Thomas R. Cutler, the nation's leading manufacturing journalist profiled Midwest Patterns (MPI), a custom moldmaking manufacturer based in Quincy, IL. The feature article can be found http://www.reedl...
Technology solutions are designed to help these manufacturing heroes, yet the results are mixed. Selecting the correct technology can be tantamount to an adding a group of employees; selecting the wrong technology can bring the enterprise to a screeching halt.
Rob Stull is IT Manager, Quality Assurance Manager who noted, "Our Y2K quick purchase of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system turned out to be a poor choice as far as the company goes. The ERP company was bought shortly after our purchase and then put out of business. This left MPI without support or upgrades or an opportunity for continuous improvement...which did not match our lean goals."
Stull insisted that ETO (engineer-to-order) issues characterized Midwest Patterns business, "The need for flexibility in all we do was central in finding the best technology solution. On-time delivery is critical to Midwest Patterns. Saving time and paperwork was essential...We have molds to build not paperwork!"
Midwest Patterns' selection of a new ERP system came down to a choice between two software providers; Encompix (www.encompix.com) won due to its flexibility and its Engineer-to-Order appropriateness. Stull noted that, "The interface has a simplistic layout which is less intimidating to the users. Let's face it, not all users have degrees in computer science and you need to make them comfortable in their environment."
Midwest Patterns has a philosophy that is indicative of other ETO manufacturers working to achieve a competitive advantage. Stull suggests with the commitment to delivery and service, "Most companies remain loyal if they get what they want and get it early. Service above all!"
Mike Merten advised Midwest Patterns in the new technology selection. Merten noticed how many functions Stull fulfilled at the company. "They do not have a large IT staff. Stull does double (sometimes triple) duty as Quality Assurance Manager, IT Manager and whatever other duties might be thrown his way. This made the selection of the proper ERP system critical for them."
Encompix www.encompix.com Roger Meloy 513-733-0066