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With global distribution of technically advanced medical products manufactured in Ireland, Vitalograph places a very high emphasis on production and warehouse management efficiency and quality. Thats why the company, with the help of MXI, have implemented Exact Globe and Exact Alliance Manufacturing solutions at its main product site and warehouse, driving greater accuracy, efficiency and visibility throughout the supply chain.
Vitalograph Ltd, founded in 1963, designs, manufactures and markets respiratory diagnostic and therapeutic products and is recognised world wide for excellent lung function testing equipment and related services. Its products and services are used in clinical trails, primary care, occupational health, sports medicine, asthma management, emergency services and hospitals. The company is based in the UK, with manufacturing and distribution based in Ennis, Ireland. Vitalograph is represented in 113 countries worldwide through a network of Authorised Distributors.
Vitalographs relationship with Exact Software began more than ten years ago. Frank Keane, General Manager of Vitalograph Ireland, explains, We implemented the Exact Globe financial management system way back in the 90s and I have to say it has always been very reliable. You want your finance system to simply get on and run the business and with Globe I never hear of any problems.
More recently, the company identified that its manufacturing and warehouse systems were not working quite so effectively. We were running information on production schedules and stock control on a variety of spreadsheets spread right across the company, says Frank, adding, This was hugely labour intensive and resulted in inaccurate stock information and no integration whatsoever. We knew there had to be a better way of managing the production process so we carried out an extensive search of the market before deciding to implement Exacts Alliance/MFG.
Exact Alliance/MFG is a complete Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software system. It offers a Part Master, unlimited, multi-Level Bill of Materials, Inventory Control, Serial Number/Lot Tracking, MRP and CRP, Work Centres and Work Orders. Alliance provides a seamless link to Exact Globe, as well as other accounting systems.
Alliance seemed by far the easiest system to use, yet it also demonstrated very high levels of detail and complexity when you drill down into it. We felt that it was a system that we could learn to use very quickly, but would provide all the capabilities we needed to support and grow our business. In addition, the cost compared to some other similar products was very favourable, adds Frank.
Exact Software reseller, MXI, has worked closely with Vitalograph throughout the implementation and has been heavily involved with the implementation and support of the Alliance system. Vitalograph uses Alliance to handle materials management, stock control, MRP, forecasting and price control. MXI has also developed reports that allow Vitalograph to carry out detailed sales and stock analysis and other management reporting.
We have been manufacturing at our current site for more than 30 years and have some established and proven methods of operating that required some modifications to the system. For example, medical regulations mean that we have to keep certain products or parts for long periods of time and these need to be closely monitored and managed to ensure we dont end up with obsolete stock. MXI has provided a number of special reports for us as well as carrying out modifications to Alliance to suit these requirements, helping us maintain optimum stock levels and having a major impact on the profitability of the operation, says Frank.
Exact Alliance helps manage the entire production and distribution process with a high degree of automation and a minimal amount of data entry. Much of the input is handled automatically within the system and through integration with other applications. This has led to a huge saving in labour resource. We have been able to move three people from full time administrative data entry tasks into more productive new roles. This represents a huge saving for us in terms of labour costs, Frank confirms.
He continues, Another important benefit of Alliance is that now the functional operations of the system are not in the hands of one person, they are distributed throughout the organisation. This significantly increases the efficiency of the business because it ensures live information is visible at all times. I come in first thing and check order status and can keep monitoring this all day and respond accordingly. As a result we have cut average order fulfilment times from 3/4 weeks down to one week. This has a major impact on our bottom line!
Vitalograph is also using Alliance for advanced and accurate business forecasting. Alliance has really helped with forecasting. It allows our sales and planning people to enter demand information, run simulations and look at various scenarios. This has very positive implications on many areas of the business. For example, we have been able to reduce the amount of stock we need to hold, while improving stock availability, which reduces our capital investment, adds Frank.
During 2007, Vitalograph upgraded to the latest version of Alliance and this has delivered even greater advantages. The upgrade went really well. We worked closely with MXI to plan and prepare for it and managed to complete the entire upgrade inside 4 days. The effect has also been significant. The new system has allowed us to improve the rate of on-time deliveries from 65% to 95%, he says.
Alliance provides seamless integration with the Exact Globe finance system, which ensures that invoices are prepared accurately and sent out as soon as the order is fulfilled. Frank, The integration with the finance system has a big impact on cash flow. We can get an invoice sent out as soon as the order has been fulfilled, without having to wait for forms to be raised and data to be physically entered. This saves several days for each invoice, which means we also get paid several days sooner.
In conclusion, Frank explains, As a partner, MXI has been very responsive, very helpful very knowledgeable. The system is essential to our business and we simply can't afford any downtime MXIs support has been excellent and they have kept us running throughout. Alliance itself has proven to be an excellent product and, with MXIs help, has provided a solution that is focused on fulfilling our specific business objectives. Our operations are more accurate and more efficient and because Alliance allows us to manage processes based on realtime visibility of the entire supply chain.