Seon Design Inc.
Case Study: Seon Designs inc.
Location: Coquitlam, B. C., Canada
Industry: Video Surveillance Equip. Manufacturer
Incorporated in 1999, and headquartered in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Seon Design Inc. manufactures video surveillance systems for mobile applications. With approximately 100 employees in a 34,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility, Seon has become the leading global manufacturer of custom-designed video surveillance systems for bus and coach, shipping tens of thousands of systems per year.
About five years after its inception, Seon identified a critical challenge: to improve product assembly, supply chain management and post-sales tracking to meet its evolving needs during a time of rapid product class
expansion. The period of rapid product class expansion began in 2004 when the company began designing and manufacturing different versions of its recording systems and cameras, adding recent technical innovations, and trying to tailor those to customers’ needs. Seon determined a need for a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) package that would increase the efficiency of its supply chain. The company sources parts primarily from North America, but also buys components from manufacturers worldwide. Depending on the part, its supplier lead time lengths vary from 16 to 20 weeks. Consequently, Seon needed a system that would handle the rapid increase in complexity it was experiencing in post-sales tracking. Mike Vader, Seon’s Operations Manager, says: “As product continued to be revised, it became increasingly difficult to know the revision level of any specific product shipped to the customer. We also needed a tracking system that would complement our strong customer service support.”
In 2005, after evaluating three or four alternatives, Seon chose SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for its strengths in manufacturing. SYSPRO’s Material Requirements Planning (MRP) module promised to improve Seon’s production planning and control by automating its supply chain and creating work orders for the shop floor. The software’s serial tracking ability allows Seon to review the components used in any individual build, while the Engineering Change Control module records the revision and release of sub-assemblies used in the finished production of systems. In addition, the Return Merchandise Authorization module keeps a precise record of service calls and repairs. Seon also groups inventory into Sales Kits (part of SYSPRO ERP’s Sales Order module), allowing product to be bundled together into complete systems. “Last but not least, in 2005, when we were looking at exporting new and diversified product classes, we recognized the power of SYSPRO’s Sales Analysis modules, which allow us to group and report on the sales performance of those product classes as a whole, as opposed to single SKUs,” Vader says.
“Thanks to SYSPRO, we now have the ability to better analyze performance by product class. We can review customer purchasing history, with a full record of components used in serialized items. Also, we can provide suppliers with a supply chain schedule that suits their needs. SYSPRO has worked with us as our operations have expanded to the next level of manufacturing, allowing us to plan for the future,” Vader concludes.