On-time delivery, the competitive advantage

Broaching company cuts lead times and meets deadlines with ERP system.

General Broach designs and manufactures broaching machines and tools, and 70 percent of its customers are automotive, including DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Corp. The company remains one of the top three suppliers in its niche market and continues to grow and develop its product line through innovation, strategic alliances in Europe, cross-selling and product partnerships. But continued growth could be short-lived if General Broach does not meet delivery deadlines, so it uses a special enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The system optimizes shop-floor throughput by identifying, buffering and preventing bottlenecks and resource constraints. Since its implementation, General Broach's overall deliveries have gone to being made on time from an average of 849 days late. General Broach has the Made2Manage Enterprise Business system from Made2Manage Systems Inc. (www.made2manage.com), which includes M2M Synchronizer, an application that synchronizes back-office data from M2M ERP with M2M Advanced Scheduling, a real-time scheduling tool that sequences and schedules work-center activities in one step across all operations. Initially, M2M Advanced Scheduling changed General Broach's lead times so much that Mark Miller, controller and systems administrator at the company, redefined lead times for each of the company’s product classes. Almost every product class saw lead times drop by a two-week period. As the company's speed to market and revenues increased, he returned to the M2M scheduling tool and was able to push deliveries to on time. Miller says the company now promises accurate delivery dates, and is more active with its customers. But most importantly, he says the faster lead times keep the company competitive. General Broach continues to win business in its industry where small mom-and-pop companies can deliver machines and cutting tools at a faster pace by walking a part throughout the entire building process. General Broach makes up for the difference by finding new efficiencies and cashing in on the associated savings, Miller says. David Graham, general manager of General Broach, says his company matches the lead times and prices of small shops and still manages the overhead that pays for the quality and service customers want. Smaller shops simply can not provide the full package, he says.

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