Production Control Workshop

Did you know that Synergy offers a Production Control Workshop?

The Production Control Workshop addresses how to implement a “Leaner” production control system, using pull system thinking to tie together product family flows across the entire facility.

Through instruction, discussion, an in-class simulation and exercises, this workshop explains how to
optimize your processes and ERP systems to leverage the power of pull systems, starting with customer demand and working back through finished goods to raw materials.

To learn more, please click here or contact our Customer Care Department.

Innovant engages Synergy’s Strategic Business Services Group…

World-class office furniture company, Innovant, engages Synergy’s Strategic Business Services Group for an operational business assessment and realizes measurable business improvements. 

Written by Garrett Pluck, CEO of Innovant

Faced with many of the same challenges manufacturing companies experience today, we reached out to Mike Canty and the Synergy Strategic Business Services Group to conduct an operational business assessment. The assessment performed by the Synergy SBS Group gave visibility to our company’s strengths and weaknesses and allowed us to clearly “see the big picture”. The assessment “findings and recommendations” report also assisted us in effectively prioritizing the improvement opportunities identified and outlined a phased approach that would allow us to realize our true potential.

The Synergy SBS Group then worked closely with our company to execute the program and facilitate several major projects that provided measurable improvements along the journey. The shop floor Kaizen activity helped to free up space and improve productivity. But perhaps even more important, the method in which the Lean program was deployed effectively trained employees to think and act differently and in a way where we are capable of sustaining the improvements while using the “lessons learned” to continue improvement activities.  Our warehouse Kaizen activity helped to free up additional space and provided us with a foundation to continuously improve the business.

The Synergy SBS Group concurrently worked with Innovant employees to improve our business processes and make visible the critical information needed to support “data driven decisions”. This was aided by the fact they helped us redeploy and integrate our ERP, Design/Rendering, CRM and CAD systems in a more effective manner. And today, for the first time ever, we can leverage these systems to monitor key performance indicators, measure progress, report financials and accurately see detailed costs which will help Innovant drive more improvement activities well into the future.

Today our company is confident in its ability to understand our customers’ needs, engineering a solution that meets their needs and deliver what they want, when they want it, with the highest level of quality.

Click here to download the case study.

Garrett Pluck is the CEO of Innovant and a member of the ownership team. Innovant, Inc. is a privately held World-Class company with cooperate offices in New York, New York. Innovant operates in the Office Furniture business / industry within the Furniture and Fixtures sector. For more than twenty years, Innovant has been dedicated to the development of open plan work stations for a variety of environments and vertical markets from trading rooms to collaborative office work space. The Innovant differentiator is our knowledge, experience, willingness to provide tailored engineered solutions and our ability to manufacture and deliver what our customers want.

 

 

The Difference Between Realizing Average Performance and Achieving Excellence

Discrete manufacturers face constant pressure to deliver a quality product on time, every time. Economic fluctuations, compliance mandates, skilled labor shortages, and the ever increasing costs of operation are only a few of the complexities manufacturers face every day.

Commonly it is found that owners and senior executives of small to mid-size manufacturers achieving higher levels of process consistency and operational excellence share the following characteristics;

  1. They have developed a business blueprint, or what most call a Strategic Business Plan.
  2. They have a clearly define Organizational Structure that is shared with and know to all employees.
  3. They have developed Operational Support Systems combining the benefits of Lean and the Power of ERP. The objective of these systems is to support and make efficient all the activities of the organization.
  4. They have established Training and Job Enrichment programs as well as incentive compensation plans that are designed to encourage each associate to improve and contribute.
  5. They Reward Performance by rewarding those who consistently contribute to continuous improvement and positive results. Most importantly, it also disciplines those who deviate from acceptable behavior. Positions, tasks, duties and responsibilities are defined and communicated and performance is routinely measured.

Setting the foundation in place!

A Strategic Business Plan clearly describes the business concept, the business mission and the owner’s or company’s philosophy of business. This document also sets forth personal and corporate goals with specific timelines and the recommended strategies to achieve them.

The Organizational structure must include all the company’s policies and procedures as well as the positions, tasks, duties and responsibilities of the employees. This should be designed to encourage all employees to perform to their utmost capabilities and carefully communicated throughout the company at regular intervals.

A Seamless Collaboration!

The Operational Support system has a significant impact on how training and job enrichment programs as well as the performance reward programs are structured.  Well structured, they also relieve management of many day-to-day routine activities, giving owners more time to be strategic thinkers.

Lean, a western adaptation of the Toyota Production System (TPS), is often considered to be an efficiency and productivity improvement practice. But the true TPS philosophy is founded on the singular focus of value added. To become Lean, a company must take a hard look at processes and practices to identify those things that truly add value for the customer and eliminate those that do not. The continuous pursuit of waste elimination is the essence of Lean. Production processes and activities alike can be directly addressed in this value vs. non-value added campaign. And it does not stop there! Lean can and should extend beyond the shop floor. Indirect activities such as logistics, administration, engineering, and warehousing, as well as other non-manufacturing activities can benefit as much from Lean thinking.

As Lean thinking has evolved and the concepts broadened, Lean advocates have come to recognize that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Lean work together very well – each supporting and enabling the most important objectives of the other. Likewise, leaders in ERP technology development today advise enterprises to recognize the fact that the manufacturing world is getting…Leaner.

In essence, Lean becomes the culture or behavior of the company and the ERP system become the central nervous system by which the company responds. With the ERP system carrying the definitions, the data, a record of the activities of the organization, and providing the measurement system for determining where opportunities for improvement lie – it also provides the measuring progress of efforts to know where to effectively apply Lean to further reduce and eliminate waste.

Caution – Don’t “go it” alone!

Reaching out to a trusted business improvement partner to realize your full potential has become a natural response for many small to mid-size manufacturing companies. Lean and ERP deployments alike require extensive system knowledge and strong change management skills to achieve success. Business improvement partners with expertise in both Lean and ERP will ensure conflict does not become a roadblock to achieving excellence.

About the author: Michael Canty is the Business Unit Director for Synergy Resources Business Performance Solutions group. Throughout his thirty plus years of service he has used his vast business knowledge and by applying various strategies, technologies, tools and methodologies, helped a large number of manufacturing companies develop and implement effective business strategies and processes leading to improved operational performance.

About Synergy Resources: Synergy is a privately held company headquartered in New York that has partnered with manufacturing companies for more than 20 years. Synergy specializes in providing products and services to help improve the overall business performance of manufacturing companies. With offices throughout North America, Synergy has more than 90 industry tested employees supporting 700+ customers.

Synergy’s Business Performance Solutions team provides strategic business planning services and advice to executive level management teams. The Professional Service team provides ‘best practice’ operational and financial services, supports software application training and deployment, and delivers hands-on Lean, TOC (Theory of Constraints) and Quality services.

Synergy’s Project Management Office (PMO) provides dedicated project management support to oversee our Clients programs and projects to ensure scope is maintained, schedules are achieved and budgets are managed. The Technical Services Group administers Synergy’s Cloud hosting program, supports product installation and data migration needs and has a dedicated programming team that develop ERP product extensions to support customer needs.

 

Michael Canty’s article published in the NTMA’s RECORD Newsletter!

Michael Canty, Executive Director of Synergy’s Business Performance Solutions Group, authored the article “Why Aren’t We Performing as Well as We Should?”, which was published in the April 2016 issue of the NTMA’s RECORD Newsletter.

Click here to learn more about our Continuous Improvement Services offering.

Click here to read Michael’s article.

Click here to view the RECORD Newsletter.

S.I. Howard Glass Certified to the ISO 9001 Standard!

Synergy Resources is excited to announce that S.I. Howard Glass has just been certified to the ISO 9001 standard!  A third generation family owned business in Massachusetts, Howard Glass specializes in the manufacturing of custom made flat glass parts for the industrial, scientific, and medical industries.   A visual customer since 2011, Howard Glass undertook an ISO 9001 implementation, in conjunction with a series of Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing programs including Kaizen, 5S, and TPM Events, beginning in October of 2013. 

This project was made possible with the assistance of a Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Grant.  Synergy Resources worked with Howard Glass through the Grant Preparation and Application Process, as well as facilitating the ISO 9001 program implementation in conjunction with the Continuous Improvement program events. 

During this time Howard Glass has improved to 90 – 95% On Time Delivery from less than 70% over the last  year and a half.  They have continued to meet their growth goals, and expect to increase their revenue based on the recent certification.  The unique blending of the Quality Management System requirements with Continuous Improvement events helped to create a system that is embedded within the structure of day to day operations. 

The consultants of Synergy Resources have been invaluable to us.  Their comprehensive knowledge of industry standards and best practices, combined with their tireless efforts of training our people, enabled us to achieve our goals in such a short amount of time.  We are by far a better company than we were one year ago.” – Elizabeth Keefe, VP of Operations at S.I. Howard Glass Co., Inc.

 

 

Why Do Some Manufacturers Thrive With Their ERP While Others Do Not?

Written by Bill Reidmiller of Synergy

From my experience, there are three fundamental reasons why some manufacturers thrive with their ERP while others do not; Process Mapping, Data Integrity, and Continuous Improvement.

Process Mapping is the key to ERP implementation success.  Documenting the step-by-step Current State process then defining, testing, and documenting the Future State process utilizing the new ERP functionality helps identify waste and streamline processes.  This important step is the foundation in which the ERP system is built and utilized.

Data Integrity is a crucial element to build on the Process Mapping foundation to enable the longevity of an ERP system.  Does your data stand the test of time?  Many companies utilize a portion / abbreviation of the Customer and Vendor names as a primary search, or the Manufacturer’s part number as the primary search for parts.  This practice, while seemingly harmless at the start, will eventually succumb to the dreaded ***DO NOT USE*** in Customer, Vendors, and Parts when names or numbers change, or different suppliers are used for products.  Utilizing a numbering schema that has a primary focus on categories and a secondary search on description hierarchy maintains the data integrity for years to come and allows for changes that will not disrupt the history.

Continuous Improvement is an essential part to ERP success.  Once the ERP wheels are in full motion there are constant changes that evolve.  This can be in the form of process changes or business practices that require a review / modification to the Process Map and the reeducation of staff to ensure continuity and repeatability, utilization of new features, identifying waste and improvements through the T.I.M. W.O.O.D. methodology, and SMED or Kaizen events.

Need guidance?  Synergy can help, please contact us.

 

Standardizing Business Processes for Multi-entity or Multi-site Manufacturers (lessons learned)

Written by Becky Mittica of Synergy

Business Process Standardization.  Sounds simple, sounds like it would make life easier for everyone.  Standardizing business processes across a multi-entity or multi-site facility is not simple regardless if you are using Infor VISUAL ERP software or other business software.  It makes managing the facilities easier due to clarity of data and reporting, but getting to that point takes a lot of work, of course, varying by the number and size of the sites or entities.

The very first step in standardizing business processes is STRONG support of ALL the top leaders in the organization.  This prevents any undermining or negativity that could transpire from the top.  The second step is to get the same strong support from the leaders at each of the entities and sites.  These are the managers that will make the standardization actually happen.  And, then, of course, all employees need to understand what is transpiring and, most importantly, the REASON for the change.

While the support is being built throughout the organization, a team should be built to determine what business processes should be standardized and how.  Ideally this team would have members from all of the facilities.  However, the team may be strictly at the corporate level with the decisions being pushed out to the entire organization.  With this method, sites and entities tend to review the standardization as only a benefit to the corporate side of the organization and may push back.  In any case, change management should come in to play with the best option chosen for your organization.

Need guidance?  Synergy can help, please contact us.

You are invited to attend the Graphicast Customer Tour!

Showcasing Achievements

LEVERAGING THE VISUAL ERP SUITE

Get an understanding of what Graphicast, Inc. has accomplished using the Visual ERP suite. Graphicast is a job shop producing precision-machined zinc alloy castings. Graphicast has been a Visual user for 15 years and utilizes Easy Lean scheduling and Synergy Resources’ SmartViews to maximize ERP value. Graphicast’s experience will show that Visual ERP is not just for big companies!

Reserve your spot today by clicking here

The agenda will include:

• An overview of Graphicast, Inc.
• Company accomplishments and challenges to overcome
• Achievements with the Visual ERP suite
• Tour of the facility
• Helping you to achieve similar results
• Questions and discussion

Lunch will be served

Understand how with the right effort, tools and expertise you can achieve industry success.

Synergy Driving Performance Improvement

Synergy uses LEAN/TOC/SixSigma principles in conjunction with implementing ERP to drive performance improvement throughout the company.

Below are two articles from a new Synergy customer’s employee newsletter, one in February, the second in March.  They actually created their own internal logo to generate enthusiasm, buy-in and excitement in their company.  Look at the picture of their conference room with all the process mapping complete.   Even before their ERP software is installed on their network, they can already see how it will be used to support their new processes that will drive improvement in their business’ performance in a big way!

Process Mapping Underway with Synergy Resources

Our journey to replace MAX with VISUAL has begun! Already dozens of employees have been involved in the process mapping phase. This is where our consultant from Synergy Resources creates a map of every single step we perform to complete a process, such as issuing a quote to a customer (you might not believe how many separate steps this takes and how many documents we print along the way!). For each process, employees who provide inputs to that process, handle the process, and are at the next stage – i.e. the “customer” of the process, are included in the all-day sessions. Next, we identify approximately how long the “current” process takes in days (or hours). Then the fun begins!

The next step is to outline what we would like the “future state” to look like. And it’s amazing to see how many individual steps we think we can cut out and how much time will be saved. Along the way, our employees are identifying opportunities for improvement that may not need to wait for the software implementation and/or could be considered as continuous improvement ideas for the future. Once everything is reviewed and approved, the folks at Synergy will use the current and future state process maps to set up the new software for us and we will create some Kaizen events to brainstorm ideas on what improvements we can make now, and along the way. An example of a Kaizen event might be to look at the Expedite process – the way we currently ask for estimated or requested ship dates.

We have about 3 more weeks of process mapping ahead. Thank you to everyone for being so helpful and for taking the time necessary to complete the process maps. Together, we’re turning over a new leaf with VISUAL. Successful implementation using Lean principles, will lead to Green in 2014…in the form of increased sales and profitability! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Our project leader and I will be coordinating the continuous improvement opportunities. Feel free to ask either of us questions any time.

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Visual Employee Kick-off Meeting

Process mapping is complete! Check out all the hard work of our Process Owners in the conference room photo below and come learn more about what Visual ERP will do for [our company] at the employee kick-off meeting this Thursday at 9:00am in the cafeteria. Refreshments will be served.

ConfRoom_process_maps

Synergy SBS helps Spectrum delight customers with improved on time delivery

“Our Customers Are Delighted!”

With the guidance and support of Synergy’s Strategic Business Services (SBS) team our company successfully achieved our number 1 goal in 2013:  Improved delivery performance.  And it is not a temporary fix but rather a sustainable process. What our management team and the SBS group have accomplished provides our company and our customers with a predictable delivery schedule.

We can now focus on doing this with less inventory and in a shorter lead-time. We will also deploy a Supplier Performance program, designed by SBS and our management team to help and support our suppliers performance as we work to strengthen the entire value chain. 2014 looks like another exciting year with breakthrough accomplishments and a continued partnership with Synergy’s SBS team.

Richard Meisenheimer  
President & Second Generation Owner
Spectrum Associates
Milford CT

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