Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Microsoft: Manufacturer integrates processes and drives efficiency with business software

August 26, 2010
By Mary Del

THE COMPANY: IMT Partnership, based in Ingersoll, Ont., provides manufacturing, machining and forging services to the automotive, truck-trailer and oil and gas industries, as well as defence agencies, such as the Canadian Department of National Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company’s Ingersoll Axle brand is known for a wide selection of truck and trailer axles, including high-quality, customized axles that are delivered within weeks.

THE CHALLENGE: IMT’s operational excellence depends on IT systems, but the company ironically faced increasing difficulty maintaining the systems that made its manufacturing processes efficient. The software the company used was complex, expensive and did not support changing business needs or plans for growth at IMT.

In 2007, IMT acquired a rival forging operation in Champaign, Ill. As it looked forward to integrating this and future acquisitions, it needed business management software that was easier to implement, maintain and modify.

THE STRATEGY: After comparing software packages from various vendors, IMT concluded that Microsoft Dynamics AX provided the functionality and technical flexibility that the company needed. It allowed the company to add capabilities – like a new barcoding system for its manufacturing floor – and streamline processes. And because Microsoft Dynamics AX is based on the Windows operating system, IMT can more easily integrate the solution with its other systems, including specialized software for shop floor operations and timekeeping.

Microsoft Dynamics AX provides IMT with the IT systems it needs to build high-quality, custom products for customers, while keeping maintenance and support costs to a minimum. In addition, the business management software has helped eliminate inefficiencies and created new opportunities for enhancements. Microsoft Dynamics AX brings together sales, supply chain, manufacturing and financial processes. An accountant used to spend at least an hour a day processing inventory changes for reporting purposes. Now, shipping and receiving information is automatically reflected in the system. Another plus: IMT was able to reduce the number of steps needed to place and monitor orders from 16 steps to just two. Microsoft Dynamics AX also increases visibility into operations so that IT managers can make better decisions. By identifying and solving problems earlier, IMT helps ensure its customers receive quality products on time, without any unnecessary waste in resources.


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