Case study: ERP program helps company grow during tough times
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
THE COMPANY: Hayward Gordon Ltd. designs, manufactures and distributes process equipment; products and systems relating to pumping, mixing, filtration, and bulk solids handling. With 78 employees and branch locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, Hayward Gordon is headquartered in Halton Hills, Ontario, home of the company’s custom-built, 50,000-sq.ft. office and plant facility, opened in the fall of 2006.
“We serve a wide variety of industries,” says company President John Hayward, whose father, Len Hayward, started the business in 1952. “We’re particularly strong in mining and waste-water treatment, but we also work with a wide variety of process industries: chemical processing, food processing, pulp and paper – the list is extensive, even the automotive industry needs pumps for paint.”
As a result of the company’s mining specialization, Hayward Gordon has established a growing global presence. “The company as a whole is very strong in North America,” says Hayward, “but we’re also exporting a good deal of equipment to South America and other parts of the world. We currently have projects destined for countries such as Madagascar, Australia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Chile.”
THE CHALLENGE: Over the last few years, the company has faced a major challenge – the strengthening of the Canadian dollar. “That’s put immense pressure on us to become more productive, and to reduce our costs,” says Hayward. In response, the company has been implementing lean practices. “That has a lot to do with leveraging our ERP. We underwent a very extensive business-process mapping project, a few years back, to find areas in which we could create efficiencies, and many of the ways we chose to streamline our business involve the use of SYSPRO.“
THE SOLUTION: When Hayward Gordon made the decision to invest in SYSPRO back in 1990, it focused on three main considerations.
“First off, the work we do is highly varied – we’re more of a job shop than build-to-stock. We felt that SYSPRO’s Bill of Materials (BOM), Work in Progress (WIP), and Requirements Planning modules lent themselves well to a job-shop environment. Secondly, SYSPRO’s integration of operations and finance was excellent – far better than anything else we looked at. Finally, we wanted to be sure that the ERP we chose would be properly maintained and supported. Many of the ERP companies we considered back then don’t exist anymore. SYSPRO has stayed, and has supported its product very well.”
In response to recent challenges, the company has relied on SYSPRO to implement electronic time tracking in the shop, and automate its labour posting function.
“We get the tracking in real time now,” says Hayward. “By having SYSPRO do it, we’ve been able to eliminate a data entry position. We’ve also integrated Microsoft CRM (customer relationships management) directly into SYSPRO, thereby automating our order entry. Now we can have people in the field enter their orders automatically, eliminating the need for duplicate entry.”
THE RESULTS: In the near future, the company is hoping to implement electronic funds transfer (EFT) to streamline its payables. “The timing for all these efficiencies has been good, because despite the market challenges, we’ve been seeing some growth. Getting more out of SYSPRO has allowed us to expand without breaking apart at the seams.”
Leveraging SYSPRO has not only reduced costs, it has helped Hayward Gordon reliably meet its lead times.
“One of the things we realized,” says Hayward, “was that we had to compress our lead times and make them more reliable. We’ve taken a number of steps that take advantage of the fact that processes that used to run consecutively, can now run concurrently. For example, these days, when an order is entered, it gets reviewed and the credit check is triggered along with a customer number request – all electronically and all at the same time. Previously, a paper file would spend many days travelling to multiple departments for approval before the order was placed. Now, if there’s a problem with the order, action can be taken right away. It’s much more efficient, and it’s helping us serve our customers better.”
Asked to comment on SYSPRO’s ROI, Hayward offers a useful metric: “We’ve seen our revenue per employee increase by around sixty-five percent in the last four years. You can’t do that unless you build into your company the ability to grow sales without growing costs in lockstep. If you don’t have the right infrastructure in place, your sales can even cost more to make than they’re worth. That’s what productivity is about – if you have the right systems in place it gives your company extra capacity, without adding costs. That’s the way we’ve been able to measure what SYSPRO has done for us.”