products undergo strict certification with aviation authorities around the world. To help meet aviation standards and regulations, Epicor helped to enable EFLA to monitor quality control operation quickly and accurately.

As well as improving lead times, EFLA expects to improve services to customers when it starts to use Epicor Product Configurator. Customers will be able to customize product specifications and order volumes automatically via Epicor, which then processes the data, bill of materials to fulfil the order.

Epicor now runs our whole business helping us to produce around nearly one million products each year. Without Epicor, EFLA would struggle to control and manage operations effectively and efficiently.

In addition to current operations, Epicor will help EFLA grow and expand its business in the future. The company continues to introduce new innovative products to market, such as Sheriff surge protection device to prevent equipment damage caused by lightning.

“Epicor is essential to our business and helping to meet our customer needs,” said Ikalainen. “Despite being a small manufacturer, we serve a global market and the features that Epicor delivers is key to improve our manufacturing operations.”

Company Facts

  • Location: Porvoo, Finland
  • Specialist Industry: Electronics and High-Tech Manufacturing
  • Website: efla.net

Challenges

  • Outdated, end-of-life ERP system
  • Poor control over the production process
  • Demand for bespoke production

Benefits

  • Reduced production lead time
  • Increased production efficiency
  • Reduced costs and improved ROI

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