CMP installed the cloud-based NetSuite system in January and now uses it to drive its entire business operations, from sales orders to inventory, to parts manufacturing, purchase and work orders.
“There’s so much data available, and it’s so easy to get access to it, that we can operate our entire business from the cloud,” explains Adam Harper, director of administration and human resources. “We can identify and track problems and analyze the difference in time and costs to produce similar orders. It’s enabled us to reduce costs and protect or improve our margins.”
Among the many operational improvements already achieved, the NetSuite system has helped CMP reduce its inventory levels to close to just-in-time standards, and back orders have fallen by $100,000 from a year ago. Since the business experiences wide seasonal variations, accurate inventory planning and stocking are critical. The ultimate goal is to eliminate back orders entirely.
The company spent the first three months getting everyone trained to use the new system. As part of the upgrade, Internet access and wireless systems were improved. Managers were given iPads, and Apple Macintosh computers replaced a majority of the company’s PCs.
Adds Harper, “We don’t need lots of computers or servers, just a fast Internet connection. Our IT department is now essentially non-existent. Front-line employees really appreciate the ease of the user interfaces. Any machinist can walk up to a terminal and open up a parts work order. Salespeople can access sales history data from home or on the road. From an IT standpoint, it’s increased efficiency by 75 percent.”
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