ETO Fabricator Structures Their Company Foundation with Unique End to End ERP Offering
GSM Industrial, Inc., is a custom metal fabrication & Installation contractor located in Lancaster, PA. Specializing in ETO equipment & industrial HVAC systems, installation, repair, machining, and contract manufacturing services. Their 110,000 square-foot facility includes a heavy fabrication bay, a light fabrication bay, structural steel fabrication area and a state-of-the-art full downdraft paint room and blast room.
While current systems (Timberline and TimeTrak) did handle work orders, costing and financials, integration was lacking, which meant data was re-entered from one module to the next. Basically using a conglomeration of systems ‘skillfully patched together’. They were able to collect/track appropriate information, but at the same time created data silos. Everyone only having one piece of the puzzle rather than a shared integrated solution. The result was lots of duplicate, error prone data entry and a lack of visibility between departments.
Neither their time tracking software, nor their scheduling tool were meeting their growing needs. Any given job could only have a single release date and due date. They were not able to break jobs out into different tasks. They used a standard set of workcenters for all jobs, so any processes that were less common, including subcontracting services, were difficult to schedule. Overall, as they adopted more complex skillsets and projects, it became even more difficult to schedule and track time.
To address these challenges, management began to investigate ERP systems that claimed to target custom ETO equipment manufacturers. They evaluated many of the systems on the market including JobBOSS, Epicor, ShopTech E2, ECI-M1, MIE Trak and Made2Manage. It was critical that their new system could release a job and schedule it prior to completing the engineering. That was a stumbling block as they found most of the systems were more geared toward manufacturing/repeat parts and required part numbers everywhere.
As they are a custom job shop and after researching many systems, one ERP stood out. VISUAL ERP addresses many of their unique concerns and has a flexible and robust scheduling engine. They also really liked how easy it is to use Synergy’s SmartViews reporting tool. Many of the other systems would have required more resources for report writing and their goal is to implement the system with as little customization as possible.
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