About The Company
Tribar Manufacturing specializes in the production of cost effective, high quality decorative badge assemblies for the automotive industry. At its 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Howell, Mich., Tribar Manufacturing offers complete plastic decorating, multiple decorative applications, complex assemblies and chrome plating on its injection molded parts for automotive giants such as Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.
Tribar Manufacturing implemented the manufacturing ERP and MES software system, EnterpriseIQ from IQMS, but due to rapid company growth at the time, Tribar’s ERP implementation was not all-encompassing and power users were not established. This past year, out of a necessity to maintain Ford Motor Company’s business, Tribar Manufacturing made a concentrated effort to embrace, utilize and re-implement its ERP software to fully take advantage of all it has to offer. The results have been impressive as a renewed, company-wide participation with the ERP software has returned a multitude of benefits.
Previously Tribar Manufacturing was experiencing rapid growth in its assembly and outsource operations. Looking for a manufacturing specific ERP and MES software system that could address multiple manufacturing types and grow with its business, Tribar Manufacturing invested in EnterpriseIQ from IQMS. But due to the rapid company expansion at the time, Tribar Manufacturing ran into challenges with the implementation – time constraints prevented a dedication to training, inadequate testing time and a shortage of data input resources. This lack of total ownership of the software resulted in insufficient organizational change as employees still relied on their old ways and were not using the software to its fullest potential.
As a direct effect of the fragmented implementation, Tribar Manufacturing was conducting much of its business without using EnterpriseIQ at all, or without full utilization of the information the ERP software was providing. There was entirely too much data being collected outside of the EnterpriseIQ system and this extraneous, unneeded data was providing inaccurate information to personnel. This resulted in human error when sending. Additionally, inventory control was exceedingly inaccurate and not a single employee could agree on the figures surrounding their on-hand inventory. Driven by the need to eliminate its incorrect data, maintain premier supplier status and supply accurate, timely information to its client in order to maintain their business, Tribar Manufacturing embarked on its re-embracement of EnterpriseIQ.
Establishing Realistic ERP Re-Implementation Goals:
The goals of the initial ERP rejuvenation project began plainly: Conduct a post implementation audit of EnterpriseIQ to improve inventory and maintain acceptable automotive supplier delivery scores. But after rave success of the first two goals, Tribar Manufacturing has grown its initiative to include the integration of as many of its processes as possible into EnterpriseIQ to capture the stability and consistency that expanded use of the system could provide.
Tribar Manufacturing’s initiatives have been supported by a daily meeting with all the participants in these efforts, as well as a weekly meeting with Tribar Manufacturing’s management team. One of the large changes that surprised Tribar Manufacturing executives was the internal demand of its employees to investigate what proper system use can do for them, rather than their previous indifferent attitude toward controlling processes through IQMS.
In addition to the daily meetings, Tribar Manufacturing sought out the resources that it needed from IQMS to succeed: The company’s employees attended detailed classroom training courses and one on-one Internet-based training with IQMS staff, as well as brought in application specialists from IQMS’ Professional Services Group (PSG) for process and usage advice. Since the beginning of this project, Tribar Manufacturing has achieved many goals:
Fully implemented Ford Motor Company ASN requirements through IQMS’ EDI capabilities
Fully received 830 and 862 release information through IQMS’ eCommerce EDI module
Eliminated all paper releases in favor of keeping and adding release data in IQMS
Improved inventory records in IQMS to allow for more robust use of system data
Improved use of the Outsource Central module to communicate demand to its vendors
Improved use of the scheduling module in the tooling department
Implemented use of the scheduling module for assembly operations
Improved receiving efficiency by making better use of the receiving module
Results & Benefits
Following the re-embracement of EnterpriseIQ, Tribar Manufacturing saw an immediate increase in its automotive supplier relations, allowing Tribar Manufacturing to maintain its ratings so necessary to doing business with its major automotive companies. Tribar Manufacturing also experienced a $350,000 decrease in the amount of inventory variance at its last physical inventory compared to the previous two physical inventories due to the significantly more accurate and reliable data that IQMS offers.
Before this implementation Tribar Manufacturing’s assembly processes were not displayed in its scheduling module. This resulted in two significant areas of waste because the assembly supervisors were spending too much time hand scheduling the department and not enough time improving the various processes on the assembly floor. By better utilizing EnterpriseIQ, Tribar Manufacturing’s time is now freed up and it is experiencing a 20 percent improvement in assembly productivity.
Additionally, IQMS’ Outsource Central module takes much of its information from the assembly schedule. With improved numbers, Tribar Manufacturing is targeting both a reduction in planning time, characterized by not having to hire another planner, and a reduction in outsourced inventory flow as more accurate demand is used. A modest goal of 10 percent reduction is currently in place. The long range plan is to better predict the use of floor space needed for outsourced materials.
As an unforeseen benefit, Tribar Manufacturing realized a cultural change across its organization. Employees that previously resisted change began to demand an investigation of what proper system use can do for them and the dissolving of an indifferent attitude toward controlling processes through IQMS was critical to this project’s success. The re-embracement project began in February of 2012. While a multitude of the areas Tribar Manufacturing wanted to address were concentrated on (such as improving inventory accuracy, outsourced goods tracking, receiving and scheduling), embracement of all that IQMS has to offer is a continuous project that persists to this day. Tribar Manufacturing’s next goal will focus on improving labeling.