System helps manufacturer reduce data entry and improve lead times
Sept. 26, 2014 – The Company: Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) is the largest manufacturer of dry-type transformers in North America. The company engineers and manufactures a wide range of standard and custom transformers that are exported globally in electrical equipment and systems, and supports solid industries such as oil and gas, mining, steel, waste and water treatment, and wind power generation. Headquartered in Guelph, Ont., HPS has five manufacturing facilities and 11 distribution centres located throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The Challenge: HPS was using a homegrown product configuration system for 10 years prior to adopting new technology. This old solution was not fully integrated, making it very difficult for HPS’ management team to get a full picture of the company’s operations at any given time. Over time, the software also became difficult to maintain, and adding new products and specifications into the mix only made the process more arduous. As a result of this hands-on approach, day-to-day activities were very inefficient.
HPS wanted a solution that was managed centrally and would provide better service to their customers – the heart of their business. More specifically, they were looking for a technology that would provide end-users with a tool to dynamically generate prices, quotes and orders, and provide the most accurate information to customers, dealers and manufacturers, while also running itself and providing a more compelling web experience.
The Strategy: Once HPS identified these pain points in their business, the company turned to Infor Product Configuration Management (PCM) and Infor Sales Portal to streamline the sales and production of their configured products. Infor PCM has a wide variety of applications that allows HPS to increase efficiency, including the ability to create bills of materials and develop manufacturing instructions, as quotes are sent into their existing ERP system. Through Infor Sales Portal, dealers and distributors can place and send quotes directly to HPS. Infor Sales Portal further supports dealers and distributors by allowing them to enter their own items.
The Results: Since implementation, HPS has been able to eliminate a significant amount of administrative work on the customer service side, improving data integrity and quality while reducing data entry. The company now has roughly 1,500 active users on a regular basis, resulting in nearly 1,000 quotes per week and around 200 new product configurations every single day. The company can now also offer its services to customers over the phone, on the computer or through a mobile device, allowing users to start the implementation process however they would like.
Moreover, HPS employees are also now able to calculate more accurate lead times and pricing for products that haven’t even been engineered yet – a big change from its previous legacy system. Based on the needs of the end-user and product specifications, the system can also recommend which of the HPS manufacturing facilities is best suited to make a specific product and how long it will take. This sophisticated integration and data quality allows HPS to work more efficiently and cut costs.
Relative to their competitors, HPS now feels that they are able to provide the best customer service because they are continuously getting real-time updates as they or their customers change the attributes of a product, providing more accurate, planned availability. In addition, being able to deliver CAD drawings directly to users is a unique selling point and proves to customers that HPS provides great service and high quality products.
This article was included in the September issue’s Automation Software Case Study Guide.