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Med-Eng Systems Selects VISUAL Enterprise from Lilly Software to Manage Project Costs and Comply with Government and Contractual Reporting

05 January 2004, Hampton, NH (USA) —Easier government and contract compliance, improved tracking of labor and non-labor expenditures, more timely reporting, and an easy learning curve are all reasons that Med-Eng Systems Inc. has decided to implement VISUAL Enterprisefor Project-Based Manufacturers from Lilly Software Associates.

Med-Eng is an innovative developer and manufacturer of personal protective equipment used in Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Demining, Crowd Management, and Personal Climate Systems. Since 1981, the Canadian company has served military, police, and government agencies and is proud to have its suits, helmets, and tools trusted in over 130 countries and territories.

The company began small, but now, it has a worldwide reputation and visibility. Over the last six years, Med-Eng has undergone phenomenal growth. With end-users such as the United States Department of Defense, it must follow strict accounting protocols for every project. With an increasing number of contracts, the company realized that it needed a better way to report actual expenditures and variance from plan rather than manually creating project cost reports through spreadsheets.

“Our internal labor tracking and non-labor tracking was very cumbersome using the spreadsheets,” says Craig Thomson, Business Analyst for Med-Eng. “It required 2-3 days of intensive manual data entry every month to produce the desired reports. With the volume of projects, it was obvious that we needed a solution to streamline our project reporting.”

Med-Eng selected its original VISUAL Enterprise™ system from Lilly Software in 1998 and steadily added key functionality as needed. Robert Zintel, Controller for Med-Eng, explains what attracted the company to the Project-Based solution: “Primarily, we went with VISUAL Enterprise for Project-Based Manufacturers because we could leverage our existing investment in VISUAL Enterprise and build the desired solution without a large investment in training.” The ROI from the productivity gain of adding an integrated module was a major reason it chose VISUAL®.

“That wasn’t the sole driving factor for our selection however,” continues Zintel. “If we had seen a better solution, we would have chosen it. After we sat down and looked at what the Project-Based solution offered, we were excited. It met our current requirements and offered a platform that supported growth for the future. So far, VISUAL Enterprise has proven to be scaleable; we have added new modules that provided the functionality for our evolving business needs.”

The project management features will enable Med-Eng to avoid spending days preparing data for project accounting, reporting, and control. Managers will be able to accurately track labor, materials, service, and travel costs and maintain real-time information about expenditures. The solution also offers reporting modules that mimic the way the U.S. Government handles costing. This creates an easy learning curve for those familiar with government requirements.

“As we grow, we spend more and more time managing project accounting and reporting,” says Thomson. “To handle the increased work load, we would have to hire more employees. Now, we can get the information we need with the resources we have, while significantly decreasing the time to perform these tasks. This means we can focus more on overall productivity and profitability. With the Project-Based capabilities, we will be able to load budget forecasts, manage costs, and track contract data requirements lists (CDRLs). We will be able to drill into expenditures and understand what is underlying every project.”
The detailed project accounting will help Med-Eng gain a better understanding for the costs of its products and incorporate this data into its financial model.

“As far as immediate benefits, we expect to accurately track the costs of each project from start to finish and estimate cost-to-completion easier than ever before,” says Zintel. “For the complex contracts we are embracing, VISUAL will allow us to pursue our current opportunities and be compliant. Further down the road, as we streamline our tasks, we expect to manage government contracts with increased granularity. For the long term, we want to be able to forecast for improved accuracy and lean performance.”

Med-Eng runs version 6.3.8 of VISUAL Enterprise on Oracle 9i and Linux. The company recently started implementing the Project-Based solution and will train its employees on the new software throughout December so that it can go live in January. Med-Eng prides itself on the latest technology and its commitment to quality and service; the swift implementation is just another way the manufacturer is working hard for its customers.

About Lilly Software Associates

Lilly Software Associates, Inc. provides a complete line of enterprise and supply chain solutions for manufacturers and distributors. The VISUAL Enterprise™ suite of products helps companies capture and analyze real-time data about all their business processes using ERP, Project Management, Business Performance Management, Quality Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Warehouse Management System capabilities. From award-winning software to strategies in Lean Manufacturing and TOC, Lilly Software offers companies the tools they need for higher productivity and profitability.

Most VISUAL® applications run on Windows® 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, UNIX®, LINUX, Novell®, using SQLBase®, Microsoft SQL Server®, or ORACLE® relational databases.

Lilly Software has received many industry awards for its products, service, and financial growth since its inception. Most recently, the company has been voted one of the Top 10 Best of Breed solutions for manufacturing by readers of Consumer Goods Technology, listed in Software Magazine's Top 500, selected as a Top 100 Logistics Information Technology Provider in Inbound Logistics, listed in the Top 100 Application Vendors in Supply Chain e-Business, included in MSI's Top 100 for its eighth year, and ranked as one of Start magazine's Hottest Companies.


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