CSE Software Inc / Simformotion
CSE Software Inc. was selected by a major company to take over the fabrication and distribution of its machine simulator business. CSE jumped in, forming a separate venture, Simformotion LLC, to manage the hardware design and assembly aspects. But the software-focused company soon realized it had much to learn about logistics and turned to IMEC for help – first to evaluate inventory management software and then to design a new manufacturing and warehouse facility.
IMEC reviewed Simformotion’s assembly and manufacturing needs, output levels and growth expectations, then developed two options: one that would keep the company in its existing space and one that would move it to a bigger location. After Simformotion decided a new space was the best solution, IMEC returned with two detailed facility designs, outlining flow and expansion potential, from which the company made a final selection. IMEC then helped Simformotion physically lay out the new space, which incorporates cellular flow techniques to balance the amount of work each cell handles.
- Dramatically increased capacity from 8 systems per week to 20 systems per day
- More predictable output
- Improved manufacturing and assembly efficiency
- Enhanced ability to check product quality
There’s No Simulating this Kind of Capacity Growth
When CSE Software Inc. was selected by a major company to take over the fabrication and distribution of its machine simulator business, the Peoria-based firm jumped right in – then realized it had much to learn about managing inventory and a warehouse.
“We’re a software company,” said Vanessa Price, logistics manager for Simformotion LLC, the company CSE established to manage the hardware design and assembly aspects of the simulator business. “We’d never done anything on the warehousing side before. Suddenly, we had inventory and we needed a warehouse. We needed help.” That’s when CSE decided to reach out to IMEC – first for assistance evaluating an inventory management software package.
“IMEC helped us go through our existing software and explained how it could work for us,” Price said. “They shared the pros and cons of different software options and gave us insights from some of their other customers as well. They ended up teaching us a lot about inventory.”
With IMEC’s guidance, CSE decided its current software package was the best solution. But there was another hurdle – Simformotion’s existing manufacturing and warehouse space simply wasn’t working.
“Our facility was either too small or too poorly organized for us to work efficiently,” Price said. “IMEC met with our team to talk about our needs, our current output levels and our expectations for future growth, then developed two options for us: one plan that would keep us in the existing space and one that would move us to a different location.”
After reviewing the options, the CSE team determined that the new space was the best solution. IMEC returned with two detailed facility layout designs, outlining flow and expansion potential, from which CSE made a final selection.
“IMEC not only provided the warehouse design, but they also helped us physically lay out the space once we moved into the new building,” Price said. “They gave us pointers on working more efficiently as well – different things we could do at different times to assemble and move product through the facility more quickly.”
The new facility incorporates cellular flow techniques, which balances the amount of work each cell handles. Output is more predictable, and Simformotion can quickly identify process issues if any step takes more time than planned. The result is dramatically increased capacity. Prior to the move, Simformotion’s operation could handle about eight simulator systems per week. Today, Price anticipates the new warehouse could manage as many as 20 systems per day.
Quality has improved as well. “With better flow in the warehouse, it’s easier to dedicate time to check quality,” Price said. “We’ve been able to catch some issues before they went out the door.”
With a potential new customer on the horizon, Price hopes to be inviting IMEC back into Simformotion’s warehouse soon to confirm capacity and identify any needed improvements.
“The relationship with IMEC is incredible – they are always accommodating and go out of their way to work with us,” she said. “Our company is family, and IMEC just fit right into that. They listened to our ideas and thoughts and went right along with our culture.”
“The relationship with IMEC is incredible – they are always accommodating and go out of their way to work with us. Our company is family, and IMEC just fit right into that. They listened to our ideas and thoughts and went right along with our culture.”
– Vanessa Price, Logistics Manager