Case study: RTC, Inc.
Industry: Manufacturing & Distribution
Revenue: $200 Million
About the company.
RTC, Inc. is a global manufacturer of in-store programs that connect with shoppers and drive sales for brand marketers and retailers. Founded in 1951 with headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, RTC offers services such as shopper research, retail design, manufacturing, and large-scale implementation. Its client list includes Coca-Cola®, Columbia Sportswear®, FedEx®, Kraft Foods®, Nike®, Procter & Gamble®, and Wal-Mart®.
When RTC decided it was time to reinforce its ERP initiative in order to continue satisfying increasing customer demands in terms of lead time, it began by looking at how to streamline all of its business processes. After scrutinizing all process areas with the overall objective of gaining greater control of the business, it concluded that its ERP structure and framework did not need to change. Scott Coffman, director Information Systems, explains, “We realized that we could gain efficiencies by centralizing the order-to-cash cycle instead of having separate account services, order entry, shipment planning, and invoicing groups. We just needed to integrate these areas with a system that allowed everyone to see what customer order is in progress, what items we are short of, what products can be shipped, and what products are late.”
Getting business specific
RTC chose to leverage its investment and rely on a newer version of the original Infor ERP Baan product that it had installed. Adds Coffman, “Infor’s product seemed to be made for our business, and we just wanted greater visibility across the organization with additional functionality. After we researched the upgraded Infor version, Infor ERP LN, we knew it had the flexibility and integration features we needed while being able to grow with us.”
With about 120 users, RTC has incorporated modules of Infor ERP LN across the company that include financials, taxation, enterprise planning, order management, electronic commerce, central invoicing, manufacturing, and warehouse management. Every product that RTC makes for its customers is unique, each requiring varying amounts of time to complete. The company’s primary challenge is to meet every customer deadline, regardless of how squeezed the lead time becomes. “That’s why the visibility issue is so important,” says Coffman. “With Infor’s solution, now every user can easily create a dashboard to provide a more complete field of view on product status so we can react appropriately to meet that deadline, including adding extra shifts.”
Benefits & Results
Implementation of the updated Infor solution, including all customer-requested user training, occurred without serious challenges within six months as part of the Infor rapid implementation program, designed to deliver rapid, predictable implementations at lower cost. It incorporates predefined business roles and business process templates focused on key user functions and processes that are common across manufacturing. Coffman explains, “We had a great team with strong consulting support from Infor, including two people executing all financials and procurement items; one handling all the order entry, shipment, and manufacturing sides of the business; and a few others working on project management.” Then RTC began training by installing the product and allowing the team to experience every module the company used—from projects and financials to invoicing. “Everyone felt proficient on the entire system in just three months,”adds Coffman.
RTC’s major concern in selecting an ERP was ease of use. “We were ‘green screen’ prior to Infor’s product,” says Coffman, “and new employees and temporaries would freeze when they saw it. Now new people are acclimated quickly, which has improved productivity tremendously.” Another Infor ERP LN solution feature contributed to the company's "fast start" and highly impressed RTC. “The dynamic enterprise modeler by far surpasses anything on the market,” notes Coffman. “This diagram actually does something when one clicks on it, with self-documenting functionality that is an ideal safety net for users. The user can access the process browser and find what is needed quickly and easily, which means significant time savings.”
And RTC customers are also getting much more demanding in terms of demonstrating to them the visibility of their product status, according to Coffman. “Infor ERP LN has processes in place that are repeatable and controllable, and we can show the customer how we receive, inspect, pick, and ship. They’re always in awe when they see it.” Another Infor solution benefit that Coffman mentions is the combination of traditional master production scheduling, material requirements planning, and statistical inventory control with order planning, all running on one engine, enabling easier management and implementation. “Just fire up the planning engine, and all the features one could possibly want are available,” says Coffman.
RTC also uses Infor dashboard filters. Anyone performing any function in the organization can sit at a dashboard and create a filter to enable access to that information quickly at any time. “It’s powerful and helps every individual be much more efficient and effective,” Coffman says. How much has RTC gained with Infor ERP LN? According to Larry O’Neill, CFO, “Only three months after solution implementation, we had the biggest shipping quarter in the company’s history—without adding staff to order entry, account services, or buyers." Adds Coffman, "And we didn’t have one system glitch."