January 18, 2012 by Odete Passingham
InterWrap Industries manufactures and distributes plastic and paper products for packaging and industrial use. You may see its product wrapped around a stack of lumber, a hay bale or a roll of steel. The company has a reputation for relentless research and development, innovative value-added services, and the strategic adoption of technology. Its dynamic personality and commitment to continuous improvement have raised the bar in the industrial packaging industry.
After purchasing Syspro in 1993 for the management of its internal accounting and administrative systems, InterWrap succeeded in achieving a dramatic degree of corporate change and growth. Then, years later, in order to make the jump to the next level, InterWrap decided to re-evaluate its processes with an eye on operational efficiencies and its strategic use of available technology.
To this end, InterWrap hired Dave Shannon as supply chain manager. This newly created position focused on process, not function, and was centred on the flow of information throughout the company; therefore, Shannon was not limited by departmental boundaries.
Shannon’s mandate was to use his management information systems experience to evaluate different manufacturing software solutions and find a system that fit InterWrap’s current team well, and would enable ongoing improvements to the entire business process.
The goals for this new system were to:
• Enable and support a 30 percent sales increase over three years;
• Improve data integrity;
• Eliminate duplication of work by phasing out sub-systems like spreadsheets;
• Eliminate risks associated with managerial decision-making by improving the quality and timeliness of reporting from a fully integrated system; and
• Improve internal procedures.
“Our administration and accounting teams were already familiar with Syspro and its front-end features, and I was aware of the capabilities of the software,” said Shannon.
After careful consideration, Shannon determined that Syspro was a good fit for the manufacturing and production handling requirements as well. An added bonus was the fact that InterWrap could eliminate the initial software purchase, implementation and retraining costs associated with an entirely new system. The fact that its existing accounting and administrative staff were already proficient with the software meant that the company could enjoy immediate cost savings.
“What we’ve spent has only taken six months to pay back – a really quick payback and great return on our investment,” said Shannon. “We’ve eliminated a lot of inefficiency and improved productivity. Now we are running the plant at optimum efficiencies.”
InterWrap is a great example of how important it is to choose business software with the ability to evolve with your business. By making a smart choice in software, InterWrap avoided the initial purchase of another application, and limited the degree of change within the organization by minimizing the changes affecting accounting, purchasing and sales.
InterWrap continues to evolve its use of the software to reflect its business, and anticipates even greater returns in the coming years.
Odete Passingham is marketing manager with Syspro Canada. To learn more about Syspro, and for a free copy of the book Thinking About ERP, visit http://canada.syspro.com/Canada_Library.