Many manufacturers in the Americas that lost business to other regions of the world during the global recession (offshoring) have since won back some of that very same business. Reshoring business requires manufacturers to look at their technology, quality, reliability, and collaborative supply-chain relationships. One company points to its manufacturing cloud ERP software as key to this competitive strategy.
Putting a Scalable ERP Foundation in Place
Firstronic, LLC is an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider serving automotive, aerospace, commercial, and industrial tier-one suppliers and OEMs. Management realized that in order to manage the expected growth that would come from reshoring, it would need to replace proprietary systems and MRP tools with a more scalable, integrated ERP system.
An on-premise or even hosted ERP system would have meant the company would be limited on data storage, number of users, accessibility, and functionality. Once cloud ERP is active, manufacturers merely need an Internet connection to add new users and locations. Because there is only one instance of software shared across the enterprise, manufacturers can both add and fully integrate new production locations quickly. There is no software installation—new locations are simply added to the database and connect to it via the Internet.
Ensuring Shop Floor Controls
With its cloud ERP system up and running, Firstronic set out to leverage the sophisticated bill of materials (BOM) capabilities for print circuit board (PCB) assemblies. The system can manage each product line each containing up to 10,000 parts with hundreds of partners and sub-part numbers.
Tracking parts with checklist and control plans ensures correct setup of part reels. All critical requirements are built into the checklists to prevent any quality issues or production delays, and Firstronic can easily provide documentation to auditors and customers because the system keeps track of every step in the process.
Winning Reshored Business
Instead of competing on labor costs, the company decided to focus on becoming better at shop floor control and implementing advanced technology to speed time-to-market and enable flexibility. Firstronic says this strategy was key to winning six new customers—all of which were won from competitors from regions outside America, or returned to America business that had been previously off-shored. The new contracts translate into hundreds of thousands of units per product line.
Within one year of its manufacturing cloud ERP launch, Firstronic doubled its revenue and reshored contracts that equate to a 300 percent growth in business.
Still not sure about cloud ERP? Download the white paper: 6 Common Myths About Cloud ERP for Manufacturers.