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ERP Seminar Initiative Enables Plastics Moulding Company to Find the Right System to Enhance its Capabilities: VISUAL Enterprise


13 January 2004, Hampton, NH (USA) —Finding the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a major investment for any size manufacturing company, is often a lengthy, time-consuming, and costly task. Hi-Tech Mouldings, an award-winning £9m turnover plastics injection-moulding manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, found an ideal solution to ease this process when it attended an ERP Vendors Forum.

At the seminar, the company learned important time-saving techniques for selecting and implementing an ERP system. This invaluable opportunity also allowed Hi-Tech Mouldings to apply these techniques and compare the perceived benefits from a range of ERP providers present at the Forum. After the seminar, the company appointed a review team and short-listed five candidate suppliers. After a rigorous and systematic evaluation, Hi-Tech Mouldings selected VISUAL Enterprise™ from Lilly Software Associates, a Forum member.

The supply chain management system from Lilly Software will replace a proliferation of fragmented and stand-alone IT resources that the technical trade moulder has used for several years. “The installation of an integrated ERP system represents a quantum leap for our business, and we are all excited by the prospect of using it and gaining the benefits,” said Richard Brown, Hi-Tech Moulding’s Sales Director.

“We wanted to form a partnership with a supplier and implement a robust ERP solution that would seamlessly encompass all the different but vital functions in our line of business – from sales, through manufacturing to distribution,” said Brown. “We also wanted one that was easy to operate, allowing the whole company to use it productively, thus making the best of the investment. Lilly and the VISUAL system met all these requirements. In addition, the range of applications plus the system’s scalability will enable us to expand the resource in line with ambitious business development plans.” Above all, Brown said, “The system is expected to help the company continually improve its service to customers.”

ANTICIPATED BENEFITS

Hi-Tech Mouldings plans to use the integrated VISUAL Enterprise system to achieve higher productivity, better inter-company communications and knowledge sharing, timely availability of data to speed decision-making and measurement, and more streamlined business process management (BPM). Other anticipated benefits include less reliance on paper and more on automated, electronic documentation, such as in the area of sales order processing and invoicing. The company also expects estimating to be more accurate and easier to manage.

The integrated system will allow employees to access drawings using VISUAL® from CAD systems, including those from Hi-Tech Mouldings’ customers and the company’s two CAD systems, SDRC & Pro-Engineer. This will make collaboration between design, engineering, and manufacturing departments more accurate and productive. In turn, it will lead to downstream benefits and improved service to customers. The system also features an easy-to-understand graphical user interface, which will make it faster for employees to learn the VISUAL applications and, as a result, help the company gain far more value from the investment.

In addition to the comprehensive VISUAL Enterprise toolset, Hi-Tech Mouldings purchased the customer relationship management product, VISUAL CRM® and the VISUAL Quality® solution, both from Lilly. The CRM package will allow other departments in the company to see all the details that sales personnel have discussed with the customer, making sure that they consider every requirement at the start and finish of each contract. VISUAL Quality will allow the company to bring the benefits of its business-wide ISO 9001:2000 certification into the relationship with customers’ projects as early as possible.

THE COURAGE TO INVEST

Supported by several prestigious awards, Hi-Tech Mouldings has earned a reputation for adopting best practices and setting high standards. The ERP purchase is actually part of a larger investment program by Hi-Tech Mouldings. Other purchases include a Bridgeport high-speed machining center, a Demag 110-ton moulding machine (to complement an existing 250-ton asset), and changes in the shop floor infrastructure and an increase in work centers.

The company invested in the ERP system during a depressed economic climate, but Richard Brown believes it was the right time to do so. Brown explains: “The policy of the Hi-Technology Group, of which Hi-Tech Mouldings is a part, is to invest during hard times to be ready for upturns. We believe in being leaders, not followers so, from the top down, we have committed wholeheartedly to the new system from Lilly. We expect it to make a great difference and enhance the capability of our company.”

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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