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ERP transformation for automotive supplier

April 15, 2015 Case Study 2 min read
Japanese-owned, Ohio-based automotive supplier gains new efficiencies and visibility with ERP implementation.

The client

Since its creation in 1994, award-winning chassis and engine component supplier FT Precision Inc. has grown its workforce to some 400 employees while executing its strategy for long-term growth.

The challenge

With a focus on quality, efficiency, and profitability, senior management recognized paper-based inventory control processes — using data from disparate departmental spreadsheets —couldn't keep pace with customer requirements or the real-time, lean production environment it was creating. And, since the company is publicly listed in Japan, it had to comply with stringent data security regulations. But many staff on the production line weren't comfortable with technology and questioned the need for change.

The solution

FT Precision turned to Plex by Rockwell Automation for inventory management, but once leadership learned the software’s full capabilities, they engaged Plante Moran to look at the impact of deploying additional modules. Our experts, some fluent in both English and Japanese, brought extensive industry expertise including essential JSOX compliance to help guide the company through a full ERP implementation.Our team helped shepherd a significant business transformation in a short time frame, on budget, with high levels of workforce buy-in. To foster staff acceptance, we helped the company develop and deliver small-group classroom training to walk through processes well before introducing computer monitors to the production line. We guided management in its communication efforts to show staff how the transition would support the company's future success and ultimately cut down time spent on administrative duties.

The benefit

FT Precision’s ERP solution has delivered significant results, helping lay a resilient, agile foundation for lean production and future growth:

  • Real-time data and key metrics are instantly accessible to staff on any device, so meetings with senior management now focus on solutions and planning. Working more proactively and productively, and spending less time on paperwork, has boosted morale.
  • All departments now have real-time inventory data, and the ability to hold less stock has improved cash flow.
  • Automated information flows, including from the shop floor directly to accounting, have had a very real impact on driving future profitability.
  • The cloud-based solution has freed up the firm's small in-house IT team to focus on strategic IT issues, rather than maintaining server hardware and software.

Working with our team, management continues to identify new opportunities to streamline business processes and plans to roll out additional modules, including human resources, costing, and PLC.

With Plante Moran, we've managed to deploy an extraordinarily powerful ERP solution in a way that will deliver maximum value. We thought we were hiring technical professionals to implement software, but what we actually got was invaluable business management advice. They gave us vital new perspectives based on how other organizations are run, how they look, and how they use Plex, and that’s been absolutely invaluable.” --Kent Baxter, IT Assistant Manager at FT Precision

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