Case Study: ATD Precision Machining
"Global Shop’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling module is the best in the business. Incredibly powerful."
Ray Almekinder, System Engineer Administrator, ATD Precision MachiningGlobal Shop Solutions Obsoletes Paperwork at ATD Precision
You see it every day. When you’re in business, reams and reams of paper eventually make their way into your front office and shop floor as inefficient clutter. But, not at ATD Precision Machining in Rochester, New York, where lean efficiency dominates their business model.
Working in a variety of industries—from aerospace, motion control, and medical to transportation and fluid controls—ATD is a close tolerance precision CNC manufacturing company whose objective is simply to do away with as much paper as they can in their sprawling 62,000 sq. ft. facility near Lake Ontario. To help them achieve this goal of maximized operational efficiency, ATD turned to Global Shop Solutions and their One-System ERP SolutionsTM software. With Global Shop, ATD found that tracking shop information in realtime eliminated the need for constantly producing and shuffling paper all over the plant. The power to integrate practically everything they were doing into a single, online system provided the means to bring all shop databases together, while also reducing both the labor and paper necessary to make things work smoothly.
"It’s definitely allowed us to reduce the amount of paper we have flowing through the plant," states Ray Almekinder, system engineer administrator with ATD. "The Global Shop software has cut back on paperwork considerably." Almekinder describes Global Shop Solutions as an ERP software system built with lean at its core, and with it ATD realizes a superb information flow that has an immediate ROI impact. "It’s really changed the way we handle new jobs. All of our jobs are managed within Global Shop, and as soon as they are in the office, the people associated with the job are notified immediately via our online computerized touch screens. The old way, we used to pass around a lot of paper when a new job came through. It would have to go through about five or six different desks, and now all of the information about a new job is right there in the system, accessible to everyone all of the time."Connectivity Controls Costs
With Global Shop Solutions ERP software as the shop floor controls, information flies through the ATD plant in one connected system that is easily accessible by everyone needing it. Where once ATD was employing dozens of spreadsheets and databases in multiple locations and ports of accessibility, they have seen the intense direct labor costs associated with information management reduced considerably since implementing Global Shop in 2002. The up-to-the-second records, job progress, and minimal inventory levels keep ATD running lean—just the way they like it. This, in turn, translates into overall cost control and cost reduction throughout the shop. With Global Shop Solutions ERP software in place, the benefits of cost reduction are found in the bottom line of profitability.
Getting a better grasp on shop floor information also means achieving a better sense of scheduling for on-time delivery, as well as the maximization of plant capacity. Almekinder observes, "Global Shop has helped us a lot in terms of not only on-time delivery improvement, but also our up-front abilities to let the customer know exactly when we can have their order ready to go. Right off the bat with an order, we can work out a delivery schedule that is both accurate and will work for them. So, in terms of shop floor operations, having a realistic view of how our capacity is working at any time helps with our advanced scheduling and inventory management."
"It’s our whole package that’s connected in Global Shop, and I can honestly say that our on-time delivery has improved because of our capacity foresight," states Almekinder. Certainly, with over 70 different machines and a dozen or so work centers, advanced scheduling at ATD Precision is no small feat. "Global Shop’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling module is the best in the business. Incredibly powerful."ATD in the Global Supply Chain
Supply chain management is another important area where ATD’s Global Shop Solutions software makes its mark on ROI. With Global Shop in place system-wide, ATD keeps close tabs on the variables that come into play when their clients depend on them to keep the value stream moving, and moving in the right direction. Global Shop Solutions software is able to build and manage ATD planning, purchasing, scheduling, and expediting of the products, sub-components, and outside services they use within the supply chain. In fact, the materials management functions within their Global Shop system work to coordinate upstream suppliers and services for just-in-time production efficiencies that also build consistent on-time delivery to their own downstream customers. For Almekinder, the robust and reliable supply chain management capabilities of Global Shop means less time fixing problems and more time in proactive production process improvements.
"Global Shop has helped us succeed because we are a more cost-effective manufacturer with the software. Because of our known reliability as a quality machine shop, we’re able to maintain long-term relationships with our suppliers and our customers. Customers know they can count on us and that what we are telling them about quality and delivery is accurate. This is a result of less maintenance needed on the system due to the fact that it’s all in a single-source system. This is really important to us, and I know my job’s a lot easier with Global Shop than with what we had before," Almekinder observes.Leaning Away from Trees—ATD Precision and Global Shop Solutions
With such completeness in a single-source ERP software system, ATD is able to turn to Global Shop for continuous improvement in all aspects of their operation. For example, as a close tolerance manufacturer, ATD prides itself on producing quality products that meet and exceed their customers’ expectations. As an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer, for ATD there is no second chance at producing quality products for a customer—it must be done perfectly the first time. "Global Shop has helped our documentation in Quality," Almekinder states. "We’re big users of the Quality and the Engineering Change Control modules, and with the electronic documentation they produce, we don’t have to worry about the file drawers getting over-filled. And, when the auditor comes in and wants to see our cause and corrective actions, we simply pull up our Global Shop system and all of the information is right there."
For ATD Precision, the decision to purchase and implement Global Shop Solutions One-System ERPTM software was one based on a business philosophy of efficient quality. Global Shop allows ATD, and manufacturers just like them, the ability to focus on the work; more focus on the work means better quality out the door. ATD has become an efficient machine shop through the lean results found in the reduction of paperwork. They have recovered an enormous amount of productive labor time for use in more important operation functions than paper filing and document searching. They have – resoundingly – reduced their overall cost of goods sold and enhanced their bottom line.