How a step-by-step ERP app implementation transformed a large metal fabrication company within months
The manufacturing industry is facing unprecedented challenges. Workplace restrictions necessary to ensure safety through COVID-19 have created operational hurdles, which are making it more difficult to keep up with demand. And current budget uncertainties are presenting their own problems.
In order to survive and thrive, manufacturers are seeking ways to realize efficiencies across their operations, but most have limited time and resources to devote to complex initiatives. Fortunately, as VME Manufacturing discovered, moving to the mobile ERP app, Bezlio, delivers a big productivity punch for very little implementation effort.
THE PROBLEM: A POWERFUL BUT INFLEXIBLE ERP SYSTEM
I met the Director of Information Technologies for VME Manufacturing at a trade show. The team sat in on a Bezlio demonstration, and we reconnected a few months later to discuss the pain points that drove them in search of a mobile ERP solution.
The issues VME was encountering will sound familiar to many a manufacturer. The ERP system they’d invested in was robust and feature-rich, but it wasn’t particularly user friendly. It also lacked the flexibility and portability necessary to facilitate work in today’s increasingly fluid environment. To access information, users had to be on a networked computer, either in the office or connected through a remote VPN. This made it difficult for teams to obtain the information they needed, when and where they needed it.
The question was what to do about these problems. We engaged in several conversations to develop a project plan to implement Bezlio’s mobile ERP app for manufacturing across several departments, with an agreement to focus on shop floor operations.
A FIRST BEZL ACCELERATES PROCESSING OF PURCHASE ORDER RECEIPTS
Bezlio was designed as an integrated and natively mobile platform, ready for a mix-and-match selection of task-specific apps (we call them ‘bezls’). Our pre-built bezls serve as customizable building blocks for a comprehensive, enterprise-wide mobile ERP solution.
The great thing about this architecture is that there’s no need to complete an entire mobile ERP overhaul at once, which many manufacturers worry would require too much orchestration, training, and preparation to handle right now. Instead, we take things one bezl at a time.
After considering their options, VME decided to target purchase order receipts. Getting those details into the company’s ERP system had long been a time sink. Employees needed to take paper to a kiosk across the plant floor and manually key in information, and they were eager to try something better.
Bezlio replaced the paper-based system with a mobile purchase order bezl. This secure, intuitive interface enables users to scan barcodes right at the receiving dock. And they do it using their own smartphone, a device they carry with them anyway. The bezl then automatically sends the information to the ERP, no keying necessary.
The end result—eliminating hundreds of steps and minutes of data entry, every single time.
EXPANDING ON SUCCESS ACROSS THE MANUFACTURING SHOP FLOOR
Once VME decision-makers saw how easy employees found it to use the Bezlio iOS interface, they were ready for more. After a few weeks, we enhanced the first bezl to record specific heat and serial numbers the company’s end customers require. This information can now be tracked more easily as materials move from receiving through production and final shipment.
Bezlio and VME then moved on to implement additional bezls to track real time labor against production jobs, issue materials and perform location transfers. Finally, we sought out opportunities to take advantage of real time information access. For example, VME implemented a Part Tracker bezl to enable team members to instantly view availability and warehouse locations while working with a customer.
Together, these tools significantly increased efficiency, streamlined processes, and empowered team members to manage a variety of client needs. And the productivity gains came with minimal time investment in solution implementation or training.
VME’s Bezlio journey continues. Our next goal is to provide users with custom quality-assurance forms and applications. A brand new bezl we’re building will soon eliminate those paper forms and the frustrating data entry. And users will be able to submit results and track trends in real time, all within an interface they already know and love. After that, we’ll move on to whatever challenge VME identifies.
Have you been looking for ways to steadily reduce inefficiencies on your shop floor? If so, contact us to get on the Bezlio path. We can help you build a mobile ERP implementation plan like we did for VME Manufacturing. Then we’ll assist you every step of the way as you make your operations more streamlined and productive than ever.