Case Study: Staber Industries
Solution: Global Shop ERP
Industry: Appliance Manufacturer
Location: Groveport, Ohio,
About The Company
Founded in 1976, Staber Industries began as a remanufacturer of laundry machine components, however, the business soon evolved into re-manufacturing entire coin-operated washers of leading brands such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Speed Queen and GE. Today, Staber is a second generation family-owned business that makes its own line of washing machines, including the only energy-efficient top loading tumble-action washer made in the U.S. It also manufactures drying cabinets that serve the medical, fire, residential laundry equipment sectors.
Headquartered in Groveport, Ohio, Staber Industries also has technologies for laser cutting, metal fabrication, vapor degreasing and powder-coat painting. Additionally, it recently acquired Master Sports (Match Mate Tennis), a producer of tennis ball throwing machines, and now offers this product and a pickle ball-throwing machine as part of its growing product line.
Prior to 2010, Staber Industries used an early-stage ERP software product to manage production. However, the system had ongoing problems with payroll, required duplicate data entry in many areas, and needed costly hardware upgrades to keep up with software revisions. Seeking a more integrated solution, company president Bill Staber selected Global Shop Solutions as the firm’s ERP software of the future.
“Global Shop Solutions offered far more capabilities than our previous system,” recalls Staber, “and we liked the idea of moving to a PC-based system. Most important, it gave us a compete, fully integrated package in one system.”
Tighter Inventory Control
Upon implementing Global Shop Solutions, Staber immediately set about improving three key areas for any manufacturing business – inventory management, quoting and job costing. With their old system, Staber Industries could never obtain a clear idea of how much inventory they had on hand at any given time.
With Global Shop Solutions’ automatic work order generation and raw materials reorder points, inventory tracking has become much more accurate. “With Global Shop Solutions, everyone knows where to find the work orders,” says Staber. “They know how to use the graphical user interface (GUI) stations to issue material to the job and properly log the quantities. And the system tracks all the data in real time, so we always know how much inventory we have on hand.”
“We’ve also reduced the amount of stock we carry without having material shortages. The automatic work order generation tells us instantly what we have to buy and where, and from there we go right into Auto Purchasing to get that done. It all happens at the same time, so that the parts and materials are on hand when production workers are ready to start the job.”
Improved Costing and Quoting
Prior to Global Shop Solutions, job costing was a cumbersome, hit or-miss process. Every router or bill of materials (BOMs) had to be built from scratch. And once created, it was difficult to copy or add to them. Plant managers had a rough idea of what each job should cost, but coming up with a precise accounting of those costs proved elusive.
“When we got Global Shop Solutions, we discovered our costs were higher than we thought,” says Staber. “When we compared them to the competition, we actually ended up in the middle of the pack. But it was a real eye-opener to see our true costs for the first time.” “As long as we correctly input our hourly labor rates, overhead and equipment costs, the system gives us a very accurate accounting of our true costs. As a result, we know how much we can come down on price in regards to competitors, and how low we can go before saying no.” Quoting has also become faster and more accurate in large part due to the ease of creating BOMs and routers in the system. Instead of starting from scratch, workers can call up existing BOMs and routers and quickly make changes, saving time and enabling more accurate job quotes.
Simplifying the Shop Floor
Staber especially likes TrueView™ Data Display, the new Global Shop Solutions software product that displays real-time labor, material and production data on a large screen on the shop floor. We still have paper routers on the floor with due dates on them,” he says, “but TrueView highlights the late ones in red so they get extra attention. Workers also get a better feel for the overall workflow because all the orders are on display, and they don’t have to shuffle through a stack of routers to see what’s coming up next.
As a result, they can save time and be more efficient with on-demand and upcoming jobs by appropriately sequencing them at each work center.”
Improving Efficiencies Throughout the Business
Another problem with Staber Industries’ old system was the constant need for duplicate data entry. The system couldn’t talk to the customer database, so every time an invoice or other job-related document was created, it had to be rekeyed into the database.
Now, when an invoice gets created in Global Shop Solutions, the data is automatically linked to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module. From there, customer service reps can easily pull up the invoice to check on the status, answer customer questions and more. No double data entry and no wasting time hunting for paper invoices in file cabinets.
Meanwhile, Global Shop Solutions’ UPS® integrator feature has removed several time consuming steps from the sales process. Instead of having to go to the UPS web site to get a shipping quote, shipping personnel can do it directly in Global Shop Solutions using the sales order.
“The system creates a shipping label and tracking number right from the sales order so we don’t have to do it separately,” says Administrator Brooke Eisele. “We can also create a freight bill for items shipping out via freight and the bill of lading for the shipment right there in the UPS integrator. It’s a real time saver!”
Office Manager Sylvia Fenwick saves time by using Global Shop Solutions ability to pay vendors via automatic clearing house (ACH) processing.
“I don’t have to manually cut vendor checks and put them in the mail anymore,” she says. “Plus, I can usually pay the vendor to the exact day of the terms. We also do all payroll by direct deposit, and the automated e-invoicing saves us time and postage.”
Data Integration Makes the Difference
When asked to identify Global Shop Solutions’ most valuable feature Staber, Eisele and Fenwick all point to the ability to produce data in real time and the seamless integration of that data throughout the system. For example, managers used to only print past due work orders at the end of the month, and sometimes they would discover they had already been done. Now they print them every day to see which ones are late and why, and take appropriate action.
“The integration of data is superb,” says Eisele. “It takes a lot less time to complete an order, track the inventory, and ship it out the door. It’s also much easier to see where problems arise and know how to fix them.” On the administrative side, the CRM makes it easy for office personnel to deliver fast, responsive customer service by accessing anything they need to know about a part, job or customer. “CRM is always open on my desk,” says Fenwick. “If a customer calls about a job, I have all the information right at my fingertips. I can call up invoices, order history, payment history, and anything else I need to know without having to run to a file cabinet.”
“Global Shop Solutions lets you do everything from A to Z – from payroll and payables to creating work orders, tracking labor and inventory to job costing and sales analysis,” says Staber. “Their customer support and technical assistance is excellent, and they always respond to us in a timely manner. Global Shop Solutions is a one-stop shop for anything you need to do in a small manufacturing business.”