Fibrix is a leading manufacturer of precision-crafted, nonwoven materials, primarily for furniture and bedding. The material is manufactured on seventeen manufacturing lines at six plants. Like many companies, Fibrix used several software products to manage their financial, production, and sales processes:
- Microsoft Dynamics GP for business accounting and inventory management
- A legacy Windows application to manage each production line, with no support options
- Email and Excel spreadsheets for scheduling, shipping, material usage, and everything else
As the business grew, it could no longer keep up with the volume and complexity of orders. Among the challenges, Dynamics GP did not capture the intricacies of receiving raw materials, creating work orders, tracking raw materials usage, and shipping finished goods. Spreadsheets for scheduling and material usage requirements were silos of information. A ‘black-box’ application managed each production line but could not integrate with the weight scales leading to inaccurate data collection. Shipping managers were disconnected and used spreadsheets to manage what made it on the truck and emails to communicate to accounting. The mix and match of sources of information became a logistics nightmare.
Importantly, Fibrix wanted to achieve seamless integration without sacrificing its investment in Dynamics GP.
TwinEngines modeled the company’s workflows to identify the gaps in the current business systems and created a strategic technology roadmap for the future. TwinEngines developed a business process platform, internally called LaunchPad, to serve as an overlay over the ERP system to connect the receiving, manufacturing, and shipping workflows on the shop floor with accounting in the front office.
TwinEngines built a mobile application for receiving raw materials on handheld devices and a custom application to manage work orders on the production lines. The Windows application automatically provides the daily schedule of jobs and collects the weight of rolls coming off each line. TwinEngines worked with Fibrix’s ERP consultant to connect Dynamics GP, SalesPad, WilloWare with LaunchPad for seamless integration:
- Inbound Receiving – A handheld unit captures raw material data and creates labels. Integration with LaunchPad allows accounting managers to manage the complexities before sending to the ERP system.
- Production Scheduling – The interface allows branch managers to see sales orders entered in real-time. They set the schedule at each line and manage rush orders with real-time visibility at each point of production.
- Material Receipt on Manufacturing Order – Manufacturing Orders with common materials can now be run together. Raw materials usage is scanned into the production application and sent to the ERP system.
- Production – The schedule of work orders displays in real-time for operators. As each order is run on the shop floor, labels are automatically generated and all production outputs link back to the ERP system.
- Shipping Management – The interface allows the shipping manager to tell the system what was loaded and print bill of lading reports from the workstation at the loading dock. Sales Orders are fulfilled based on what is loaded, eliminating rework in the ERP system.
- Fibrix now controls every step in its receiving, production, and shipping processes.
- Because of the data collection features built into the applications, Fibrix management now can view analytics reports with accurate and timely information.
- The TwinEngines technology platform extends the life and investment of the legacy Dynamics GP system.
- TwinEngines filled all operational gaps with mobile, web portal, and desktop applications to create an end-to-end seamless solution.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
MS Visual Studio
Transportation Insight TMS
Ohaus and Cardinal scales
TwinEngines modeled the company’s workflow and designed a comprehensive solution to fill the operational gaps with their ERP system.
By creating an end-to-end seamless solution, Fibrix now has control over every step in its processes on the shop floor.
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