Case Study: Kemco Manufacturing
Industry: Metal Fabrication
Location: U.S.A. St.Louis, Mo.
About The Company
Kemco Manufacturing, a St. Louis-based company that produces aerospace parts for the military, embarked on a diversification project in 2004 to become a global contract manufacturer for aerospace and other manufacturers. By achieving these goals, Kemco’s core competencies have grown to include machining, fabrication, assembly, welding, engineering services and program management, repositioning themselves to compete globally and attract new defense contractors and other commercial customers.
In 2003, the lion’s share of Kemco revenue came from Department of Defense work. However, the pendulum of the aerospace industry was moving to commercial. Seeing this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, Kemco set out to re-brand their image in order to diversify their services and customers, and used technology to increase their competitiveness. Transformation through technology partnerships Kemco ensured their future by transforming from a local Boeing preferred supplier into a global, award winning, diversified systems integrator providing manufacturing and engineering services, outsourcing solutions to companies worldwide. A key factor in Kemco’s success was the implementation of Exact JobBOSS, business management software for contract manufacturers, coupled with Amplify Technologies Partner Synchronization Services (APSS), an integrated supply chain analytics tool that integrates directly to JobBOSS. The How: Building a lean, optimized, corporate backbone with JobBOSS “Without our vision, our MRP integration, our lean programs and affordability, we would not have been able to compete,” declares Kemco President Haider Nazar, at Managing Automation’s 2006 Progressive Manufacturer of the Year award ceremony in Las Vegas. According to Nazar, Kemco won this prestigious award because they used technology to diversify, reposition themselves, and compete globally. “From our lack of an MRP system, to our cellular layout on the floor, to our inability to reduce set up times, a lot of lean improvement was needed to increase overall manufacturing ability.
Step one was an MRP system,” says Nazar. During 2003, Kemco employees spent nine months implementing JobBOSS , which Nazar describes as “MRP from quoting to shipping. We chose JobBOSS because it handles everything from shop floor control to production scheduling to order management. It’s the backbone of our company.” JobBOSS vaulted Kemco into the world of lean manufacturing, providing discipline, speed, efficiency, and visibility into all aspects of the production process. Nazar says, “We now have full MRP for material planning. All of our routings are in JobBOSS. Our goals to reduce scrap and rework, to shorten initial set ups, and to provide flexibility to the line as we move from one product to another, have been realized.”
With management software in place, the next step for Kemco was optimizing their procurement process and customer interactions. Kemco chose APSS from Amplify Technologies, a Web-based system that synched data directly from JobBOSS, to optimize its order status and supplier alignment process. APSS provides Kemco with a project management-based, highly collaborative Webbased tool that allows the team to see critical data in JobBOSS via graphical dashboards.
Based on Kemco’s unique business rules, APSS allows Kemco to quickly see their atrisk jobs and manage by exception. Through APSS, Kemco also provides self-service status reporting through Web based dashboards to its customers, reducing the time its customer service team spends gathering and reporting status by 50%. The coupled integration between JobBOSS and APSS also sparked a relationship between Exact and Amplify in order to bring this valued solution to other JobBOSS users.
Results & Benefits
An award-winning transformation from a shop to a manufacturer In 2005, Kemco earned their aerospace ISO certification. By 2005 year end, they achieved 95.6% on-time delivery. Cycle time was reduced 40% and set up errors were reduced by 50%. According to Nazar, Exact JobBOSS integrated with APSS was the thread that tied it all together. “Three years ago Kemco was a company run largely by three people with tribal knowledge,” Nazar says. “Since then, with the implementation of JobBOSS and integration to APSS dashboards, customers and all employees can see for themselves how products flow through our facility.” Meanwhile, the awards stack up. In 2005, Kemco was recognized by ABC News as a small business performing internationally. In March of 2006, Kemco, along with its customer, Boeing, was awarded the Nunn-Perry award, a Department of Defense Mentor Protégé Program. And later that year came the Managing Automation Award.
“We know that what we’re trying to achieve is paying off,” says Nazar. “We’re diversifying. We’re transforming from a machine shop to a contract manufacturer securing both commercial and defense markets.”