The metal stamping and fabrication industry doesn’t necessarily have a reputation for using cutting-edge technology with precision metal design. But like their counterparts in other sectors, metal manufacturers are getting ahead by using technology—including ERP platforms—in strategic ways. In fact, many of these companies are achieving goals that once seemed unattainable.
Today’s systems can deliver real-time access to data and keen insight into what’s actually happening on the shop floor. With a connected manufacturing approach, metal manufacturers can grow their businesses and advance their industry.
Six Companies Thrive with Connected Manufacturing
Meet six companies that have undergone digital transformations and are using connected manufacturing to reduce inventory, avoid waste, increase customer service levels, and more.
Gill Industries used to rely on QuickBooks and spreadsheets to manage its business and production processes. As a result, information was often out of date across the company’s eight global sites. When new executive leadership asked for companywide performance metrics, the company aimed to standardize processes throughout its facilities. Using a cloud ERP, Gill Industries centralized its operational data, which freed up IT staff to focus on value-added business activities. The company now maintains high quality standards by conducting quality checks and producing records in real time.
For years, G&W Industries ran its business on an ERP system that was so cumbersome and out of date, employees had to resort to manual, paper-based workarounds. This situation resulted in inaccurate inventory reports—and wasted countless man-hours. By implementing cloud technology, G&W Industries gained real-time access to data and increased its on-time delivery rate from 85 percent to as high as 98 percent. The company also went from tracking 3,500 sheets of metal in an Excel spreadsheet to holding only two weeks’ worth of raw materials.
Hatch Stamping responded to a period of explosive growth by re-evaluating its technology solutions. The company concluded that to support continued growth, it would need to upgrade to a more robust ERP system. Hatch integrated all of its data into one easy-to-use system, which enabled employees to work with real-time data and make much more informed decisions. Having more accurate data also helped the company reduce errors and waste, leading to better management of resources. In addition, Hatch’s decision-makers have greater visibility into all aspects of the company because they can manage accounts and inventories for each plant from one central solution.
HK Metalcraft accommodates the unique needs of each customer as it manufactures high-quality precision metal stampings and formed products. As customer demands became more complex, the company realized it would need to replace its legacy ERP system. HK Metalcraft’s president, Joshua Hopp, researched various solutions before making the strategic decision to bring his company into the cloud. With data now highly accessible from anywhere, the company applies it to improving profit and loss and reducing downtime on the shop floor. Meanwhile, the company’s IT staff no longer has to maintain an outdated ERP system. They’re using the cloud platform to collect useful information that helps them contribute to the ongoing improvement of the business.
Wisco Industries used to believe that the lost production time caused by its previous ERP system was just part of the cost of doing business. That’s when customers began requesting advanced capabilities such as integrated quality. Wisco researched potential solutions and upgraded to a comprehensive platform that offers built-in quality management and EDI. On this new cloud platform, communication and compliance have become an operational strategy for Wisco. The company has also reduced overall inventory by 20 percent and raw material inventory by 15 percent.
When Toyotetsu, an automotive supplier, set aggressive growth goals, its leadership realized the company needed to become a connected manufacturer and embrace smart manufacturing. This meant putting the right technology foundation in place. Toyetetsu implemented a cloud solution that enabled the company to integrate its programmable logic controls (PLCs) in more than 250 work centers. The company now strives to reach 100% PLC integration. Meanwhile, Toyetetsu has already gleaned better insights from every aspect of its manufacturing, which equips the company to meet long-term business goals.
Learn more about how manufacturers are using technology to stay agile in the face of constantly changing demand. Download this free white paper: Manufacturing Agility Through MES Excellence.