Duramax Marine Case Study by Infor CloudSuite Industrial
The Company: About Duramax Marine
Duramax Marine is a privately held company that manufactures various marine products. Most of its products are not visible from inside ships but are nonetheless vital. Its mainstay product is a propeller shaft bearing that prevents the propeller from bending and breaking so that the ship will continue to move. Duramax also makes fendering systems, sealing systems, and cooling systems, as well as dock bumpers and tow knee products that fit on tug boats to enable them to push other ships without destroying them. Headquartered in Hiram, Ohio, the company also makes pump products called stators that are used for industrial markets. Duramax customers are global and range from distributors to those that sell engineered Duramax products and those needing custom sizing to which Duramax sells directly.
The Situation: Global Competition
Setting the Strategy
Although Duramax products are mature and the company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of these products, the company is a relatively small operation. Up until recently, it was one of only a few companies that produced the same types of marine devices. Now its biggest challenge is global competition, particularly from China and India.
To confront its challenges and remain prosperous, Duramax needed to ensure that its business processes and manufacturing operations were as streamlined and efficient as possible. It was paramount for the company to find a system that was flexible to meet changing needs, incorporated lean planning and scheduling processes, and was easy to use. According to Debi Piccus, CIO at Duramax, “Because our business is small, we don’t have the luxury of taking a lot of risks. That’s why a proven solution — and from a supplier with a strong support system —was critical to us.”
The Solution: Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline)
Getting Business Specific
After Duramax reviewed several enterprise resource planning systems, the company selected Infor™ ERP SyteLine. One of the characteristics that sold Duramax on Infor ERP SyteLine is its basis in current technologies. Piccus says, “The software uses the most current, standard technologies, such as Windows® SQL Server™, which makes training easy to obtain, and we can easily get support from many different sources.”
Piccus explains the company’s technology history: “Several years ago we implemented the Symix product, which became an Infor legacy product, and we upgraded to the latest Infor version a few years ago. We use the software for accounting and manufacturing, doing everything in it from taking customer orders, scheduling, and planning, to invoicing and even to business analysis.”
The Results: Infor CloudSuite Industrial ERP Implementation Benefits
Piccus describes the process of deploying Infor ERP SyteLine. “As an implementation professional, I can honestly say that the user interface was intuitive, which made implementation easy and very quick. We were able to see the benefits of using the system so much faster than we would have with other applications.”In fact, Duramax immediately began realizing important gains from SyteLine. “Infor’s open architecture allows us to easily customize the software ourselves, and we’ve done just that,” says Piccus.
In conjunction with Infor’s affiliate, Single Source Systems, Duramax developed customization that prints CAD drawings for selected purchase orders and jobs. The customization integrates an AutoDesk drawing viewer used to print drawings for user-selected purchases and job orders. Piccus adds, “Instead of having to look up drawings in a book, copy them, and include them with the purchasing or job paperwork, the user clicks a check box and all the paperwork prints together, saving the user 15 to 20 minutes for every drawing needed. Jobs get released to the floor quicker, purchase orders are issued quicker, and several users many times a day save time with the automated customization. Also, we can extract important information from our old database 15 years’ worth of invoiced sales data and use it with our Infor products to analyze the business.”
With SyteLine’s built-in business intelligence, Duramax can perform various types of analyses on its 15 years of data comparing information from year to year to gain insight for better decision making. “It helps us see sales trends so that we can target markets and know where to invest sales and marketing in the future,” says Piccus. “For example, if we start to see a sales growth trend in India, then we know that we need to concentrate some sales and marketing efforts in that area. We recently did an inventory analysis. We used business intelligence to develop a report that tells us how much of a product was used or sold over the past 10 years and compared that against how much stock of the item was on hand, giving us insight into obsolete or slow-moving inventory.”
Flexibility is another SyteLine feature that Duramax considers critical. “We can plug many add-on modules into it and integrate them into the application to appear as if they were part of the base software,” Piccus adds. “This seamless addition saves us much time and effort, allowing us to meet all our business needs without having to look for another software application.” According to Piccus, Infor sets itself apart in its support of customers. “I’ve never seen another software company support past versions like Infor does,” she says. “I think customers should be able to upgrade to the next version as it makes sense for their business. And providing an architecture that allows users to plug in any software best suited to them and to integrate the best practices that work for them is the ideal scenario. Infor does all of that.”
Duramax points out another benefit gained from Infor ERP SyteLine. “When Infor acquired SyteLine, we realized the extra advantages of a much larger organization. Infor supports its professional services and support groups very well. We’ve consulted with the software experts many times, and they’ve stayed with us, diligently helping us grow that piece of our business.”
Other Infor customers also played a role in reassuring Duramax that there were many satisfied users. “Being able to consult with Infor customers at conferences and user group meetings was important to us. And we discovered Infor365, an online community that helps to support us in many ways.” Duramax Marine has 40 users in several different areas — customer service, sales, marketing, accounting, purchasing, scheduling, and the shop floor, as well as shipping. Piccus concludes, “Our users have found the software very easy to use, very intuitive, and it really helps support their job functions.”
Doing Business Better
Duramax emphasizes that it continues to look to Infor for proven solutions. Notes Piccus, “Infor has shown us that it will grow those proven solutions instead of offering something completely new that we need to rip and replace. And all Infor applications integrate with one another; we can go to one place for support and work with one sales rep. We believe that Infor will be with us for many years to come.”
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