Best Practices: Building a Scalable Business

Optical Cable focused on its long-term vision when it deployed a new enterprise resource planning system


Optical Cable also utilizes a highly sophisticated scanning system for location tracking and transaction entry, replacing labor-intensive record keeping and, at the same time, providing managers with real-time job tracking data to facilitate accurate decision-making. Workers use handheld and base scanners to track inventory from the time raw materials are received through all phases of manufacturing and distribution. The scanners utilize SYSPRO e.net components to process data to the SYSPRO ERP system in real time. As a result, operators can move around the factory floor unencumbered and capture transactions as they occur, enabling the SYSPRO system to track inventory in real-time. In this manner, management is always presented with an up-to-date record of inventory and work-in-progress. Ferguson says this process is another key way that the SYSPRO software provides the foundation for superior information management. "It gives us the data we need to perform better business analysis."

Gaining a Real-time "Snapshot"

SYSPRO Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), when implemented, will also help Optical Cable to provide superior customer service by speeding order turnaround. The APS module will give Optical the functionality to control and monitor its factory, optimize its resources and ultimately increase its manufacturing productivity and efficiency. Because the APS module dynamically links to all relevant SYSPRO modules, it also speeds paperwork processing.

The APS module will give a real-time "snapshot" of the manufacturing floor at any time, permitting Optical Cable to view and manipulate planned factory workloads within specified planning periods. In this manner, the company can accommodate rush orders, eliminate bottlenecks and balance workloads against the capacities of each cell within each manufacturing work center.

Not a company to rest on its laurels, Optical Cable is continually seeking other ways to enhance customer service. Toward this end, the company will soon be utilizing SYSPRO Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. "This is just another way we hope to enhance customer service and improve customer support," says Ferguson.


SIDEBARS

    Company

    Roanoke, Va.-based Optical Cable Corporation is a leading manufacturer of fiber optic cables primarily sold into the enterprise market, and the primary manufacturer of military ground tactical fiber optic cables for the U.S. military. The publicly traded company was founded in 1983 and pioneered the design and production of fiber optic cables for the most demanding military field applications.

    Best Practices

    • Focus on the customer: Use an Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution to speed order turnaround, helping to ensure superior customer service.
    • Leverage visibility: Using the planning tool to gain a real-time "snapshot" of the manufacturing floor, allowing for the manipulation of factory workloads to accommodate rush orders and eliminate bottlenecks.
    • Link the factory floor to the top floor: Connect scanners used in warehouse and plant operations to higher-level business systems to ensure senior executives have the up-to-date information they need to make proper analyses.


Companies Mentioned in This Article

Optical Cable Corporation

SYSPRO USA
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