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The Challenge

Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group is a 127-year-old manufacturing leader with the soul of a start-up.

The company is a pioneer in deploying technology to enable superior quality and unimpeachable reliability, an approach the Boers & Co team labels ‘good-in-one-go’. Boers & Co delivers fine mechanical parts, high precision assembly and sheet metal products to customers in the medical appliances, flow-control, automotive and petro-chemical industries. 

CEO and owner of Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group, Ronald Koot shared, “Our philosophy is to innovate constantly; each day, we take steps to improve our business, to make superior products and enhance our service.”

Jos Greeve, Information & Communications Technology Manager at Boers & Co Precision Solutions Group, added, “We know that to stay ahead of the competition we must innovate. We don’t own end products, so our focus is on re-inventing our processes to align with and anticipate the evolving market.”

This strategy includes a lean production chain to manufacture and deliver products with as little handling as possible. A decade ago, this approach—coupled with an increasingly demanding environment—impelled Boers & Co to select Epicor for an enterprise-ready, built-for-manufacturing ERP solution.

A Powerful Command Centre

Epicor Kinetic is not only our principal application, it also is a business enabler, giving us the capability to do everything we want to do.

Greeve revealed, “Epicor Kinetic is not only our principal application, it also is a business enabler, giving us the capability to do everything we want to do.”

As an example, Boers & Co initiated a project to automatically transport TechRacks® throughout the production environment. A robot named OTTO—an autonomous mobile robot provided by OTTO Motors—helps move products around the factory floor. As a result, the workforce has fewer logistical operations to perform, production flow is improved, as is registration of stock locations. OTTO integrates with the TechRacks® system and with Epicor Kinetic using Epicor IoT. Epicor IoT combines the power of Microsoft Azure IoT Hub with data and context from Epicor Kinetic, helping deliver insights into day-to-day operations.

Change happens daily, whether it’s in the supply chain or customer expectations. Without a powerful ERP system, we wouldn’t be able to immediately adapt. Deprived of the data Epicor Kinetic gives us, we would really have a problem.

Greeve pointed out, “The robots and drones are disruptive, but not to our processes. Epicor Kinetic seamlessly integrates with them, acting as the nerve center and telling OTTO and the drones what to do. As they perform their tasks, data is fed back into Epicor Kinetic.”

The ability to keep pace with changes is another key benefit. Koot pointed out, “Change happens daily, whether it’s in the supply chain or customer expectations. Without a powerful ERP system, we wouldn’t be able to immediately adapt. Deprived of the data Epicor Kinetic gives us, we would really have a problem.”

Ready-for-Anything Agility

Epicor Kinetic has driven greater business dexterity to weather unpredictable times. Koot articulated, “We chose Epicor because we believed that a data core integrated across the company would enable us to create the best possible solutions.”

“The visibility and traceability we have is superior.” Greeve highlighted. “Potential issues are detected earlier so we can resolve them before they become a problem and we can adjust proactively to changes. This pre-emptive posture also supports greater responsiveness to our customers and suppliers.”

He cited two important examples. “Pricing on raw materials has become much more volatile. Metal costs are changing on a daily basis, something we haven’t seen in 50 years.” Data from Epicor Kinetic allows Boers & Co to dynamically tune the business to meet fluctuations.

“Similarly, when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted customers, Epicor Kinetic enabled us to be a good partner by helping us to cancel orders quickly, minimising the cost to the customer as well as releasing our production capacity to flow to other projects,” Greeve said.

He added, “The real-time visibility is critical. People can’t work on an order they can’t see. If we were running on paper reports, there would be a huge delay in the time an order is cancelled and the time we stop work. That would mean more cost to the customer and wasted materials for us. Our customers trust us because Epicor Kinetic information lets us deliver on our promises. We are confident that we can do what we say.”

Koot identified another critical advantage, “As the company has evolved from strictly B2B to include manufacturing consumer products, we needed 100% materials traceability, which is what Epicor Kinetic helps to deliver. That has opened the door to the manufacture of medical devices, which come with high data demands.”

Maximizing Productivity

“As we continue to automate throughout the company, there is a question of responsibility for maintaining equipment if no one is watching it,” Greeve noted. “With Epicor IoT, we can detect machinery issues earlier for preventative maintenance. Epicor will alert us if performance is degrading, and we can fix it before there is unplanned downtime. Optimized machine productivity translates to higher on-time delivery rates with less overtime.”

Koot added, “We have also invested in cleaning robots because they allow employees to offload menial tasks and direct their time to more meaningful and valuable work. No one likes to sweep the floor. Robots free our people to do more of what matters, to them and the business.”

Epicor has enabled a seamless shift to remote working. Greeve noted, “Because everything is in Epicor Kinetic, there is no impact on productivity when working from home or anywhere; it’s easy.” Greeve plans to expand the mobile environment with the Epicor Kinetic UX to drive seamless productivity from any device, anywhere.

A Novel Outlook

Greeve offers a fresh perspective on measurement: “Metrics are important but for us, they also are a sign if we’re standing still. With an improve-every-day culture like ours, metrics are the signpost. We are creating new improvements daily, constantly searching for and implementing a smarter, more efficient way to do just about everything.”

Greeve continued, “Boer & Co has been an Epicor customer for 10 years. Epicor unleashes our innovative aptitude, giving us the insights and tools to re-invent as frequently as we want.”

Company Facts

  • Location: Schiedam, Netherlands
  • Industry: Metals Manufacturing
  • Website:  www.boers.nl

Challenges

  • Capacity to match pace of progress
  • Ability to integrate autonomous technologies
  • Agility to navigate the unpredictable

Benefits

  • Standardized operations/processes across all sites
  • Enable seamless integration of robotics
  • IoT drives higher on-time, helping in the delivery with less overtime
  • Greener shipping footprint with enhanced traceability

Liên hệ

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