Global Shop Solutions
Turbo Components and Engineering
Case Study: Turbo-Components and Engineering
Company: Turbo Components and Engineering (TCE)
Industry: Industrial Machinery, Metal Fabrication, Plastics and Rubber
Location: Houston, Texas
About The Company
Turbo Components and Engineering (TCE) specializes in the repair and manufacture of close tolerance bearings and seals for turbomachinery. TCE's capabilities include both CNC and manual lathe/mill work centers in the service of their customers. They use a variety of standard metals and engineered thermoplastics to produce journal bearings, thrust bearings, interstage seals, and custom parts, in addition to their engineering work in bearing and seal designs, rotor-dynamics analyses, and bearing-failure analyses. As Vice President Larry Fisher states, " TCE serves virtually all of the big industries such as chemical, petrochemical, oil production and refining, and the utility industries," Fisher states. "Since 1991, we've served anybody that has large, rotating equipment, whether it's turbines, compressors, pumps, blowers, fans, and so forth. We do offer our own list of products, but at our core we're a service company because that's what it's all about in today's world, it's all about service."
When Turbo Components & Engineering (TCE) needed a strong ERP software partner to ensure failproof delivery of parts and services to their customers, they turned to Global Shop Solutions. As Larry Fisher, the Vice President, puts it, "Just about anything and everything a company can do to control costs is what is required to make a profit in business today." To improve profitability through enhanced productivity, TCE operates their company through Global Shop's One-System ERP Solutions™ software, saving both direct and indirect costs in the myriad other areas of their plant. Global Shop fits the mold of the perfect service partner and what that can mean to a manufacturer. Since switching to Global Shop software in 2000, Houston-based TCE has enjoyed the benefits that come with continuity and a service quality that surpasses their needs. According to Fisher, "The support we've gotten out of Global Shop is very simple for me to express: They've got more support dedicated to us than we've got time or need to use that's just what it boils down to, and we know that when we do need them they're ready to help."
TCE has never missed a Global Shop User's Conference since purchasing the software, and their workers take advantage of the many on-line training classes and virtual training opportunities. It is all part of the continuous improvement process that is integral to the strong relationship between Global Shop and TCE. "This philosophy goes all the way back to the time when we considered the big ERP software companies before we decided to choose Global Shop. As a matter of fact, one of those companies we looked at has been bought and sold three times since we've had Global Shop. I can just imagine the transition difficulties there would've been in getting through something like service each time they were sold. We probably would have had to deal with people we'd never dealt with before, learned a new system or even sudden changes in the one we already had. But, we've known the people at Global Shop for a long, long time. It's like a family that's always there for us, and that's a pretty good place to be when it comes to service."
TCE Takes Control Through Global Shop
When you're a small operation that functions on a very high level for customers, it's not so much the quantity of goods that you ship out the door; rather, it's the quality and timeliness of those parts and products. This is particularly true when many of those jobs are very complex in engineering, often requiring dozens of line items in a typical work order. In these situations, even the most organized shop can struggle keeping track of jobs in terms of scheduling, materials planning, real-time status reporting, and quality output. When manufacturing profit margins tighten, while at the same time a large portion of your business is in "rush work," shop organization deficiencies become even more pronounced. TCE depends on their Global Shop Solutions ERP software to maintain a strong sense of order in the shop and to control costs for a competitive advantage in the marketplace. "It's a real robust system," explains Fisher, "For a business our size, it has a lot that we can grow into. Most importantly, Global Shop helps us in terms of controlling costs. Basically everything we do on the production side of the business from the time the order comes into the door to the time we finish it and send it out the door follows Global Shop. From the sales order to the work order to the router, people scanning in on the router in the work centers, purchasing being done to the job or to inventory and then charged to the job we use Global Shop extensively for this sort of sales/shop control." Shop control that manages throughput and eliminates bottlenecks means that you have a better sense of capacity potential at any one moment in the present through real time info, and out into the future through forecasting. For this, Global Shop brings power and intelligence to TCE's day-to-day operations.
When a critical component fails in a machine, that machine ceases to function. Operations go down, schedules are disrupted, and the supply chain gets kinked. Within this business model of connectivity, TCE finds itself as a primary factor in quickly helping a customer restore a machine back into production. For Fisher and TCE, getting suddenly broken machines back in service almost always means adjusting their own production schedule, hopefully without extending promised delivery dates. "With so much of our business being rush work, there's no such thing as a 'routine' schedule.
Often a job comes in and it's out in less than a month, or even less than a few days. Because of this, sometimes our routine now becomes rush work because we've had to push routine work back in order to get the incoming rush work out the door. So, if you can't stay on top of all of that, your costs just tend to wander off on the stuff you've had to shove back. "So, staying on top of all of the scheduling and all of the costs is the most important use of our Global Shop system because the software helps us keep track of everything, all of the items & all of the costs that go with each job," Fisher observes.
TCE Shop Integration through Global Shop's Ease of Use
It's all too common in manufacturing today that an ERP solution is purchased and installed, and only later discovered to be so difficult and unwieldy in implementation that it prohibits a complete integration throughout the operation. In other words, workers who find the software system complex simply don't use it, therefore eliminating vital production and productivity information for analysis by management. To this end, Global Shop has developed their One-System ERP Solutions™ system to be the most comprehensive, yet user friendly, job shop system in the industry. Fisher and TCE agree, and see the advantages of shop floor personnel's enthusiastic use of Global Shop to help the company control job status and costing information. "It's a real user-friendly system for all of our people out on the shop floor," Fisher explains. "We've been using it so long now that it doesn't even take the new guys coming in very long at all to learn the system. In fact, when we do have somebody new come along, I don't see very many mistakes in their learning curve. This is particularly true with the GUI system we use. We have terminals where our guys can scan in on the job, scan in their name for the job, scan into a sequence and even what line of a job they're on. So, everything is simple to access and use, it's live all of the time, and the consistent flow of data makes daily balancing easy for us. Global Shop helps me here in the administration area because I always know where a job's at just by looking at my computer screen." Fisher continues, "For example, with the color coded Time and Attendance module, I can see which jobs are ongoing and who's working them, as well as who's on the clock, but not on a job. When I combine this with advanced scheduling, I can also see where my hot spots are and what my capacity looks like."
Operations intelligence is at the heart of the Global Shop ERP software system. It is an approach to lean production that has been proven time and again in real world applications where the difference between control and chaos is often measured in mere minutes of in-direct labor costs. In such situations, the last thing any manufacturer or job shop needs is a lack of information as a result of the inability or reluctance of personnel to participate in the ERP process. Workers must feel invested in the ERP integration effort, and the easier the system is to use the more likely they are to become a part of the process. Given the dynamic nature of oilfield exploration and petrochemical production, much of TCE’s work is
unpredictable and usually entails rush completion orders.
Global Shop Solutions ERP software allows TCE to remain agile in scheduling and accurate in time and attendance for each job. This capability, in turn, keeps promised delivery dates, and TCE customers satisfied and loyal. One-System ERP Solutions™ “At our core, we’re a service company because that’s what it’s all about in today’s competative world.
“Global Shop advances their product so much
through their R&D efforts . . . It’s obvious
to me that Global Shop puts more R&D
into their software than just about any
other manufacturing software developer.”
-Larry Fisher, Vice President, Turbo Components & Engineering
The TCE Experience Through Global Shop R&D
Building an ERP software system that is user-friendly is not something that comes about by accident or overnight. It comes through decades of personalized service to customers, and in listening to and anticipating their needs. It comes through a dedication to continuous improvement as exemplified by an on going and sophisticated research and development program like the R&D program at Global Shop Solutions. Global Shop has continually invested over three decades and countless hours in the area of Research and Development, and small- to medium-sized companies such as TCE experience the results every day in the performance of their shop software. Fisher appreciates Global Shop R&D when the payback it produces makes its way to the bank. "Global Shop advances their product so much through their R&D efforts. So many good updates and additions to the product means that just because we've been doing things one way, doesn't always mean that it's the best way anymore," he observes. "It's obvious to me that Global Shop puts more R&D into their software than just about any other manufacturing software developer. They've always got something new going on over there, and I think that goes back to still being a family owned and operated business. Decisions are made and moved on more quickly, not like a big corporate software business where it could take six months to make a simple decision about changing, improving, or developing something."
For TCE, Global Shop's dedication to R&D means payback in a positive ROI. It's ultimately a matter of offering big-time ERP for a value that small and medium-sized companies like TCE find attractive for their bottom line and their productivity. Fisher sums up the feeling that TCE gets every time they interface with the system in their shop, encounter personalized attention in service, or meet a friendly and familiar face at a Global Shop User's Conference, "Global Shop's been a great partner for us. You know, we're not a tremendously big corporation, but we feel we're pushing a lot of product and Global Shop helps us tie everything together in a one picture view.