For more than 20 years, Versaprofiles has specialized in value-added thermoplastic extrusion manufacturing, with a focus on several key markets: geothermal, water pipe, maple sap/syrup, mass transit, office furniture, construction, telecommunications, utilities, and landscaping.
10 managers, 35 shop-floor operators, 11 extrusion lines in a 36,000 sq. ft. facility, custom and stock runs of 300 to 1.5million feet with an average run of 30,000 ft.
Versaprofiles, formerly IPL Extrusion, a division of IPL Inc., Canada’s largest thermoplastic manufacturer, had been coping with a generic, tier-one ERP system, that although ranked amongst the world’s top three, had required significant modifications to make it work for a plastics processor. One fulltime programmer devoted 70% of his time to managing software configurations, updates, add-ons and maintenance and even then, it typically took him three to 10 days to deliver on Versa employees’ requests. As a result of these delays, Versa employees couldn’t respond to requests from new and existing customers or react to production and operational circumstances in a timely manner.
As part of IPL, Versa had been stuck with a heavily customized generic system that been modified for plastic processing. However, when Versa became a standalone company in July 2011, the management team soon focused on finding an alternative to the exorbitant licensing fees and incredibly heavy, generic ERP system that required constant customization to accommodate a plastic extruder.
The plastic-specific, highly flexible, out-of-the-box CyFrame ERP system costs 75% less than the typical tier-one, generic ERP system. The cost differential is even greater when you consider the third-party customization and programming required on a generic ERP, not to mention the price of the additional risk and increased downtime.
Because the highly-rated, generic ERP system couldn’t deliver crucial but basic key performance production and operational indicators quickly, easily and cost-effectively, Versa employees
regularly reverted to using standalone spreadsheets and other manual systems.
Versa wanted an ERP system that had been designed specifically for the plastics industry as it would require far less customization than a generic product. The company also wanted to buy their new ERP system directly from the people who owned, built and programmed it rather than resellers or integrators. As importantly, CyFrame’s ERP offered barcode compatibility for production entry, inventory by location, daily profitability reports, credit management and drag-and-drop planning schedules.
In the winter of 2011, CyFrame took two months to install its complete ERP solution with a focus on the finance, sales, purchasing and production models. Post-installation, CyFrame invested another two months in optimizing and finalizing customization requirements such as the inventory locations, special labels and an upgraded version of the subcontracting module. Finally, Versa added the shop floor bar-code touch screen data acquisition and the wireless shipping modules.
Key rewards include $100,000 in savings over a three-year period and the ability to grow the business by 25% without hiring new employees. In addition, customer satisfaction has improved because customer service and sales employees can immediately tell customers and prospective clients which SKUs are available. CyFrame’s ERP has also freed up about 185 hours of the production supervisors’ time annually allowing them to devote those hours to further enhancing the manufacturing operation. Ongoing maintenance costs will be about 50 percent less with CyFrame than with Versa’s previous provider since Versa employees can make so many of the required changes themselves.