AT A GLANCE
- Giltrap Engineering
- Farm machinery manufacturer
- Farm machinery manufacturer Giltrap Engineering needed to replace a 10-year old ERP system with a modern solution that would give the company better visibility of the company’s day-to-day operations including plant scheduling.
- Vantage V6 by Epicor, implemented by COGITA
- Vantage has provided Giltrap with a clearer picture of the true costs of its products, a simpler invoicing process, and better stock management. The package is also helping the company to make better plant scheduling decisions which will enable the business to expand.
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Farm machinery manufacturer Giltrap Engineering was recently faced with a difficult decision. The buildings at the company ’s Otorohanga base needed to be upgraded and its 10-year old computer system was not allowing the business to be run as efficiently as it could be. What would be the best use of the company’s money?
Companies with less foresight might have chosen to improve the plant first. But Giltrap’s managing director, Craig Mulgrew, could see that by putting the right system in place to support the manufacturing operations, the company would be setting the foundations for profitable growth for many years into the future.
Giltrap began the selection process by working through a database of around 200 ERP packages before examining six products in depth. “We were looking for a system that would give us live data capture from the shop floor and a better handle on plant scheduling,” says Mulgrew. “We finally settled on Vantage.”
Unlike most ERP systems, Vantage was written specifically for engineering, make to order and jobbing manufacturers by US-based Epicor. Epicor is a leading producer of specialist software for the manufacturing sector and 15,000 of its systems are in use worldwide.
Mulgrew says Giltrap selected Vantage because its functionality matched its requirements and the package was extremely price competitive.
Starting business in 1959, Giltrap markets most of its farm equipment through a 45 strong dealer network in New Zealand. About 15 to 20 percent of the company ’s sales are exports, mainly to Australia, but South Africa and South East Asia are also emerging as markets.
“Our manufacturing process runs right from design to sub assembly to final assembly and it ’s a mixture of build-to-order and build from stock,” says Mulgrew. “One of the things we liked about Vantage was that it could handle all those modes of manufacture.”
Mulgrew says COGITA, which markets and supports Vantage in New Zealand, helped Giltrap to take a ‘hands on’ approach to implementing the package, a process which took about three to four months. While there are still “a few finer points of the product ” which have yet to be explored, Mulgrew says the implementation met Giltrap ’s schedule and Vantage began to earn its keep almost immediately.
“It gave us a more transparent view of the day to day running of our business right from the start. We needed to improve our costing, and with live data capture from the shop floor that was one of the gains we made very rapidly.”
Vantage has also provided Giltrap with a much better picture of the true costs of its products, a simpler invoicing process, and better stock management. Staff now use touch screens on the factory benches to update the system as job milestones are reached, and this information is used by Vantage to automatically issue stock from a standard bill of materials for each assembly.
The Vantage digital dashboard continually advises senior factory team members of vital information such as quotations to chase up, overdue purchase orders, jobs running behind and material shortages.
“The digital dashboard extracts information from the process and displays it live,” says Mulgrew. “It can show which orders are overdue for example and when they are met they will disappear off the screen. In effect it ’s like a KPI (key performance indicator) display – you can set it up to show the things that are important to you.”
Mulgrew says the biggest benefit of having all of this current information available at his fingertips is that he is confident the company is trading profitably and it can make the best use of its resources.
“It ’s allowed us to set the structures in place to expand and grow our business. We have got other constraints – there ’s still not enough space in our building for example – but Vantage is helping us to better utilise the resources we do have.”