Canyon Europe Ltd is the European arm of its Japanese parent company. Based in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Canyon has a staff of 70 and manufactures injection moulded products. Their sales, production and stock control were controlled through a series of separate spreadsheets. Information was not visible between departments and errors were commonplace. Graeme Bennett, Plant/Business Development Manager said; We had customers telling us that we needed an MRP system, plus we needed better internal methods for our ISO accreditation. We looked at several systems, costing up to 50k, with another 15k for training five staff and typical annual maintenance cost of 18%. After evaluating a system for six months we were introduced to 123MRP through QM Systems. After seeing a 15 minute video and a half-hour meeting we were convinced and decided to try it, as there was no risk involved.
Two staff attended training courses in October 2003. The decision was made to install SQL 2000 database over Access tables to accommodate future planned expansion, which required a new server. After correctly specifying and sourcing, it was installed in February 2004, with Graeme then starting the installation process himself. I actually had not attended any of the 123MRP training courses, but was able to install the system purely through the documentation, internal assistance from those who were trained and through 123MRP telephone support. The installation was simple and straightforward. Within two months the system was live across all departments.
Immediately the fog surrounding information held in each department disappeared. Communication improved dramatically as there was now a single repository of information accessible by all departments. Errors associated with the traditional workflow process disappeared overnight. Graeme said; A good example is a common situation that occurred recently where an order required a different delivery address, which was entered on the sales order. The person entering the sales order was on holiday when the goods were due to be shipped - with our old system this would have fallen through the cracks and would have been sent to the invoice address, but with 123MRP that simply cannot happen.
As time progressed a number of further significant savings became apparent. The amount of paperwork generated and tracked was halved. The necessity for printing reports and forms, many previously in triplicate was removed as users could access the information electronically. Also, documents that previously were printed such as order confirmations and sales acknowledgements could now be sent by fax or email direct from the PC.
Previously stock control caused major problems, with physical stock checks commonplace as records could not be relied on. Graeme added; Now we perform a rolling stock-take of a few items, which simply confirms that what the system is reporting is what we actually have on the shelves. As a direct result stock-holding of work in progress components has been reduced by 30%, which in real terms is about 28,000 per month. It now allows us to operate a Just-In-Time stock-holding policy, which is especially important for seasonal items as we dont end up holding products that will not be used for another year.
Canyon Europe placed more staff on training courses in August 2004 as they anticipate the number of 123MRP licenses in operation to quadruple due to expected increases in both product range and market share. Graeme concluded; Our administration capabilities have increased by 50% - planning used to be a full-time role but the staff handling that now have free time for other duties. Our customers are now telling us they feel confident that we have a system in place that is providing them with solid , reliable information, which is following through in our performance to them. If wed have spent 65,000 plus the ongoing costs on a system that did not work out, that would have caused us a major problem. We were able to test the systems suitability at minimal cost and risk and were paying less now than the maintenance costs of comparable systems.