Streamlining the Critical Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing with VISUAL ERP

A couple of years back (in 2012); there was a huge wave of criticism in the American media about ERP deployment in the United States Air force.

In fact, the media even went on to term the failure as a “Debacle”, a “Catastrophe”, “and “Blowing up money”.

The total cost of the project is said to be over a whopping $1 billion. Subsequently, a lot of analysis has taken place to find the root cause, and exactly where the ERP failed to provide the desired results.

The allegations and explanations between the U.S. Department of Defense and industry experts/analysts are still on.

This defense project began in 2004 with the sole purpose of replacing 240 outdated computers of the U.S. Air Force with a single integrated system. However, things did not go as planned.

Our objective in mentioning this instance is not to judge whether it was justified or unjustified to implement the above-mentioned ERP by spending such a large amount. In this write-up we will focus on the reasoning as to how features and efficiency of a quality ERP can make a world of difference.

Let’s delve into the subject of implementing an ERP that is suitable for Aerospace and Defense (A&D) manufacturers by discussing a real-life case.

A Perfect Case

Case Study: L-3 Telemetry-East/Global Network Solutions (a division of L-3 Communications).

Industry: Aerospace and Defense

L-3 Telemetry-East supplies the following products:

  • Radio Frequency (RF) products
  • Advanced Data Acquisition products
  • Ground Products used in aircraft, missile flight test and ground receiver.

L-3 Telemetry-East manufactures these products according to the exact quality specifications to meet the stringent safety and reliability requirements.

In addition to these, the entire process involves strict lot tracking and keeping tabs on all the components throughout the entire Product Life Cycle (PLC) of all the manufactured items. It’s an end-to-end process starting with the procurement of raw materials to finished products in the field.

Existing Scenario

In order to maintain superior quality and reliability of its products, L-3 Telemetry-East needed to track every component that is part of its product. In fact, these highly sophisticated airborne telemetry items have complex systems consisting of hundreds or even thousands of critical components.

The existing ERP was an outdated system that needed the manual tracing of stored paper documents. Such efforts took several weeks and wasted hundreds of hours. Considering the criticality of the A&D industry, the company is expected to respond quickly to the alerts triggered by the government related to various products and components. Thereafter, with the help of its ERP, the company needed to check the product(s) history in details to find whether any of those components were used in specific products or not.

These were challenging situations, and the company had to find answers to the questions such as “Where the components were used during the work-in-process when the quality testing reveals random component failure?” and “How to identify which supplier is responsible for the issue?”

VISUAL ERP – The Solution

In its endeavor to find a solution, L-3 Telemetry-East partnered with us in October 2005 to deploy and integrate VISUAL ERP business software into their systems and workflow while training their staff for a seamless transition.

This partnership led to a significant positive transformation in the way L-3 Telemetry-East operates.

At present, with the help of high-end and integrated features of the VISUAL ERP, L-3 Telemetry-East can respond to a government alert in just a few minutes. The current system provides visibility to the administrators to see the details of every product sold, where each component has been used, parts left in the inventory, and even the items that are in the production process.

In this way, the overall safety, quality and reliability of the products have been enhanced vastly. For all these, the company had to spend just a fraction the cost it incurred for the antiquated system used earlier.

Benefits Offered by VISUAL ERP

The VISUAL Enterprise Aerospace & Defense provided by Synergy Resources offers the following benefits:

  • Provides an ERP system that can fulfill the objective of the A&D manufacturers to streamline their product scheduling, improve customer service and increase revenues.
  • Allows having an excellent project management system in place to maintain contracts and the Contract Line Item Numbers (CLIN’s).
  • Sets up terms and condition, establishes multi-type, multi-year rate codes (both direct and indirect) for the purpose of project accounting.
  • Reports earned values accurately and makes assessment of project risks
  • Tracks and reports extensively with various features including DD250 reporting
  • Helps to manage material, inventory, monitor cash flow, compute overhead and accumulate labor.
  • Offers a detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that helps companies develop a hierarchy for reporting purposes and to capture costs for the activities such as engineering, procurement, manufacturing and inventory.
  • Provides a Project Summary that enables organizations to track project performance, observe costs and plan schedules accordingly.
  • Helps to calculate project costing that includes direct rates, overhead rates and various other costs.

VISUAL ERP provides features to track all the data related to projects, costing, resources and suppliers. A&D manufacturers can also track the progress of the projects and their impending deliverables.

Also, like in the case of L-3 Telemetry-East, other A&D manufacturers can have access to all the information in just minutes. It vastly reduces the scope of recalling a product and its obvious impact on their customers. In addition to this, the system also brings down the costs involved with such recalls and replacement of parts.

Click here to download the L-3 Telemetry-East case study.