Case Study: SYSPRO Software Enables Green-Tek To “Go Greener”
Green-Tek, Inc., a privately-owned company based in Edgerton, WI, is a converter, fabricator and master distributor of packaging materials, greenhouse coverings, thermal glazing and materials handling products. Green-Tek’s central US location enables the company to capitalize on the beneficial resources of the region, which include a quality, skilled labor force and efficient shipping lanes to all points in North America. Green-Tek products include polycarbonate multi-wall and corrugated sheeting, shade cloth and poly films that come in multiple tints with UV protection capabilities. Green-Tek cuts these products to order according to specifications from customers, which include distributors and green house growers.
Because the company’s business relies on various-size orders from a broad customer base, company President and Green-Tek co-owner Paul Jacobson is actively involved in sales along with in-house sales representatives and a Vice President of sales who travels extensively to customer sites. The company’s customer service orientation is also much in evidence from a full-time, in-house trouble shooter whose job is to track orders and ensure on-time deliveries.
According to Sandy Boyer, Green-Tek finance manager, the company had been using a combination of MAX ERP software and Great Plains Dynamics, both of which were installed in 2000. However, the software was, for the most part, “unyielding.”
Explains Boyer, “Every sales order required a general part number for the material. Then, underneath there had to be a note to the customer and our shop floor with verbiage to the effect ‘out of this material we need three sheets of this size, four sheets of this size and eight sheets of that size.’ It was very cumbersome, and we wound up with a lot of scrap.” Another major flaw was that the software failed to maintain order histories, requiring re-orders to be treated as new orders.
When a re-implementation of the MAX software in 2002 failed to produce the kind of information needed by Green-Tek, the company undertook an “intensive” search for a new solution.
“We were very hard on everyone we interviewed,” recalls Boyer. After narrowing down the choices, SYSPRO ERP came out on top, primarily due to the software’s extensive inventory capabilities, in particular, the SYSPRO Material Yield System. The latter is unique in its ability to reclaim remnants from larger cuts and return them to inventory, enabling customer-specific dimensional requirements to be matched against existing inventory to determine if remnants can be utilized to fill the order.
The SYSPRO Material Yield System was, in fact, developed at the request of Tri Star Plastics which faced a remnant problem similar to Green-Tek. Tri Star estimated that approximately 40% of its inventory sat in remnants at any one time. Richard Cedrone, company president, convinced SYSPRO to apply its application development expertise to come up with a reclamation system. He reasoned that all cut shape suppliers, including those in steel, rubber, paper and lumber, had the need for such software. Moreover, he pointed out the highly favorable environmental impact of such a system, i.e., maximizing the use of remnants could significantly reduce the amount of scrap relegated to landfills.
The SYSPRO software, including the Material Yield System, went live at Green-Tek on January 1, 2004. Today, the software is utilized by 34 concurrent users who “apply the full force of SYSPRO accounting, MRP, customer relationship management and ODBC solutions to bring greater efficiencies to Green-Tek,” says Boyer, who particularly lauds the Material Yield solution.
“What I like about the MYS system,” she says, “is that it performs automatic yield calculations, and, as a result, orders turn around more quickly. Plus, a determination can be made if the remnant is of a sufficient size to return to stock. If it is, the MYS will automatically create new part numbers and values, and the remnants become part of the inventory from which new orders can be calculated.”
Boyer will not venture a guess on the savings produced by the MYS. “It certainly has made us much more efficient, saving Green-Tek money on both the production and warehouse side. It has also enabled the sales side to see things faster and clearer and save time on the way we process paperwork.”
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