“Having someone to support you in this kind of thing is great. We’d work with IMEC again in a minute, and we’re keeping our eyes open for more opportunities.”
Successes in Operations and Technology
When Drawing Technology got its start in 2000, the company’s customer base was located within 300 miles of its Rockford headquarters. Today, 60 percent of products are sold outside the United States. As the company grew, its operations became more and more complex - with the sales, engineering, purchasing, accounting and manufacturing departments all running separate systems. Orders were hand-carried from one department to another, creating redundancy and inefficiency.
After exploring various options, Drawing Technology selected an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from Global Shop Solutions. IMEC helped the company secure the grant funding that paid for the critical training portion of the project. The system was implemented in 2012, and with employees trained on its use, Drawing Technology quickly began to see significant improvements in efficiency and expects to add sales with both existing and new customers.
- 10-15% reduction in overtime company-wide
- Three straight months of on-time shipments
- Anticipated 30% increase in production capacity
Wire manufacturer draws on technology to boost efficiency company-wide
“We just couldn’t run the company on a napkin anymore.” When the informal procedures that worked fine during his company’s early days began to prove inefficient, Drawing Technology President Chuck Schooley turned to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to integrate and automate the flow of information - and with funding support from IMEC, quickly began to reap the benefits.
A manufacturer of machinery for wire goods, fasteners, bearings and other wire-based product industries (“Basically, anything that’s made out of wire goes through our machines,” Schooley explained), Drawing Technology got its start in 2000. Initially, the company’s customer base was located within 300 miles of its Rockford headquarters - but today, 60 percent of products are sold outside the United States, with some clients as far as 8,000 miles away. As the company grew, its operations became more and more complex.
“Sales, engineering, purchasing, accounting, manufacturing - they were all running their own individual systems,” Schooley said. “Orders had to be hand-carried from one department to another, creating lots of redundancy and inefficiency. We knew we needed to do something differently.”
After exploring various options, Schooley and his team landed on an ERP system from Global Shop Solutions, which was implemented company-wide in 2012. IMEC helped Drawing Technology secure the grant funding that paid for the critical training portion of the project.
“From a funding perspective, we were looking for any kind of help we could get,” Schooley said. “IMEC made it easy - we just had to fill out a few forms and document our progress.”
With the ERP system up and running and employees trained on its use, it didn’t take long for Drawing Technology to begin noticing significant improvements.
“We revamped our shop floor at the same time we implemented the ERP system, and the combination of those two efforts has made us much more efficient,” Schooley said. “We’ve seen a 10 to 15 percent reduction in overtime company-wide while still shipping the same amount of product. We’ve had on-time deliveries for the past three months, when they typically run two to three weeks behind in our industry.”
Schooley also expects bottom-line benefits to follow soon - particularly since the ERP system implementation should allow Drawing Technology to add sales with both existing and new customers.
“We knew there were more potential sales out there, but before implementing this system, we thought we were running at capacity,” he said. “Now we know we can do more. We’re aiming for a 30 percent increase in capacity, which is huge for our company.” As his company grows, Schooley plans to keep IMEC in his corner. "Having someone to support you in this kind of thing is great," he said. "We'd do it again in a minute, and we're keeping our eyes open for more opportunities."