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An ERP Success Story

Thu, 08/26/2010 - 6:59am

A quality enterprise resource planning solution can offer a manufacturer a powerful, end-to-end value-chain solution to manage key infrastructure and support its manufacturing and business needs.

Located in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Precision Defense Services (PDS) is a leading manufacturer of high quality precision machined parts for both the military and commercial marketplaces. A Flight Safety Certified Supplier and AS9100:2004 rev. B certified, PDS consists of highly skilled and dedicated journeyman machinists and toolmakers, as well as a management team committed to the continual improvement to every aspect of its business. Building on the talent and knowledge of its experienced staff, PDS is continually extending its capabilities by acquiring new technologies and equipment to maintain the company’s industry leadership.

In order to stay positioned for continuous growth, PDS implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution from Epicor Software Corporation, designed for manufacturers serving the aerospace and defense industries. With Epicor, the company gained a powerful end-to-end, value-chain solution to manage key infrastructure and support its unique manufacturing and business needs. Epicor is taking PDS’ business to the next level by replacing cumbersome manual processes and consolidating multiple legacy systems with a fully-integrated single-source ERP solution.

The impact of Epicor was immediately felt throughout the enterprise, improving efficiencies on the shop floor as well as the back office. Paul Castellano, Project Manager for PDS, explained how the company’s custom-made legacy systems were cumbersome and designed to perform only specific groups of tasks. It was time for PDS to update its methodology for running its business and become more current with technology. PDS’ partnership with Epicor is part of a companywide process improvement initiative to adopt new technologies and best business practices to help PDS save money and improve the overall management of the company. The flexibility of Epicor allows PDS to be more nimble and proactive to keep them competitive in today’s changing market conditions.

PDS has been producing the highest quality precision machined parts for more than 60 years, providing service and components to many of the top aerospace and defense companies like Boeing and Bell Helicopter. Epicor is helping PDS comply with the strict regulations and standards inherent to the aerospace and defense industry, allowing PDS to be more efficient at what they do best. PDS’ modern facility consists of over 70,000 square-feet of space for their state-of the-art manufacturing and quality assurance equipment as well as administration. One of the biggest opportunities for PDS is utilizing Epicor to automate its shop floor operations.

“Before Epicor we were running our shop floor manually which was laborious, costly, and error-prone,” said Castellano. “Epicor provides automation and real-time visibility, giving us complete business control and transparency that provides greater responsiveness, accuracy, and performance.”

Performance optimization was critical to the overall success of PDS’ process improvement initiative. PDS deployed eight manufacturing execution stations, which led to an increase in throughput on the shop floor, helping to eliminate human errors, save staff time and improve quality management. Automated scheduling also led to better lead time and forecast accuracies, as well as quicker delivery dates, helping PDS to better compete in the aerospace and defense industry by improving their customer satisfaction and response time. With Epicor, PDS is becoming a better partner to its customers by improving their internal efficiencies which in turn create cost advantages to their customers.

Lending to its ease-of-use and service-oriented architecture (SOA), Epicor brings people, processes and applications closer together – increasing efficiency and collaboration. Following implementation, PDS immediately identified a sense of corporate synergy. Epicor benefits every department within the company, improving collaboration and increasing productivity by tightly integrating its shop floor workers with the rest of the enterprise.

Improving capabilities in the areas of quality, productivity, cost, and delivery is at the core of PDS’ corporate initiative. PDS wants their customers to know that the company is continually making process improvements so they can provide the highest level of support to meet their customer’s most demanding project requirements. PDS’ vision for its process improvement initiative is to enhance the overall image of the company and to let customers know that PDS is utilizing the best in technology to provide world-class products and services, creating a more valuable and competitive organization that will ultimately benefit its customers by cutting costs, and delivering new products and services with greater speed and accuracy.

PDS conducted an extensive selection process in its search for, and implementation of, a fully-integrated, single-source ERP solution. Working closely with Epicor authorized partner Alogic-US, the implementation was primarily handled by two team members on site; Epicor Service Connect workflows ensured smooth transition of data, enabling PDS to achieve final cutover to the new system over a weekend.

“Our implementation team was engaged throughout the entire selection process so there was no hand-off. It was their proven knowledge and support that made us extremely confident in our choice to implement Epicor.”

As the company continues to position itself for future growth, PDS is in the process of testing the newest release of Epicor’s next-generation ERP solution. PDS looks forward to the significant enhancements made across Epicor’s newest solution, including improvements made to the costing workbench and project-based organization tools, as well as its new financial management suite. PDS plans to upgrade to Epicor’s latest ERP offering later this year.

For more information on Epicor, visit www.epicor.com. To learn more about Precision Defense Services, visit www.pdsindustries.com.

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